Artwork: Mr. Cens, I can't breathe (2020). Site-specific work, Foro Italico, Palermo.
In this episode of Costellazione, anonymous pseudonymic artist Mr. Cens discusses his work, I can't breathe (2020): a site-specific artistic intervention on the Foro Italico on the Port of Palermo. Made in late May 2020 following the murder of George Floyd, the work is dedicated to Floyd and “all the people who have lost their lives to arrogance, ignorance, [and] racism." Mr. Cens’ work relayed a message of anti-racist solidarity from Palermo to the world.
About the artist: Mr. Cens is an anonymous street artist based in Palermo. His artistic interventions respond to racism in Italy and in the global context. He uses voice alteration to protect his identity. This episode of Costellazione was therefore pre-recorded rather than held live.
“Because if street art is illegal at the exact moment that I paint something on the street,"" (continues below)
Image above and below: Mr. Cens, Love Her Rage! (2020). Courtesy of the artist.
"it must have a political background. Not by force, but because anything done illegally on the street is already a political act, because I am lining myself up against the authority who said I can’t write on a wall.” —Mr. Cens, 2021, for Costellazione. Translation by Tenley Bick.