Guerilla Galleries have in the last few years been active in bringing both street and urban art into the big gallery environment, allowing the art-loving public to absorb and metaphorically listen to the word from the street.
This summer it will return to the streets but with a slight difference, by endeavouring to bring a selection of fine art – frames and all – to the streets of East London.
A gallery spokesman said: “public art should do everything it says on the tin, that is be accessible, tangible and available to view around the clock by the general public. “The ArtZelle project removes the traditional barriers and boundaries associated with the ‘so-called’ public art found in galleries, and in doing so genuinely brings fine art and the artists to the people.”
The project uses abandoned phone kiosks of the 90s to create a unique and fully immersive art experience. And there is more to the choice of ArtZelle as a title. Zelle in German can mean both booth as well as cell. The Guerilla’s reasoning is simple. Free-to-view public art in the national museums and galleries are locked-up and only available as and when its guardians and curators see fit to open these institutions. The public art of the ArtZelle project is the exact polar opposite of this – it’s open all the time and free to take away should you so wish.
“This project offers a new lease of life to these 90s phone kiosks – monuments to a bygone era – communication designed in part for privacy but also for bringing people together.”
It’s not the first time phoneboxes have been used as a default gallery. The Gallery On The Green in a leafy park of Yorkshire is a fantastic use of small spaces as was/is The Phonebox Gallery in Prickwillow (honestly this is a real place).
But in an age where the public have become visually desensitised by invasive advertising, contributing artists and curators will be challenged to capture and hold the attention of the passing audience. The ArtZelle project comes to Shoreditch in the summer 2014 with the much awaited Heroes Villains and Fantasy themed show in six kiosks and two walls. The project will continue into the autumn aiming to showcase the work of up to 30 artists and emerging curators.
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