Berlin-based artist, Jan Vormann, diverts our architectural attention with his global Dispatchwork series. While shining a light on urban histories he celebrates the spirit of repair through his vibrantly incongruous restorations.
Still in his 20s, his artwork has taken him from cities as varied as Tel Aviv and New York (both above) to countries as diverse as Ecuador and Serbia with sponsors including the Amsterdam Centre for Architecture. Some works seek to merely mend weathered decay while others fill scars left by war, such as in Berlin’s Mitte neighbourhood.
Lego has produced more than 400 billion units since the 1930’s, deriving its name from the Danish phrase to “play well.” Relevantly Jan often employs an inclusive approach – enlisting the help of passers-by and even encouraging others to take up his approach and send him photos of their creations from across the globe. Other times he works alone, though admits that this can be demanding as in the case at a South American heritage church where he had to dodge thugs, nuns and security officers.
Jan’s streetscape interruptions playfully direct us to spaces-between, hidden-histories and untold-tales. And fittingly he uses a medium that we associate with unhindered childhood imaginings with which to fill the gaps.