Time-Lapse Footage Of A 430,000 Sq. Ft. Graffiti Art Project In Paris

An unbelievable underground museum of graffiti art has been painstakingly assembled in a ruined, abandoned grocery store in the north of Paris. Forty French artists and crews took over the building after police had cleared the space of its squatter residents.

The underground Mausolée space can’t be accessed by visitors, so the artists made this pretty incredible video so people can view the space and also to show how it came together.

The project was organized by two artists, Lek and Sowat. According to Sowat:

On August 12, 2010, Lek and I found an abandoned supermarket in the north of Paris. For a year, in the greatest of secrets, we continuously wandered in this 430,000 sq ft monument to paint murals and organize an illegal artistic residency, inviting forty French graffiti artists to collaborate with us, from the first to the last generation of the graffiti movement. Together we built a Mausoleum, a temple dedicated to our disappearing underground culture, slowly being replaced by street art and its global pop aesthetics. Amongst other things, we made a stop motion movie of the whole experience, showing a years worth of work in 7 minutes of high speed sequence shot, a bit like watching Graffiti through the windows of New York Subway system.

To illustrate this movie, we chose Philip Glass’ ‘Opening’ track. When we reached out for permission to use the music, we were offered Mr Glass’ own master of the song, a version that is less known by the public than the track that was put out in the ‘glassworks’ album. We didn’t do this movie for financial reasons, we wanted it to be free and accessible to the most people possible.

The artists have also published a book commemorating their 40,000 m² “mausoleum” of graffiti art.

For more exploration of the modern social and political climate in Paris, I recommend watching the excellent drama La Haine (Hate) 1995. It dispels the magical, beautiful myth of Paris a la “Midnight in Paris” (which I also loved) and presents a thoroughly realistic view of a city in conflict like any other.
images via {Dangerous Minds}

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