OX Public Posters
Edited by Andreas Ulrich
International Neighborhood Verlag
Text in German + English + French
308 pp, landscape, hardback
On view at the following sites:
Messedamm 22, Berlin-Charlottenburg,
Prinzenstrasse 81, Berlin-Kreuzberg,
Wilhelmstrasse 111, Berlin-Tiergarten,
Leipziger Strasse 54, Berlin-Mitte,
Berlin | Germany
Until 18 April 2015
Art for All.
and political campaigns
from the Staeck Collection
Akademie der Künste
Berlin | Germany
Until 7 June 2015
Poetry of the Metropolis.
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Frankfurt | Germany
Until 25 May 2015
Notes on Protesting
London | UK
Until 14 June 2014
OX (French, b 1963) finds a lot of graffiti tantamount to visual pollution, ‘plain ugly… badly placed, or just boring.’ He calls himself a painter, but says self-deprecatingly, ‘I am well aware that there is a difference between me and the master painters.
OX doesn’t like to talk much about his work. Nor does he title any of it. He prefers to let it speak for itself. ‘It isn’t interesting to watch me paint, either… I produce, I do colouring… watching me paint is very [tiring].’
OX’s medium is, for the most part, collage, albeit using paper he has first painted in his studio. A former member of the Paris-based 1980s art school guerilla collagist group Les Fréres Ripoulin, he and his associates were never certain whether gluing their work on to advertising billboards around Paris was illegal, but got an adrenalin rush from the idea that it might be. They even risked scribbling contact telephone numbers on their finished pieces and, never bothered by the police, were rung up by journalists and invited to exhibit at Paris’s recently-opened Agnes B gallery. However, after an unsuccessful New York show the group disintegrated in 1994.
OX used much of the next 10 years for quiet reflection. The work he began producing in 2004 – based around his cutting away all of the photographs on magazine pages but preserving the remaining fragments – was ‘like the opposite of pop art… Instead of using the most visible symbols of the visual commercial realm, I used only the outlines, the backgrounds, the most visually weak elements.’ For source material, he collected pictures from the discarded magazines he found in rubbish bins. These days he searches the internet for images to add to his archive, and increasingly uses Google Street View to find locations. Either the billboard itself gives rise to the idea, or its location.
OX likes to take his time. After deciding on a site, he will observe it often for long periods and in different weather conditions, waiting sometimes several months, or even years, before choosing a billboard on which to execute the idea he has formulated. He likes the temporary nature of his ’signs’, which he documents by photographing them, and claims he is not attached to the originals that can be gone within a few days. However, he might return at a later date to revise a ’sign’, if it’s still there.
OX is prolific. Except for a few earlier examples, the photographs shown in the new book OX Public Posters, published by International Neighborhood Verlag and distributed by Gestalten, are selected from the three hundred or so paintings he has placed on public billboards around the world from 2004 to 2014. Those shown, together with many other images of his work can be found on OX’s Blog.
+ Rirkrit Tiravanija. Berlin Billboards
Inspired by economic theorist Jeremy Rifkin’s book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society: the Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism, Open Source: Art at the Eclipse of Capitalism is a series of connected events occurring at the Max Hetzler galleries in Berlin and Paris, plus a theatre performance at the New Theater in Berlin, as well as a lecture by Jeremy Rifkin at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, which will be followed by an interview with Rifkin by Hans Ulrich Obrist, to appear both online and in a forthcoming book based on the exhibition. The object of the series is to consider artworks made since 1990 to the present which reflect economic transition. Exhibitor Rirkrit Tiravanija (b Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1961) is a contemporary artist living between New York, Berlin, and Chiang Mai. In his video Ghost Reader, 2013, Tiravanija uses the manga character Annlee – who appears on the artist’s Berlin billboards – to explore the complex issues of copyright, identity, status and emotion in our rapidly changing society.
+ Art for All. Multiples, graphics, and political campaigns
Beginning in the 1960s, when artists sought independence from existing institutions, and wanted to create affordable art for as wide an audience as possible, the Art for All movement, which is still active today and has included international figures, such as Joseph Beuys, Christo, Sigmar Polke and Rosemarie Trockel, began producing multiples – original works of art reproduced in large quantities that circumvented the rules of traditional art, making it accessible to everyone. Art for All: Multiples, graphics, and political campaigns exhibition at the Akademie der Künste presents graphics, objects and art books from the Staeck Collection, by numerous artists working in a diverse variety of styles and aesthetic approaches, and offers insights into a non-conformist creative generation. During a period of profound social upheaval, these artists put their trust in the critical, enlightening and utopian powers of art, while permanently contributing to the shape of its formal language.
+ Poetry of the Metropolis. The Affichistes
Pioneers of new realism, early pop artists, street art trailblazers – on their rambles through postwar Paris, the artists who would become known as the Affichistes collected fragments of the weathered and tattered posters, they came across that were often peeling and several layers deep, carried them back to their studios and created original artworks from them, in doing so elevating this ubiquitous aspect of everyday urban life to the status of a fine art. Poetry of the Metropolis: The Affichistes, is an extensive exhibition at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, which shines a light on the special role of the subversive and poetic Affichistes within the avant-garde of the 1950s and1960s.
+ Peter Liversidge: Notes on Protesting
Inspired by demonstration and protest, British artist Peter Liversidge (b1973) worked closely with sixty London schoolchildren, to produce a performance staged at the Whitechapel Gallery, on May Day (01 May 2014). Creating songs, choreography, banners and placards, they expressed their views on everything from ‘No More Homework’ to ‘Less trucks and cars. More chocolate bars!’ Peter Liversidge: Notes on Protesting at the Whitechapel Gallery includes a film of the performance, alongside documentation of the workshops and rehearsals.
The publishers of The Blog insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees which may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier