You wish to remain anonymous, but can you tell us a little about your background before the invention of the whisk?
I have worked with mosaics for a long time, but I gradually gave up very small elements to approach more raw materials, ceramics, and in 2012 I started to work on all pieces of tiles, handmade tiles according to my needs. , and works more on composition and color, abandoning imagery altogether. It certainly made me drool after a few years!
You were in Lyon when you first tried to fix a pothole through art. How did you come up with the idea to decorate the sidewalk and restore the city environment by returning poetry to it?
I already “treated” the entrance of my old shared studio a few years ago with scraps of colored materials and mirrors, cracks and stairs. It was spontaneous and humble and I didn’t follow. It was in my next studio, where a huge pit stood in front of the entrance, that I wanted to work “outside” again and treat it with “pavement dressing”, and this time to order. I composed it with the desire to be greeted every morning with an “anomaly in the matrix,” a piece that would break the codes of urban planning and invite the unusual into my everyday life.
How has your work been received by the general public and the public? When you started, you did it without any permission, whereas today you have great legitimacy and your creations attract many public actors… For example, the city of Barcelona has classified your works as municipal monuments for protection.
The first flaking aroused great interest from the neighbors of the workshop. In fact, thanks to the overwhelmingly positive reaction from passers-by, I knew I had just created something special and would be fixing potholes for the rest of my life! The more I did, the more motivated I became. Each enriched the reading of the works. The concept of nudity has evolved, almost beyond me, between poetry, improvisation, weirdness and extravagance. Yes, after the violent independence demonstrations in Barcelona, things have arrived to heal the street. The public space was meant to heal people as well, and my works had a strong symbolic dimension expressed through very kind articles. The city took this into account and informed me about the registration of municipal heritage spots.
Since then, you have also worked with the Paris Société du grand Paris, Paris Saclay community of municipalities, Lyon metropolis, near Saint-Maur des Fossés RER station… Can you tell us about some of your collaborations?
I’m more of a punk than an institutionalist, so I had some fears about working “to order”, but actually the communities leave me a lot of freedom of intervention. Now I have a great team that “channels” me, and we do projects that are really dedicated to residents, and in addition to the act of functional renovation, direct access to contemporary art, to offer poems and questions to pedestrians and dreamers. ..
What feedback do communities give you about your “sidewalk poems”? How does it meet their values?
My works don’t need big reading buttons and are available for you to scroll through! They are also quite universal: they are really aimed at all pedestrians and users of soft regimes, the general public who are increasingly pampered by public authorities.
You also offer flattering workshops led by your team: what does it consist of?
Edwige, Jordan, Giulio or Cédric introduce young and old to the art of nudity: the participants will create individual or collective works from A to Z, to pose in a dedicated space: their school yard, the alleys of the hospital, the surroundings of the social center… More time these workshops come after the order of works and come to increase the bouquet already discovered by the residents.
Your anonymity behind “Ememem” is also a way to feed the imagination, given the noise it makes on your moped?
Of course! That’s one of the roles of an artist, isn’t it? Then my best medium of expression with people is through ceramics, so… It’s better that way!
What is your view of public space? You awaken the “memory notebook” for your works, the ability to heal the wounds of the city and at the same time to decorate it…
Yes, and to highlight small and big events in the city. It moves, it lives, and fluttering helps reinforce that. Public space is often perceived as a place “for no one” rather than “for all”. I know and love him since childhood. I would like it to be warmer for everyone, and above all to be taken out of the hands of users, not just government authorities.