In August 2010 Sowat & Lek , two artists from France’s Da Mental Vaporz crew organised 40 French artists, from the first to the last generation of the graffiti movement, to paint out the inside of an abandoned 430,000 sq ft Casino supermarket in the North of Paris, near to the Parc de Villette. For a year, a continuous illegal artistic residency took place, which was documented through film and by collecting the detritus that was found around the huge formerly squatted complex.
Lek & Sowat tell us that what remains is “a temple dedicated to a disappearing underground culture, slowly being replaced by street art and its global pop aesthetics”.
The artists who took part in this awesome project, which reminds us of The Underbelly Project and Ghostvillage Project – also certainly worth taking time to discover – include the following:
Apotre, Bims, Blo, Bom.k, Boyane, Brusk, Butterfly, Clickclacker, Dem189, Domone, Fleo, Gilbert1, Gris1, Hobz, Honda, Jayone, Jaw, J.P, Kan, Katre, Keboy, Lek, Manyak, Monsieur Qui, O’Clock, Omick, Onde, Outside, Paum/Sarin, Rems, Res, Romi, R. Skyronka, Sambre, Seth, Shook, Siao, Skio, Smo, Sowat, Spei, Swiz, Tcheko, Thias, Wxyz
An installation inspired by and made using materials from the site of the “Mausoleum” is now open to view by the public, and the accompanying book, can be bought online, here.
The project is essentially the brainchild of artist Sowat. He was assisted by Lek, and the video was edited by Kan.
Picture found at the North Paris site and framed as part of the exhibition