“A new Wizard of Oz for the Anarchist Street Youth.” Charlie Ahearn Director of Wild Style
“Wastedland 2 ambitiously holds up graffiti as a mirror of mankind’s search for meaning.” Isabel Zacharias Willamette Weekly
“Unreality has made an unexpected narrative incursion into the usually predictable world of Graffiti Art or maybe this is Graffiti’s break-in into the abandoned back lot of the Brothers Grimm.” Bill Daniel Director of Who is Bozo Texino? : The Secret History of Hobo Graffiti and author of Mostly True.
“Wastedland 2 is a road trip without road, a therapeutic buddy film without saccharine, staged in a post apocalyptic terrain that is revealed as graffiti oasis. The hapless beer- and weed-fueled journey is pure youthful angst suspended in chemicals and many in the audience laughed in recognition at the head-banging frustration voiced about fundamental life questions by these furry characters.” Jamie Rojo & Steven Harrington of Brooklyn Street Art
FILM: Wastedland 2 follows three solitary vandals (played by Wolftits, Avoid, and Smells) who cross paths while searching for the meaning of a trail of enigmatic artworks left behind by UFO 907, another nomadic artist. Roaming from one decaying zone to the next in a never-ending search for beer, weed, and a wall to paint, the vandals form a pact with the rest of the surviving seekers (played by Rambo, Noxer, EKG, and others) to attain the answer to their unanimous question of their futility- “what’s the point?”
As with the original Wastedland (10 min/ B&W/ 2008), Wastedland 2 features several prominent NYC graffiti artists who created costumes and masks in the likeness of what they believed to be their spirit animals. Then, using the same landscape the artists typically employ as a backdrop for their artwork, they traveled from the mountains of Upstate New York to Black Mountain, North Carolina, filming in squalid buildings and freight train yards along the way, illegally. The mystical theme of the seeker was incorporated into the process of production, letting the film write itself from narrative exploration and unscripted improvisation. It was not until the film had been edited that the script finally finished itself.
Commenting on the film’s DIY production values, Shirley explained, “Many guerrilla film making practices are evident in Wastedland 2—most notably, we didn’t ask for permission to shoot anywhere. If there was a desirable location behind a fence, we either found a hole or we cut a hole in the fence. That’s how I approach not only my art but also my life. I’m not waiting for someone to hand me an opportunity; I’m going to create the opportunity myself.”
TOUR: The existential fantasy film Wastedland 2 (32 min / Color / 2016 / Dir. Andrew H. Shirley) toured North America along with a detritus-strewn, site-specific, immersive film installation transforming various spaces into a three-dimensional post-apocalyptic graffiti wonderland. Here questions of fate and self collide with graffiti folk lore through wordplay, sculpture, artifacts, and characters – all centered around thematics from the film- created by Shirley, his actors and members of the notorious Brooklyn based 907 graffiti crew. This environment allows the viewer to enter the psychology of the narrative, to identify and ultimately re-define the way one traditionally engages with film and artwork.
In 2017 Wastedland 2 traveled in a 15′ box truck on a epic self produced tour, landing in over 50 spaces across the U.S.A. – collaborating on site specific events with vandals, performers and artists at each stop and sharing the immersive install with thousands of individuals. Highlights included– illegal screenings in a West Oakland freight train yard & under a bridge in Kansas City, multiple shows with Superchief Gallery in L.A., NYC and a screening at Miami Art Basel (sponsored by Juxtapoz / Adidas) with skateboarders flying through the frame of the film for several hours.
EXHIBITING ARTISTS INCLUDE: Adam VOID, Amy Smalls, Andrew H. Shirley, DARKCLOUDS, EKG, George Vidas, Greg Henderson, NOXER, RAMBO, Robin Drysdale, Ryan C. Doyle, SMELLS, UFO 907, William Thomas Porter, WOLFTITS and local Vandals (TBA).
CREW: Written & Directed by Andrew H. Shirley Director of Photography David Vlasits Additional Camera Jeffrey Lacascio and Jason Summers Editor / VFX Lee Eaton SFX Design / Re-recording Mixer Mike Frank ADR Recording Jay McClain Artwork by UFO 907 Additional UFO Design / Construction Ryan C. Doyle and William Thomas Porter Musical Score by Craig Andersonic Music by Unstoppable Death Machines and more …
ANDREW H. SHIRLEY: Andrew H. Shirley finds an obsession in living experimentation through a miscreant lifestyle detached from material pop culture. His multi disciplinary work has appeared in PS 1, MOCA, Museum of Sex, and films have screened at festivals in over 300 cities worldwide. As a social architect, he has curated the underground into public events from institutions such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music to a secret tree house art gallery he built in upstate NY. Though primarily nomadic, he sometimes resides in Brooklyn / NYC with his cat Myrtle.