From the street to your space…
Dr. D aka Subvertiser
It’s a great privilege to be able to announce flyingleaps’ latest street poster outing comes courtesy of the brilliant Dr. D. I Remember The Future (2018) and a new iteration of the visual activist’s famous Curfew work look fabulous.
While the debate goes on as to whether flyposted and other oppositional art or visual activism has any direct effect in bringing about sociopolitical change, what it can do at its best is feed into the publics’ disposition.
Through strong imagery, cogent or quizzical text, humour, relatively speedy production and distribution, via its capacity to occupy anomalous spaces in the urban environment and through an imaginative, enacted engagement with matters of concern it can generate social media interest and help inform, even propel, opinion.
Dr. D’s targets include surveillance culture; the social effects of neoliberalism; commodification; mealy-mouthed and uncaring politicians; abuses of power in the media… Much more than bald sloganeering Dr. D’s imagery and text pieces often emerge, on reflection, as enigmatic meditations on twenty-first century existential angst.
Transgressing boundaries can reveal hidden rules. One could cite the precedents of the carnivalesque ‘telling truth to power’, vaudevillian comedy, Dada gestures in art but all of these, in a – it’s only a bunch of pucks/entertainers/artists – sense, operated in ‘sanctioned’ arenas. Dr. D’s contributions to the urban environment are rarely sanctioned and it’s this that contributes significantly to their traction and incisiveness.
The urban spectacle would have us believe that its over-riding character is, yes aspirational, but emphatically neutral and apolitical: that generally we’re going to be just fine if we carry on pretty much as we are. Dr. D’s pithy interventions, highlighting so many germane issues and employing such a variety of modes of address, repeatedly suggest otherwise.
I Remember the Future, Dr D, in Oslo
Curfew, Dr D, in Oslo
“They looked at the view; they looked at what they knew, to see if what they knew might perhaps be different today. Most days it was the same.”
Virginia Woolf (1941)
In the wake of the publication of photographer Simon Roberts’ monograph ‘Merrie Albion: Landscape Studies of a Small Island’ flyingleaps is extremely pleased to announce the nineteenth artists’ poster print: ‘Between the Acts, 2018’.
The iconic image of the white cliffs at Birling Gap coupled with the haunting quotation from Virginia Woolf’s posthumously published work ‘Between the Acts’ conjures vertiginous feelings of both awe and trepidation.
Roberts took this photograph on 29th March 2017, the day Theresa May signed Article 50 triggering the two year period of negotiation that takes the UK out of the EU. Visitors to the site are warned not to approach the edge as it’s unstable.
However, when faced with an abyss – whether natural or manmade – it’s difficult to resist staring into it. The girl in the red coat epitomises bodacious courage, fittingly perhaps as it’s her generation who will be living with the consequences of Brexit be that hard, soft or ultimately overturned.
Between the Acts, 2018 Simon Roberts
Simon Roberts’ large format photographs can be seen at Flowers Gallery, Kingsland Rd, London E2 8DP until March 10th.
A longer text on his work is available to read soon in the Spotlight section of the www.flyingleaps.co.uk website.
Second Class (2018) Heath Kane
A second artists’ poster treat is in store in the form of a brilliant new work by artist Heath Kane. Already known for his very popular ‘Rich Enough to be Batman’ that combines Elizabeth II with Gotham City’s finest, for flyingleaps Kane has produced ‘Second Class’ (2018).
Resembling a giant postage stamp ‘Second Class’ promises to be extremely impactful on the streets of London, Glasgow, Manchester, Bristol… A portrait of privileged calamity. Of course, those with plenty of cash and connections to power are going to be able to withstand the winds of change more comfortably than many of us.
The price of a second-class stamp has gone up but looming also is the rising cost of living precipitated by the vote to leave the EU and current Brexit botch-up being messily ‘delivered’ by Tupperware Theresa and Co. The May/Queen’s face in Kane’s work is a vaudevillian post-pratfall expression and one that also says ‘that’s another fine mess you’ve got me into’.
The image is at once striking but also contains delighting subtleties. Kane’s work often proffers those visual moments that cause a ‘smile in the mind’ of viewers. ‘Second Class’ prompts thoughts and feelings aplenty but one idea that keeps occurring: when is the @NPG going to stage an exhibition of alternative monarch inspired portraits?