Somehow, also his last work picks up the residuals of its habitat and verbalizes it, but with a totally different strategy: the Wa has chosen a small green area by the river and, simulating typical municipal embellishments, camouflages his work as a carpet bedding. The flowers, based on carved wooden plates and chosen according to the colors of the city, draw in traditional blackletter typeface Lebensmüde. The literal translation, “tired of life”, doesn’t deliver only a sense of depression and restlessness: it refers also to individuals acting out of character in order to galvanize their tedious existence. The bedding carpet clearly resembles a caption to the view to the most gentrified area of the city beyond the river, but the Wa’s critics doesn’t spare even the authorial role. Tightly mingled with the phenomenon of gentrification, the position of an artist -especially a street artist- in this process is very problematic. Questioning the ethical implications on being socially engaged while taking part in municipal and sponsored festivals, Lebensmüde refers also to the artist himself, his aura of enfant terrible and the crystallization of such role. If in Relaxation Situationelle he was removing obstacles from parks to create ‘facilitators’, here the authorial work is subtle, is an ornament of a given context, an embroidery. With a honest yet playful self-irony, the Wa’s work points out with a single gesture the commodification of urban art, the politics of gentrification and the artist’s role in this context.
Author: Giada Dalla Bontá

Sharing Cities
Poller Wiesen
The Wa