When the future is bleak, denial only delays the inevitable—and can often make our fall from grace that much harder. But for those who cast illusions to try to comfort themselves, the wise advise us to read “the writing on the wall.”
It’s a telling phrase that speaks to the truth about graffiti: it has been here as long as humanity has used written language as a means to record our reality. Writing on the wall is inherently subversive in a culture that supports the creation of private property, particularly in the public realm, for it reminds us that the desire and need to communicate will trump the attempt to reign it in. To leave a written mark behind not only transgresses the law, but it is also a silent scream, cry, or whoop of laughter let loose in the world.
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Artwork: BRASSAÏ. Maquette originale pour la réalisation de la tapisserie Nocturne 1968-1972 Collage d’épreuves gélatino-argentiques peintes, 140 × 70 cm Collection Centre Pompidou, musée national d’art moderne, Paris © Estate Brassaï – RMN-Grand Palais © Centre Pompidou/Dist. RMN-GP/ Georges Meguerditchian