In the same week that Chinese artist Ai Weiwei unveiled his latest artwork tackling the on-going refugee crisis, M-City turned the streets of Stavanger into waterways with his creation for the city’s fleet of Street Art buses.
M-City is an artist and lecturer at the Academy of Art in Szczecin, Poland. He is best-known for his large-scale, political and industrial-themed murals, which involve piecing together hundreds of carefully cut stencils. An incredibly prolific and methodical painter, he has produced work up to 85 meters long and notched up over 700 pieces to his M-City project alone, including several in Stavanger on previous trips to Nuart Festival.
M-City addressed the crisis by using his stencil talents to transform a 18-meter bus into a pontoon carrying refuges across the dangerous journey to Europe by sea. Pontoon is powerful tribute to those risking their lives to reach European shores.
The bus entered traffic this week and will undertake some of the 85,000 journeys that are registered daily in the city. The powerful imaginary will reach many people carrying out their daily lives, and make them stop and think about the humanitarian crisis happening right now.
“A bus is like a small boat, moving from A to B. Usually we just sit in our seat, switch off and look out the window at the same things: same buildings, same houses, same cars, same shops, same weather, same people. We don’t know the driver or the other passengers but we trust the driver to reach our destination safely. Finally, we exit at our stop to go to our jobs, our families, our friends, the bar, the shopping centre… But let’s imagine that the bus is a boat, a kind of pontoon. You look out as far as you can see and you don’t recognise anything. You don’t know the driver or the other passengers. You don’t know where you’re going or if you’ll get there safely. You don’t know any of the stops and you don’t know what will happen to you when you reach your destination. But you and all the passengers do have a common goal: to save your life.” M-City
Nuart have more street art buses driving around Stavanger, read more here.
Photo credit Brian Tallman