In the picture
Press release – Ralf König’s Fresco
published on 20 June 2019
Since the summer of 2018, the RainbowHouse Brussels has been engaged in a process of reflection around the visible fresco Lollepot Street, which has attracted many critics. These reflections having now been completed, the RainbowHouse Brussels will keep the fresco as it is (with the tags) and will add an educational slab to it.
As a reminder, this fresco was commissioned in 2015 by the RainbowHouse Brussels with the support of the city of Brussels and HuisvandeMens from the German artist, Ralf König. The tags occurred at a time where member associations of the RainbowHouse Brussels, on 19 July 2018, called on the board of directors to consider that certain characters in the fresco have a transphobic, racist, sexist and fatphobic character. Other associations have joined this criticism.
Not taking criticism lightly, the RainbowHouse has set up safe spaces to allow the people primarily impacted to meet, analyse the situation and submit possible solutions and alternatives (see press release dated 21 August 2018).
Since then, the discussions of the people concerned have led to alternatives. So we have different things:
- Completely replace the fresco
- Replace problematic characters
- In both cases mentioned above, add an educational plaque to explain the criticisms expressed and their legitimacy within the LGBTQI+ community.
We therefore contacted the artist who made the drawing and received a reply from him. The two elements of this folder are accessible to everyone.
In view of the artist’s response, we therefore opt to keep the fresco as it is with the inscriptions and a pedagogical slab.
Each work of art is in interaction with its time and audience. For this work, people from the LGBTQI+ community, trans* and people of colour interacted with this work by criticizing it, and explaining that despite the author’s intentions, it conveys (via certain characters) a transphobic, racist and fatphobic message. The RainbowHouse Brussels must be attentive to the needs of minority people, even within the LGBTQI+ community.