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Mluv! Speak!

Projekt Polidstèni Sidlistè
Project of Humanizing a Housing Estate

Ostrava, (in the former) Czechoslovakia
1992

Dirt adhered to concrete wall.

Dimensions: 11 ft. x 11 ft. or 270 cm. x 270 cm.

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I travelled to Ostrava to join another artist from the San Francisco Festival in Eindhoven, Netherlands to drum up local enthusiam for a pilot muralist exchange project run by Parallel, an organization devoted to cultural exchange between San Francisco and the former Czechoslovakia. The dirt mural was created during my stay at the housing project where it is sited on the school wall.

All visible color in the mural is from local soil.  Before my arrival, my host collected several samples from the surrounding environs.  After color selection, my host, his six-year-old daughter and I sifted all the dirt for the mural in two small strainers, all that was available to purchase locally during a time of stressful economic transition.  Layer upon layer, I threw dirt on areas of wet primer while the local kids watched and tried to communicate with me in Czech, a language difficult to pick up in just a few days. 

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