On what has to be one of the most awaited projects for the street-art enthusiasts to show up in Lisboa, FAILE came to blow everyone’s expectations, including mine. For over a week, I had the privilege to follow the process of building from up close. I couldn’t be more happy to know that people are walking and stopping by to see what it’s all about. I know there’s some pics out already, but this post had to be written with some time and only after getting back a couple of times and seeing peoples reactions. So, jump inside for extended and uncut version of the temple.
The concept of freedom will be explored as a singular, unifying vision throughout PortugalArte10. This is of particular importance in Portugal, as it has only been within the last forty years that the country was able to release itself from dictatorship in a brave and bloodless revolution. This development in the country’s recent history has enabled Portugal to renew the spirit that drove the Portuguese to discover the New World. A massive undertaking and one of the largest public art projects in the world will be presented to express this notion. The world-renowned street art collective Faile will present the Temple Project, a giant sculptural installation in the heart of the city of Lisbon. Faile are known worldwide for their ambitious public projects that have been mounted in such cities as New York, Shanghai, and London. Using the physical street as a canvas for expressing their ideas, Faile is part of a global movement that has been embraced by audiences for its popular approach to artistic and creative expression.
This is a FAILE project executed for Portugal Arte ’10.
The making of
A team of Portuguese workers help gave birth to this project during less than 2 weeks. pics by Jorge Vieira
UPDATE: And these were just sent from the Patricks camera
They had been to Portugal before, and have studied their lesson quite well. If you look at the surrounding areas of Restauradores (where the temple is located), this is what you’ll see:
The integration of the temple Project within the very fabrics of the city will serve a crucial role in granting audiences the ability to engage and interact on their own terms.
After speaking with FAILE, the idea of building a temple which would be so well camouflaged in plain sight, that people wouldn’t be able to understand if it has been there for ages or not, was a good goal. This concern to make it look “right” for the place it was in, resulted in a beautiful clash between Portuguese culture and their pop-culture style into an amazing piece of art.
From some angles on the main square of Restauradores.
A bunch of different patterns, from the more typical ones, to the camouflaged skulls.
Surrounding the temple were these tile walls were you could read “Savage Young Minds Sacred”
The Prayer Wheels
Probably my favorite pieces from all the FAILE imagery. I loved the wood tottems which I had the chance to check at the Lazarides this year, but being able to touch these and spin them where a must.
Turning some of their most known stencils/prints into these huge mosaic artworks gave the temple a final touch.
A beautiful sculpture making it the main piece in the center of the temple. I’d open a pool in my house just to have this one in it. This sculpture was done with the talented artist Charlie Becker.
“Nada Dura Para Sempre” (Nothing Lasts Forever)
Iron adorning the temple whether on the gates ,on the roof or in front of each mosaic piece.
There where however some pieces that didn’t made the cut, and most likely you won’t find pics of those elsewhere. I got lucky to have seen them when we were opening the crates that contained the material, and snapped a pic of this beauty.
People’s reactions have been amazing. This is the high note of the project. You know you have succeed when everybody just stops and wonders what that is all about, before stepping in to the temple to look around.
Some of the reactions I’ve witnessed first hand were:
- During construction, an old man getting up to me asking what was that and how long would it last, to which I replied one month and he just said “so much work for this to be up one month? It’s beautiful, it should stay here”.
- Tourists walking around with maps on their hands, looking to the temple, back to the maps and back to the temple, wondering what the hell that monument is, and why it’s not on the maps. (most common reaction)
- A man who said “I heard there was some shit going on here, let’s see what’s this all about”. He sayed that in such a tone, that it looked like he was about to trash it. But after approaching the temple he literally stayed 10m just at the entrance looking and snapping some pics, while I waited for him to move away for me to take a pic. And I waited… and waited!
I know this post is long and to finish it, I just hope they do get back and also have the chance to drop some of their stencils on the streets. Who knows, maybe it’s sooner than we think. Was great meeting them. One love…