Nuart Aberdeen 2020 Turns the Festival Into a "Lock Down Paste Up" Project
The show must go on, but how does the show still go on? I think that is the question we are all asking ourselves. Sure, in the US, states are opening up, risk be goddamn damned apparently, creating an almost greater unease than existed just a few weeks ago. And yet there are some ways we can explore our world, our streets, and in the art world, smaller scaled public art (in this case, street art) projects can still thrive and provide a dialouge for shared experiences. Most importantly, underground culture and rebellious, activist art can thrive in times when we see the leaking cracks of authority and capitalist infrastructures.
One of the events that was postponed that we were so upset to miss was Nuart Aberdeen, the annual street art festival and academic conference that we have been visiting since 2011 at its homebase of Stavanger, Norway. In lieu of Scotland's own shelter-in-place order and inability for the Nuart team to fly in an internation group of artists, they created the "Lock Down Paste Up" poster project, working with local arts community to paste up the works of the artists that were on the Nuart Aberdeen 2020 roster. Martyn Reed, Nuart's founder, gave us a bit of the backstory of the project, providing some context as to how the global pandemic can actually show just how important outsider art can be in times of uncertainty.
"There’s an opportunity here to show why street art culture, and underground cultures in general, are profoundly relevant to these times," Reed wrote. "Our Nuart family is working with a need to discover and present content that we are producing organically—to decide that there isn’t a central message, a corporate platitude, or “a way forward”— to drop the idea of “timed posts” and any thought of a centralised marketing plan or strategy to disseminate content. These are unchartered waters, and first and foremost we would like to stay kind to ourselves, gentle to others, and remain in synchronicity with the communities that surround us.
"We now present you with our new project, The Lockdown Edition, which rises from the ashes of what we had originally been working towards for months before the world had to take pause. Giving our original lineup of artists a chance to still communicate with the city of Aberdeen and the world at large during these trying times, they adapted their concepts to suit a poster campaign."
Nuart’s “Lockdown, Paste Up” features artwork by Biancoshock (IT), ICY & SOT (IR), Jacoba Neipoort (DK), Jofre Oliveras (ES), Nuno Viegas (PT), Paul Harfleet (UK), Sandra Chevrier (CA) and Vladimir Abikh (RU)