Murmure Paints the "Dung Beetle" in Bayonne, France
Clearly, this was not the year to enjoy street art festivals, though there was plenty of material for comment. In fact, maybe it was time to take a breath, let those creative juices macerat and see what slowly emerges. Worth the wait is a piece recently painted by the French duo Murmure for the Point de Vue Festival organized by SpaceJunk Bayonne. Dung Beetle is the latest statement in their ongoing Garb-age series, where the artists portray the consequences of consumerism-obsessed society. What better symbol than the hardy black garbage bag?
Creepily realistic, with the existing wall surface serving as backdrop, a dung beetle does what dung beetles do—roll in a ball of waste. While, indeed, the animal waste serves as a food source and breeding chamber, fertilizing the soil, Murmure Street's scarab maneuvers a miniature rubbish bag. In a simple twist, the duo creates a symbol of overconsumption, an actual litter bug! In shiny black and white tones, banded in red, this effective trompe l'oeil intervention with acrylic and brushes, is an eye-catching illusion—and allusion.
In the artists’ words, "Through the representation of this insect and its unknown importance to the general public, the work questions the importance of recycling plastic waste. But above all on the tendency of developed countries to shift the problem to developing countries which are not equipped to cope with such an influx of waste. This contributes to the emergence of illegal, unregulated, and extremely polluting treatment solutions (open incineration, illegal dumps, etc.) which impact the environment of these countries and their future generations. One of the many environmental issues which our societies seem deliberately blind to, seeming to hope that nature will solve the problem for itself."
After a number of murals and a solo exhibition at Galerie LJ in Paris focusing on this body of work earlier this year, it's exciting to see the artists pushing this concept further and continuing the conversation about this crucial topic. —Sasha Bogojev