Guerilla Gallery and Gentrification
Millerntor Gallery goes Art Basel Miami – Day 2
We occupied our house in Miami with all the elements of Millerntor Gallery: Love, Art, Viva con Agua, FC Sankt Pauli, … and of course a gallery. A portable wood thing, with the measures of a toilet (which actually fits very well again, since we support sanitation projects as well).
The boys got up early to listen to the match of our beloved FC Sankt Pauli and in the meantime they built this awesome exhibition space and installation. Actually, they had more luck in putting wood boards together than the other boys in brown with the match (only miracles can help us stay in second league now). Cäpt’n Clepto cooked lunch for us and served it out of the rolling gallery. This is family!
Jörn and me went art stuff shopping, and – surprise surprise – this yellow-blue home-center is just the same as back home (only that some of the tags were in Spanish). Since we’ll have this exhibition only for some days or maybe even only for some hours, we went for the cheap stuff – shame on us! We have other qualities…. that money can’t buy.
At night, we went for another exploration – Wynwood. THE street art district in Miami. The perfect example of gentrification. And in the end, I’m asking myself whether it’s good or bad. The good thing: It’s full of art. You can find inspiration everywhere, every single building is painted and some of them in really nice style. A lot of surfaces for artists, a lot of color, a lot of love messages on the sidewalk. Squares with food trucks, live music and benches to hang out. Clubs with good music, restaurants with good food, galleries with good art. But for which price?
Tony Goldman, the central investor, bought blocks and gave it to artists. The same way he did this in New York and Philadelphia. To be honest – there’s worse things to do with money. At the same time, everything gets so expensive, that the people who used to live here for ages, can’t go out in their own district anymore. A Police officer is told to stand in front of a gallery and tell the locals (and his friends) not to come in. How sad is that for a ‚culture‘?
Henri Lefebvre, who is famous for his thoughts about ‚right to the city‘, said that capitalism needs space. And that you can easily add value to a space through cultural ways of action – give it a new cultural meaning. And that’s what Goldman did in Wynwood. The artist Shepard Fairey concludes it in an easy way: ‚there’s more space for art‘. He doesn’t care about how it comes to that space.
The story of Wynwood is simple: from a poor district to a high class cocktails scene. And while the hipsters (we’ve been called that as well, refusing ‚a smoke‘) of Miami walk from club to club, two blocks further people have been shot. The absurdity of life. It makes me think of my home district in Hamburg, too. As my friend put it:’Wynwood is the nightmare of Sankt Pauli‘. By the way, here’s a nice documentary worth to watch.
In the end you have to make up your mind on your own. And we will ‚use‘ Wynwood in the next days as well – to spread our vision: ART CREATES WATER!