The Forget-Me-Not Murals: Memorializing Demolished Buildings Through Paint

The art collective Merge Invisible in Budapest, Hungary recently completed its Nefelejcs Project (Nefelejcs is the Hungarian word for the forget-me-not flower).

Here is how the group described its project:

“We live in Budapest, Hungary. The project was made in the 8th district, in an area of suspicoius reconstructions. Beautiful old buildings are demolished for replacing them with new ugly buildings made of cheap and bad materials. The idea was to create a memorial painting of a demolished building. There are many empty houses and giant firewalls around, so it wasn’t hard to select.

We did some research, collected datas from the Budapest City Archives about the building, and asked the neighbours too. So we made the plans of the painting with real measures of the buildings walls, roof and every details, the way it was before. We dicided to make it black and white like an x-ray view of it. We tried to look for possibilities to make it. We had some help from a local gallery, and with their help we asked a few sponsors for materials, helpful volunteers, and scaffolds. The wall was in bad conditions, so the work was really hard, and it was way bigger than we thought. So the expected 4 days of work became a whole week, but it worth for. The neighbours loved the painting, even people from the street came and joined us to paint!”

The project was supported by the Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art.

Isn’t this a fantastic idea and opportunity for Over-the-Rhine and Cincinnati? The neighborhood has its fair share of empty lots and silhouettes of where old buildings once stood. The city is already known for its many murals. Here’s a map of ArtWorks Cincinnati’s MuralWorks:

Forget-Me-Not flower (could make a great logo)

In a place like Over-the-Rhine where historic buildings and empty lots mix with a bright spectrum of arts organizations, a Forget-Me-Not project would highlight what makes OTR unique. Groups and organizations as varied as OTR ADOPT, ArtWorks, OTR Matters, Contemporary Arts Center, 3CDC, the Cincinnati Preservation Association, and others could all support such a project because it both beautifies a public space but reminds us of what we have lost. It’s also a hopeful project because the only thing more terrible than being lost is being forgotten.

If you’re interested in making this project happen, please contact OTR Matters.

And to those who may think it unoriginal to copy an idea from another city, remember what Picasso said: Good artists copy. Great artists steal.

2 Responses to “The Forget-Me-Not Murals: Memorializing Demolished Buildings Through Paint”
  1. Rachel says:

    This… would be so awesome!!! i think it could help bring a spotlight to a lot of the senseless demo being done in OtR as well. I especially love the 2nd to last one. If you could build real benches or something there to really put faces with some of these that would be amazing!!

  2. ArtWorks says:

    This is very cool! We love new ideas, new partners, and any opportunity to help OTR shine.

    Be sure to visit to learn more about being an ArtWorks mural partner. We look forward to hearing more!

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