Graffiti artists who come from the illegality of a school called “the street”, take over an administrative wasteland from the 1960s. They transform it into a labyrinth of forms, installations and paintings that encompass the spectator. An immersive dive into a colourful maze, with artists who are, to say the least, singular.
Painters of Ephemera is a documentary directed by Guillaume Kozakiewiez. Shoot in France in 2020 and 2021 it features renowed artists such as Alfe, Lek&Sowat, Grems, Shoof and many more.
The documentary takes place a building occupied until 2016 by a public administrative center. After their departure 4 stories and 3000 square meters of surface are left in fallow. The building is situated in the vicinity of the harbor, in the center of the city of Vannes (France). At the end of 2017, the city of Vannes entrusts the association « L’Art Prend La Rue » to take over and they build a ephemeral cultural project named DéDalE.
Between May and August 2018, some forty urban artists took over the offices and corridors of the former administrative building and covered the walls with works of art derived from the graffiti technique: lettering, flops, but also decorations, characters…
On 29 September 2018, the doors opened to the public. Neophytes, connoisseurs, families, tourists and locals invade the ground floor and get lost in this labyrinth. Strangely enough, this building invaded by a pirate art succeeds in bringing together all generations and socio-professional categories. Visits are free of charge in small groups of 20 to 30 people. The site was managed by a local team of volunteers and welcomed 100 000 visitors and 119 artists.
When Guillaume Kozakiewiez visited the place the first time, a company came to repaint the whole ground floor in white, as it was planned. The art made in each room was to be covered in white to free the space to new creators.
“How do you see this question of covering at the heart of your film ?
– It was the starting point of the project. I found myself in DéDalE in Vannes, where there was already a lot of works installed by others before, when a painting company came to repaint the whole ground floor in white… In one day, they had erased all the works with a spray gun. In six hours, we had gone from a crazy universe of colors, frescos, different artistic universes that make the imagination run wild, to a white world, which referred to an hospital, or a completely dystopian place with no memory. It was a shock!”
After the first shock of seeing the walls full of art painted in white, the director Painters of Ephemera came back to film the artists that would create the second art covering of the building. He filmed more than 20 artists working on their crafts, to retain 14 of them for the documentary. His approach was not to meet them before shooting to “keep things fresh, to be able to stay in a state of discovery […] – I opted for a meeting on the spot, in the place of the shoot. Let’s go, as equals.”
The film features the artists Alfe, Zoer, LeMoDuLeDeZeeR, Jean Moderne – RCF1, MGLO, Selah, Shoof, Lek & Sowat, Lokiss, Grems, Sylvain Ristori, Apotre, Bault, and the art of Joachim Romain, Aise, Soem, Moyoshi, Persu, Rezin, Mika, L7matrix, La Fleuj, L’Outsider, Franck Lesieur, Fuzi.
Painters of Ephemera is a tribute to urban art, an immersion in several universes to form a atypical artistic experience for the spectator.
Painters of Ephemera (Où va le blanc quand la neige fond ?) is produced by A Perte de Vue, in coproduction with Sancho & Compagnie, and TVR, TébéO, TébéSud. With the support of “l’aide au développement et à la production” of Région Bretagne, with the support of Région Grand Est and d’Eurométropole Strasbourg, with the support of CNC and Procirep-Angoa.
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