Amo-Te Lisboa by CANEMORTO

CANEMORTO, a crew of three Italian artists, went to Lisbon in 2014 and during their stay, which lasted 60 days, the trio had 30 interventions and many night bombings, without permission or authorization. Once in Italy again, in December 2014, together with Gorgo Magazine and C-41 Magazine, they launched a fanzine about the trip entitled “Cão Morto em Lisboa”, using the images documented by Tanguy Bombonera. Having many videos shot in the Portuguese city, the crew decided to share them in a film they named Amo-Te Lisboa, which is ironically presented as “an ignominious street a̶̶r̶̶t̶̶ movie”.

The film, written by CANEMORTO and featuring artists Borondo, who also appeared in the movie teaser and with whom the artists collaborated in the past, RUN and others, tells the story of three painters worshiping “a cruel dead-dog divinity, called Txakurra, which gives them the power to paint together as a single person, hitting public walls in order to spread its cult”.

As the recently launched trailer reveals, this mysterious deity helped the artists gain fame and recognition in the street art world. However, blinded by their success, receiving multiple commissions for wall paintings, they forgot their real mission, the purpose of their endeavor. Thus, the dead-dog god, a clear reference to the recurrent theme and element in the work of CANEMORTO, as also suggested by the name of the group, orders the three artists to cancel their commitments and go to Lisbon, the rising European capital of street art, for two months, and paint brutally in the streets without any authorization. Desperate to protect their status on the street art scene, they obey the orders and begin their journey.

Amo-Te Lisboa / Photo: Tanguy Bombonera

Amo-te Lisboa / Photo: Tanguy Bombonera

Certainly not your ordinary street art movie, Amo-Te Lisboa brings into discussion important issues regarding the evolution of what has currently been defined as street art, label which some artists rather perceive as a superficial trend, with no solid message to convey, as meaning and communication with the other should be at the core of artistic interventions in the public space. There is no intent to encourage vandalism or other such actions, but perhaps to send a warning regarding the potential decay of a movement which has been about freedom of expression (at any given time, not only when it is allowed), sharing what others fail to see or intentionally hide from the people, about strengthening communities, closing gaps and connecting with one another through art, or at least make people stop, think and question the society they live in and open way to possible solutions to the problems they encounter on a daily basis. Unfortunately, despite the good intentions and efforts of many, the growing marketing and business component of street art affects both artists (read more) and communities around the world (the case of Miami).

Photos: Tanguy Bombonera/ Courtesy of CANEMORTO