There's a new addition to the narrow streets and alleyways of old Kathmandu. In among the Hindu and Buddhist icons, Maoist political graffiti, street signs in three scripts, and the famous "Kathmandu Eyes" appear various figures from the 1980s video-arcade classic, Space Invaders.
Sometimes orange, some turquoise, a rare one in black and white....the Invaders are the latest in the layers of urban kitsch to be absorbed by The Infernal City.
It's the latest in the travelling guerilla installation series "Invasion," instigated by a European artist who calls himself Invader. Invader's progress in his "reality game" is detailed on his own web site (complete with game score).
Having entered the "neighborhood" in Bangkok and dropping by Dhaka, Invader appears to have scored many successful "hits" here in the Mountain Former Kingdom, before moving on to Varanasi and perhaps (my guess for the next stop) Delhi.
I've had fun spotting the Invaders throughout old Kathmandu, and even more fun wondering how the heck he got them up there without interference. There's several in Thamel and at least one down by Ason Tole.
I especially like this installation at the Varanasi Hindu Ghats in India. Invader has also branched out into paintings, like this one also in Varanasi.
I've long joked that if an item remains stationery long enough in this part of the world, someone will start worshipping it. Perhaps someday we'll see tikka, jamara and marigold garlands round the Invader mosaics, just like those of Buddha and Bhairab.
Another art-guerilla is going round spray-painting the Matt Groening "Binky"Rabbit, familiar from Groening's Life In Hell comics. While it ain't Futura 2000, I am glad to see some kind of street culture emerging in Kathmandu, other than burning tyres and holding strikes, that is. (As theatre those long ago became redundant.)
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