Posted on August 31, 2017

What remains of MAGIC CITY in Munich

Our exhibition MAGIC CITY – THE ART OF THE STREET will close in Munich this coming Sunday, September 3. The show has drawn huge crowds, so during the final three days we will keep the doors open from 9am to midnight. When the last visitors leave the Small Olympic Hall on Sunday night, our crew will start to pack the show for its third destination, Stockholm. And after a couple of days, MAGIC CITY Munich will be gone, with one exemption: a 22-metre-high mural honouring Johann Georg Elser, who carried out an attempt on Hitler’s life, will remain in the heart of Munich for many years to come. It was created by MAGIC CITY artists WON ABC and Loomit, who spent 15 days in July working on a house front in sight of Munich’s main station.

A 22-metre-high mural honouring Johann Georg Elser, created by MAGIC CITY artists WON ABC and Loomit

Artists WON ABC and Loomit erected a monument to the resistance fighter Johann Georg Elser in the city where he carried out a bomb attack on Adolf Hitler and a large section of the Nazi leadership on November 8, 1939. The attack in Munich’s Bürgerbräukeller (a beer hall) narrowly failed, and Johann Georg Elser was arrested on April 9, 1945, shortly before the end of the war, and murdered in the Dachau concentration camp.

The work was produced in cooperation with the Munich daily paper TZ, the Stadtsparkasse München (a renowned Munich banking institute), DIE FÄRBEREI, a legendary meeting point in Munich for young people and a place for street culture ever since, and us at SC Exhibitions. The idea to produce a monumental wall featuring a work of street art originates from the editor-in-chief of the TZ, Rudolf Bögel. Together with DIE FÄRBEREI our marketing team coordinated with the artists and affected trades.

The Stadtsparkasse München, which has a branch office in the building, provided the wall. The artwork was jointly financed by all participating partners. The artists have been painting the work on the 23-metre-high and 11.4-metre-wide house front with the assistance of a working platform from Roggermaier, a leading equipment rental company, who have also lent their support to the project. Editor-in-chief of the TZ, Rudolf Bögel, explained: “Street art needs large areas – and street art also needs the greatest possible public exposure. The façade on the busy Bayerstraße close to the main station is ideal, not just because of the millions of people who walk down here every autumn to the Wiesn (site of the Oktoberfest, Munich’s world famous beer festival). The work from Loomit and WON ABC is a highly visible and important cultural signal in the station district.”

The motif was selected by the artists. “I admire Georg Elser, not just for his actions, but also for the early date of the attack. He wanted to quickly end the war which the Nazis had unleashed, knowing that it would reduce Europe to rubble and ash. I feel that Johann Georg Elser, as one of the most important and earliest figures from the resistance movement, is not adequately represented in Germany’s culture of remembrance. On top of that, I am interested in the philosophical question of whether tyrannicide is morally acceptable – a question which we will also address in the work”, explained WON ABC. Loomit also underlined the relevance of the theme: “Terrorist bombings on the one side and morally legitimate resistance are highly relevant themes which are both exemplified by Georg Elser’s story.”

WON ABC is a graffiti-writing artist, comic author, and performance artist from Munich who, with his art actions on four continents and the international dissemination of his works, enjoys a global reputation. Loomit, like WON ABC, is one of the founding fathers of the Munich graffiti scene and is also extremely successful internationally. The mural in honour of Johann Georg Elser will be their largest joint work to date.

If you make it to Munich you will likely come across Munich’s main railway station. The artwork is just a stone’s throw from there, you’ll find it in the backyard of the TZ publishing house at Bayerstraße 69. Perhaps you'll take a selfie and send it to us?

MAGIC CITY – THE ART OF THE STREET will open on October 28 in Stockholm at Magasin 9 and will remain open to the public until April 2018. Perhaps a Stockholm-based newspaper will read this blogpost and help us to initiate another project of this scope?

We will keep you posted!

Christoph Scholz


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