Ememem is making “flacking” art, a term he invented himself* to talk about his first hole “filling”! For this short article, we wanted to tell you about this artist and his unique technique.
He creates artworks that can be used to fill or repair a hole in a pavement or sometimes in a wall. Ememem uses mosaics and ceramics to bring small touches of poetry and colour to our streets while easing the work of the municipal road department !
Intrigued for some time now by his technique and the stages of creation of his artworks, we reached out to Ememem who agreed to answer our questions by email, to maintain his anonymity. He explained us his work and his creative process with a good sense of humour!
Ememem chooses his spots as he walks around. He lets himself hear the noises of the city and remains attentive to the holes that speak to him and inspire him. As he says there are holes that “vibrate and others that don’t”!
When it comes to the choice of patterns and colours, the magic happens in the intimate discussions between the artist and his subject. You might say that the mystery remains!
Most of Ememem’s works are vandalism. The question we then ask ourselves is: how does he create such meticulous, made-to-measure works in situ on the pavement, without being interrupted?
The answer is simple, there is no miraculous recipe: he works at night in order to isolate himself. And he has never felt in a position of illegality. By filling in the potholes of a city, is he in a form of vandalism that presupposes an infringement of public space?
The few times Ememem met the police, they left without disturbing him. Sometimes they even encouraged him!
As for his creative time, it’s quite relative since he can spend between an hour and six hours to give a hole a makeover! It all depends on the weather, the size of the flacking, the materials used (all from waste material), the initial condition of the pothole, etc. The last stage of the process, namely the drying stage, is always the longest.
In short, the artist works in complete freedom in the privacy and solitude of the night.
As far as we are concerned, his works are little gems that we come across by chance in the streets of Paris. They brighten up our day as much as the famous Parisian greyness. So we thank Ememem for his works and his answers which made us laugh!
We hope the flackings you will encounter on your streets will have the same effect for you, and that this article has helped you identify or discover this technique 😊
Another well-known artist on the international street art scene uses a similar technique to “repair” damaged walls, this time using lego! This is Jan Vormann and you can discover his work here.
*According to some urban legends, the term appeared on a slightly drunken evening and Ememem kept it to talk about his practice.
© All pictures are by Invisible Walls.