While this isn't necessarily breaking news, it's a few years old now, I still wanted to have it documented here on TAT for those who may not yet be familiar considering the coverage of it in the US was virtually non existant. A few years ago the Marta museum in Herford, Germany erected a statue of Pac created by Italian artist Paolo Chiasera at the entryway of the museum. It began as what was called the "Tupac Project" by Chiasera, and from my understanding I believe a total of 4 statues were actually created. One stands permanently at the museum in Herford, while others have turned up on temporary display in the poorer urban (*ie "ghetto") areas of a few Europeon cities such as Bologna, Italy (Chiasera's hometown) and East London. Below I am posting a few pics, quotes, and links.
Here is a link to the museum webpage which has a great frontpage image of the entire museum and the placement of the statue: http://www.marta-herford.de/
Artist Interviewed in London in May 2007
Hans Ulrich Obrist:
A monument? An urban project? I wonder, did Tupac see himself as an urban thinker and what would he think of the way the project was organized?
The TUPAC PROJECT consists of the construction of a monument dedicated to Tupac Amaru
Shakur, the Black Panther rapper who died in ‘96 in a Las Vegas gang feud. I wanted to try to create an alternative map of the world, using as a basis the ideas behind – or, at any rate, what has become known as – “underground culture”.
The statue is made of concrete, rising from the street, as if an earthquake had pushed it up from
its roots; it’s a life-size classical statue of Tupac, whose own life led him far from the straight and
narrow path of the kind of person such monuments normally celebrate. It was initially placed on a
5-metre-high concrete pedestal in front of the new Frank Gehry Museum in Germany, in an
exhibition entitled (my private) Heroes (MARTa, Herford 2005). The height of the pedestal
accentuated the distance between the public and the “hero”, but the fact that it was displayed
outside the museum and the circular white pedestal (ideal for graffiti!) suggested a certain openness
The statue became the focal point of an internet site, www.tupacproject.it, designed to generate a
network exploring the possibility of creating a monument to our own times, a monument that would
create dialogue, through the writings on the pedestal, extended on the website. It was then that I
decided to give the statue a home in Bologna, in an unauthorized “underground” site, a kind of hall
of fame under the bridge in Via Libia: a private gallery for young artists of the quarter.
This project was therefore created outside the circuits of the art world and the media, away from
the usual places where statues celebrate long-dead celebrities. I like to imagine that if Dr. Dre came
to Bologna, he would probably feel more at home in Via Libia or under the Cavallazzi bridge than
in Piazza Maggiore or the city’s other historic and monumental sites. The statue is currently in a secondary school in East London, where 40% of the students are black, 40% white and 20% mixed race, mostly of Asian origin – a real melting pot. Hopefully they will interact with the sculpture in their playground for the next three months.
There will also be workshops, run from the internet site. The aim is to extend the concept of the contemporary monument, to make it interact with its environment, eroding, renouncing the unchanging face of bronze for vulnerable concrete and the dissolution of memory.
People can do what they like with it: change it, destroy it, reject it. A kind of monument on wheels is how I like to imagine myths should be celebrated in our time. Monuments are intrinsically linked to the idea of history and historical acceptance. When that sense of historical distance is missing, dialogue and acceptance are needed to redress the balance.
Link to original interview page: http://www.paolochiasera.org/paolochiasera.org/obrist.html
Here is an interesting quote from an art critic regarding the artist Paolo Chiasera:
"He dedicated a sculpture to the rapper Tupac Shakur, the one that was killed in a fight between gangs, which he exhibited both in museums and (illegally) in urban outskirts, and soon will be exhibited at the Approach gallery in London. Moreover, he played the part of Escher, the Dutch graphic artist, for a walk in the Austrian pavilion by Hans Schabus at the Venice Biennale; and that of Van Gogh for an excursion on the Etna. Finally, he con- verted some farmsteads in the country near Bologna into the hideouts of a group of young men devoted to emulate the great dictators of the twentieth century, from Mussolini to Saddam Hussein, in their look and fanaticism. What is the fil rouge between these different works of Paolo Chiasera? Roberta Tenconi identifies three key themes: history. group dynamics, and loss of control."
Link to original review page: http://www.paolochiasera.org/paolochiasera.org/tenconi.html
That's amazing....and I agree...kinda random for a statue of Tupac to rise out from the ground in Germany...but i guess it just proves that when u speak from the heart...that's a universal language....
i love this r.i.p. the g.o.a.t..
This post has received more hits than any other single post on Truth About Tupac… The next two runners up are http://truthabouttupac.com/forum/topics/don-killuminatitupac-and-the
had no idea about this. this is amazing.