A Museum Where the Visitors Spray-Paint the Art

A Museum Where the Visitors Spray-Paint the Art

PARIS | It’s not every museum that features a compost heap and encourages children to scribble on the artwork. This museum has neither a ceiling nor doors, and is intruded upon by a slightly scruffy garden. But the Musée des Graffiti (295 rue de Belleville, métro Télégraphe, free entry, material provided) is the brainchild of the utopian designer Yona Friedman, and he’s not your average curator.

Clear sheets of plastic adorn the frame of a wooden pergola, topped with squiggly balls of twigs. The art is produced on-site by visitors –- members of the general public or invited artists -– who can paint their own graffiti on the sheets. Every few weeks, the plastic will be replaced and older works will be stored in an archive.

This open, evolving and participative space is an experimental “democratic museum,” said Friedman, an 87-year-old artist and architect who was commissioned for the project by the L’îlot Lilas organization. (Other similar museums are being planned for Barcelona, Berlin and Shanghai.)

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