Photographers' Blog

“Bosso Fataka” turn trash into sculpture

By Tom Peter

Some call it street art; Bosso Fataka call it “joy in shaping our environment.” The environment that surrounds the four young men of this art group is the streets of Berlin, a city that some say has become Europe’s unofficial capital of unsanctioned art in the public space.

Over twenty years after the reunification, there is an abundance of derelict houses, whole swathes of industrial wasteland and railway arches that afford artists with square kilometers worth of brickwork that’s just asking to be covered in graffiti.

But art being art, this scene’s actors have gone beyond the traditional spray can work. There’s stenciling, urban knitting, urban gardening… you name it. The interested visitor can go on a tour around central Berlin, where well-informed insiders will show you the most notable examples of urban art. Bosso Fataka do what you might call “urban wrapping.”

The four friends, all in their early twenties, discovered ordinary cling wrap as their main tool because of its compounding qualities: it is adhesive, tear-proof, shiny and transparent. Cling wrap gives the rubbish they use as components for their sculptures a bodily shape that allows the onlooker to perceive the creation as a whole, melting pieces of trash into an entity without concealing the individual parts.

Humor plays an important role in their work. It’s a humor that is subtle and weird, sometimes thought-provoking, but never meant to please. “Street art is always egocentric,” one member of the group said. “We don’t care if you like it. We just do it.”

Buzzing with bees

By Lisi Niesner

An unsettling night followed this story. It felt as if something was scuttling on my skin. It was a tickling feeling which made me scratch and I saw bugs bustling around in my mind’s eye. In the morning I could not remember exactly what I had dreamed, but the one thing I knew, all night long I had heard the buzz in my head.

I got plenty of mosquito bites, a bee sting, and on top of that several times I encountered stinging nettles and thistles while shooting Vienna’s city beekeepers. The Austrian organization Stadtimker, retains wild bees and honey bees in the city area of Vienna. Everybody who has a little garden or a roof-top can join and make room available for one or more bee hives. The beekeepers build up the hives and fully care for them generally once a week.

The hives are placed on prominent buildings in the city center: On the roof of the Austrian chancellery, the State Opera or the Burgtheater, just to mention a few of the most important. The organic honey and even cosmetic products can be purchased in some cooperative shops in Vienna.