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Another chapter has been added to the debate surrounding the display of art originally created for and in the public space, being shown in an exhibition space. This happened last week, thanks to the well-known Spanish artist Gonzalo Borondo, when his work was displayed, without his consent, in an exhibition in Turin. His reaction? He, or someone from his team, covered the work in white.
The work in question was created roughly 15 years ago on the wall of abandoned barracks in Bologna. As Borondo has stated on his Instagram in a series of stories called THIEVES, the whitening of his work is “the consequences of a bad idea”. He continues: “Initially, the art restorer who ripped them out admitted the action of capturing, excusing it by saying that they only have the intention of preserving the murals, but not to sell the works…” You can imagine his surprise when he then discovered it was displayed at a pay-to-enter exhibition. Borondo states: “These interventions in the public spaces weren’t made with the intention to create objects to consume but to dialogue and accompany their surroundings. Without their context, the interventions make no sense, the will and intent of the artist have disappeared, so, in the end, the works of art do not exist anymore.”
This most likely won’t be the last chapter in this debate. To catch THIEVES in its entirety, including the whitening of the artwork, head here.