Wednesday, 13 July 2011


KOP investigates to what extent personal domains are being claimed by individuals in public spaces.

Human beings are fiercely territorial creatures. I witness this first hand on the trams of Budapest every morning during my journey to work. The commuters of Hungary feel a certain inclination to not only find a seat on the tram, but to ensure that no one else can sit within a 4 foot radius of them. The most common tactic: place your bag on one seat, another on the opposite seat then sit with your back to the window and your legs stretching into the aisle. Try and sit down next to them and you’ll find yourself awkwardly trying to clamber over their legs as they refuse to budge even an inch. These regular turf wars on the public transport system are hilarious to watch but are a severe pain- especially before I’ve had my morning coffee.

It is through everyday observations of ordinary people claiming public areas as their own which inspired Territorial Pissings, the latest project by Dutch creative group KOP. Each week, one of seven different international artists created an ‘Urban Intervention’ in one of the many green public spaces located in Breda, Netherlands. The aim was to see how passers-by and users of these public spaces would react to the sudden change in their environment.

British artist Anna Garforth was one of the many creatives involved in the project. Claiming a children’s playground as her territory, she created a giant typographic piece on the fence surrounding the area using coloured tape. Watch the video at the top of the page to see how it was made.
Also taking part was SpY (Spain’s answer to Banksy) who secretly spray-painted new lines onto a football field, disorienting the players and Harmen de Hoop who staged the reburial of a Bronze Age skeleton.

To learn more about Territorial Pissings visit the KOP website

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