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Author Topic: Artists Grab Culture by the Balls
steffie
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posted 05 January 2005 01:26 AM      Profile for steffie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
CBC Newsworld just aired "Zed" and "Rough Cuts", each of which featured artists/performers who impact directly on culture around them.

Johannes Zits* is a collage artist who combines images from interior design magazines with human forms, in a homosexually relevent, pseudo-pornographic manner. The amazing-ness of his artwork aside, what is really cool about him is that he produces this work for the street. He posts on urban utility poles (not unlike a message forum, for example) his artful opinions on the world around. He is making a statement. His statement is, "WAKE UP!"
*scroll down to "Zed Television"

Rough Cuts was titled, "Culture Jam". Culture jamming is the deliberate and (IMO) brilliant disruption of mass media's barrage on our senses. Culture Jam features "Reverand Billy", a political performer who warns against the evils of worshipping Mickey Mouse (TM). Of course it's because Disney (TM) employs sweatshops to produce the myth of Mickey (TM). Other featured artists reclaim public spaces, like billboards and bus shelters in the hopes of waking up passive consumers whose eyes have glazed over from a lifetime sucking at the bong of consumerism.

Anybody else see these shows? What did you think? They really made me feel like getting involved in my environment.


From: What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
catje
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posted 07 January 2005 06:28 AM      Profile for catje     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
having spent a hilarious saturday afternoon popping in and out of every starbucks in town with the rev and his ragtag instant political theatre, i'd say he's pretty brilliant.

and then there's the raging grannies . . .


From: lotusland | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
thwap
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posted 07 January 2005 08:23 AM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, I'm sure we'll have a profitable discussion of Rev'd Billy.

I like him.


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 07 January 2005 08:44 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Did anyone else see, in yesterday's Grope and Flail, the marvellous story about a guy known as Roadsworth?

People in Montreal will probably already know about him. He has been going out about 4 a.m. for some time now and spray-painting art, of a kind, on the streets of the area known as the Plateau. There were photos in the Grope, one of some great zig-zags he had blended in with the usual mid-street lane lines, one of a most appealing owl perched on a line.

His stuff looks good, I think, not like alienated grafitti at all but, as he apparently claims, engaged, inviting.

Unfortunately, he was caught and arrested one early morning in November, and his case is becoming a cause celebre. We must watch.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
catje
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posted 11 January 2005 04:55 PM      Profile for catje     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I will never forget the fragment of the Berlin Wall I once saw on display in Seattle. The West side was a painting of a yellow ladder reaching beyond a painting of the wall itself, with the moon and stars above. The East side, of course, was blank.

Graf can be such a powerful, and meaningful, (or utterly, brilliantly quirky) thing. It's too bad that so much of it is a sort of glorified territorialism.

Back to the Rev- is there other humorous and/or audience-participation style street theatre out there? I think his stuff really works because of those two aspects.


From: lotusland | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 11 January 2005 05:02 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
catje, you just gave me a great memory of my husband, standing at the door of my office, weeping, just barely able to choke out the words -- "The Wall is open ... the Wall is coming down."
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 11 January 2005 05:03 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Very little of the Wall was ever painted with anything. I remember being there in the 80s and having East German border guards focus guns on me whenever my camera was raised
From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
leaflord
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posted 11 January 2005 09:39 PM      Profile for leaflord     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I missed the Culture Jam episode, but know of the reverend billy. They even do his anti-Starbucks plays in Montreal. As for Roadsworth, a real shame. Apparently fed-up cyclists painted their own bicycle path in Montreal in the 70s! Lots of creative resistance there.


From: Montreal | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
catje
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posted 12 January 2005 12:59 AM      Profile for catje     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Stacey Chappel, (formerly) of VIPIRG, used to put on these hilarious musicals. The first one, which I unfortunately missed, was 'The MAI in Oz' (fully responsible, I'm sure, for the MAI's demise) and 'Splice of Life' on gmos, featuring guest appearances by The Diggers, Monsanto CEO Robert Shapiro, and a grand finale of 'Hello Dolly' with (who else) Dolly the cloned sheep.

quote:
Those things that hurt in life, those things that continue to hurt about being native in North America, I can handle those things through humour. I can't handle those through anger because, if I get angry about something, it just gets away from me. It just consumes me. I've got to keep coming back to humour as my sort of safe position. And I think I can make more of an impact. -Thomas King

From: lotusland | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
catje
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posted 12 January 2005 01:00 AM      Profile for catje     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
something that surprised me about the RNC protests in new york last summer was actually the lack of really good activist art.

maybe i was just too far back.


From: lotusland | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
April
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posted 14 January 2005 02:15 AM      Profile for April     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks leaflord for that article! It is great!


From: Montreal | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged

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