We’re currently in the midst of the digital era with all its unlimited possibilities. In a few clicks and a matter of seconds, we can access literature, news and knowledge from all over the world. We can communicate in real time with people in all four corners of the globe and share photos and videos in the blink of an eye. These are freedoms and opportunities that hardly anyone could have dreamed of just a few decades ago, but we meanwhile take for granted.
Since the beginning of the new millennium, however, children and teenagers are no longer just socialised by telephones, text messages and internet flat rates; most of all, they’re also being digitalised. It’s a scenario that makes a social life without internet connection or mobile reception virtually impossible. While we wait for the bus, we are having the latest fashions, lifestyle and food trends dictated to us by so-called influencers on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. At the same time, modern-day slaves are harvesting our tobacco and coffee, people are drowning in the Mediterranean while fleeing from war and poverty and right in front of our eyes, the big multinational corporations are gaining a monopoly on drinking water and food resources. But none of that really phases us. Instead we choose to celebrate our hedonistic lifestyle by posting yet another selfie on “social” media while subconsciously losing all sense of social interaction.
This discrepancy of living environments – carefree wealth versus the war-torn poverty of many – is something that Liqen noticed on his first visit to Munich. The artist and illustrator comes from a small industrial town in Galicia. He has since travelled to the remotest corners of the Amazon to fully grasp the extremes of rich and poor, of the incredibly beautiful and incredibly bleak corners of the world.
In the early evening, the young wealthy set, the inheritance generation, heads toward Munich’s Gärtnerplatz to simply celebrate their own existence and hang out and drink with friends. Gärtnerplatz is a smart-looking square with brightly coloured flowerbeds, where impoverished bottle collectors have been circling all day, desperate to get their hands on the tossed-aside empty beer cans and bottles that they can return to the supermarket in exchange for a few cents. The square will still look like a rubbish tip in a matter of hours, but it is cleaned up every morning by workers employed by the city.
In his artwork, Liqen is very clearly referencing the late Roman decadence of our society. He worked on his mural for two weeks – and the way it looks now is a reminder of what LIQEN stumbled upon on the very first day of his stay. His work holds a mirror up to us all and subtly directs our attention to the truly significant issues facing today’s society.LOCATION: - Corneliusstrasse 10, 80469 Munich