Tagbouquett - 2006

Various decorative flowers, 15 x 30 m

Planted Graffiti. Based on a graffiti by the group crue/club which was formerly located in the water tower on the Schlachthof site.



Original graffiti by crue/club which was the model for Tagbouquett

In spring 2001 the site of the former abattoir played host for the last time to the then already internationally famous "Wall Street Meeting", a convention that attracted sprayers and graffiti artists from around the world to the disused industrial site to place their tags and characters on one of the largest legal spray areas in Europe. When most of the buildings where demolished, the international sprayer culture left Wiesbaden but the ever-changing backdrop of graffiti remains an integral part of the location which, with its 1980s industrial charme, differs so much from the historical tranquility of the well-dressed city centre. The graffiti are omnipresent, expressing an alternative culture that took up residence on the abattoir site in the search for an indefinable other and disassociation from a society perceived as rigid and bureaucratic. The suspicion is mutual. The city with the royal lilis in the coat of arms and on the street bollards obstructs the "Schlachthof" collective, written off as a remnant of hippie ideology, with paperwork cannon.
Susanne Lorenz reflects the ambivalence with "Tagbouquett". Even if visitors to Wiesbaden are not greeted, as elsewhere, by the city´s coat of arms picked out in flowers on the grass in front of the railway station, the concept of a carefully planted flowerbed is a deeply bourgois element of city ornamentation, the symbol of an orderly life running according to plan to the smallest blade of grass, a life which hardly seems to have anything in common with the idea of graffiti as a visual scent mark in the rank growth.
Nonetheless, the "Tagbouquett" combines things that do not belong together. Using pink and violet busy Lizzies, ragwort and alyssum, wood sorrel and fairy foxglove, Susanne Lorenz has planted a carpet of flowers on the lawn of the culture park in front of the water tower. Seen from the viewing platform, the flowers create the tag i.e. the signature, of the "crue/club" sprayers´group. In the preparatory phase of the Kunstsommer (summer of art), this tag decorated a wall on the water tower but it has long since disappearded and been sprayed over according to the inherent law of youth culture that everything must be in a state of permanent change.
Instead of raw wall and crumbling plaster, lush lawns and loose soil. This was certainly not the intention of the sprayers of the tag. But that is perhaps the whta makes the flower tag so fascinating. The surprising naturalness with which the trademarks of such obviously conflicting views of life join together and create a perfectly plausible amalgam of anarchy and bourgeoisie that is accepted without reservation by both sides. The question of cultural affiliation does not arise from the viewing platform. In the course of the regrettable vandalism that overshadowed the summer of art the desired acceptance effect was manifested clearly, if only in a partially welcome manner. The tag was not destroyed but rather assimilated by means of doubtful decorum on the viewing platform.
Susanne Lorenz creates not a compromise, but a consensus that tackles the desire to give public expressions to one´s own selfimage in visual form and presents this need in a manner that is thoroughly ironic, but also sensitive, as the lowest common denominator. She not only combines the mutual disapproval of bourgois Wiesbaden and its outskirts but also tackles the increasing discrepancy within the sprayer subculture between fully non-anarchic commissioned work and the real underground. The flowerbed unites all these components and appears like a bright carpet covering the less attractive aspects of this special part of the Wiesbaden public sphere - in blooming innocence.