Collateral Image

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With Collateral Image , Langhelle is examinating the relation between politically motivated graffiti on one side and advertising posters and commercial products on the other. Among others we see photos that Langhelle took in Berlin. Using a rather physical process, he manipulates the advertising message by adding graffiti to them. He takes pictures of graffiti which he finds in the urban space, cutting them into pieces and pasting certain details upon posters or objects. Sometimes, it takes weeks before theses pictures are removed from the advertising posters again. Thus he's focussing on two questions: What effect does this double message have and who gets a chance to speak in the public space?
The photos are portrays of the polarization in public space. Langhelle is melting together the end points and investigates the repercussion. In two of his works, this is a physical process: the photos are literally woven into eachother.
The exhibition's title refers to the term collateral damage . This expression originally was used as an euphemism for accidents or unintended damages that result from military actions. Langhelle regards his artwork as a way of artistic actionism.
In most cases, graffiti is an illegal form of expression, used by young people in the underground ambiance who simply don't have means to convey their messages by advertising, or who just don't want to contribute to any commercialization of society. They accuse the bourgeoisie of controlling mainstream media and thus excluding any radical or alternative opinion. Nevertheless, politically motivated graffiti and commercial advertising try to achieve a common purpose: communicating a message as direct as possible.
The artist roamed his immediate neighbourhood, taking picturs of what he saw. People working with graffiti also operate in their close neighbourhood, often in a range of 3-4 kilometers. In this way, the exhibition literally represents a personal walk through Berlin.

Daniella van Dijk-Wennberg
Curator Oslo Museum
my fest