These guys could teach adbusters a thing or two. There’s also something very OCD art about it; the painstaking way that it is put together being redolent of Emma Kay’s work (every object in The Bible listed chronologically – see cabinet)
Situationist graphic design collective CutUp feature in this week’s Design Week:
…CutUp, a group led by ‘J’, a recent graduate in graphic design from Camberwell College of Arts. Critical of the way advertising has come to dominate our visual space, this collective of four is attempting to disrupt and raise awareness of the ‘colonisation of public space’ by reconfiguring billboards.
By stealth of night, members of the group cut up large-scale outdoor posters, out of which they then create a new image, which they hope will give the public pause for thought about the nature of the images that are being imposed upon them.
CutUp searches hoardings, carefully selected for tonal values, a quiet location and low positioning, and then carefully removes the posters. These are then cut up into a patchwork of little squares, numbered and scanned into a computer. The squares are reworked into a new image, which is then secretly and painstakingly replaced on another billboard.
Of course, slicing up and reordering expensive advertising is illegal, and CutUp could face prosecution for criminal damage. The group is currently working on a series of four ‘reordered’ billboards in London’s Shoreditch, to co-incide with an exhibition of its work at the Kemistry Gallery.
CutUp’s first piece, in 2003, was a reordering of a Nicorette billboard, transformed by collage to show the haunting, shy smile of murdered child Damilola Taylor. ‘It is the power of the billboard rather than the brand that we are trying subvert,’ says ‘J’.
Cut Up Show runs from 5 April to 30 April at Kemistry Gallery, 43 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch, London EC2A