Earlier in the year, a small gallery in Brisbane was thrown into the spotlight due to the frenzied reception of Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Obliteration Room.’ There, Kusama debuted an interactive installation that invited the gallery’s youngest visitors to plaster a stark white interior with colorful polka dot stickers. It was fascinating to see the accelerated transformation of the space from a pristine white interior into a vibrant and anarchic site of visual overload. A similar Jekyll-and-Hyde contrast has been crystallized in a hotel room in Marseille, France, where artist Tilt has left his mark in the form of a half-graffitied interior.
Though little has been unearthed regarding the story behind Tilt’s ‘Panic Room,’ the photographs truly speak for themselves. The room, one of five at a hotel that receives a regular rotation of guest artists, is dramatically torn in half. Upon entering, the hotel guest immediately steps into a space eerily devoid of color, save for hanging picture frames that neatly capture the essence of what’s in store.
What lies in store would be the other half of the room, a fragment of the furnished interior that has been thoroughly covered in layers upon layers of graffiti. The bed, the dresser, the mirror, the curtains, a chair, and a few cacti are some of the objects partially or wholly ensconced by Tilt’s domesticated street art. The most absorbing detail is undoubtedly the unerring dividing line that separates the immaculate from the chaotic, carefully slicing a few objects in half. In visibly constraining the vibrant, freeform disorder of graffiti, ‘Panic Room’ attests to the spatially transformative abilities of two-dimensional illusion.