50 subverts hit Bristol bus stops over weekend
Bristol part of a record-breaking anti-advertising action across the UK
This weekend has seen the biggest ever unauthorised takeover of outdoor advertising, as part of the “Brandalism” campaign against the corporate take-over of public space.
Around 360 adverts in 10 cities across the UK were replaced overnight with
specially commissioned artworks by teams of anti-advertising activists. ‘Six-sheet’ poster displays at bus-stops, free standing cabinets and even a public toilet were taken down in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, London, Oxford and Manchester.
The adverts – by companies such as H&M, CocaCola, McDonalds, Morrisons and
Ladbrookes – were replaced with artworks by 38 international artists exploring the impacts of consumerism, including ecological damage, financial collapse, and gender stereotypes.
With the United Nations currently investigating the impact of advertising on human rights , Brandalism seeks to highlight the lack of control that communities have over their public space.
38 international artists participated in the latest round of Brandalism takeovers including Peter Kennard, Paul Insect, Bill Posters, Goldpeg and Radiohead’s artist of choice Stanley Donwood (UK), Princess Hejab (France), Ron English (USA), Peter Fuss (Poland) and Anthony Lister (Australia).
Brandalism first launched in July 2012, when around 40 billboards in five cities were replaced with anti-advertising artworks.
The Brandalism website will show people how they can replicate this type of action.
Bill Posters, one of the artists involved in Brandalism, said:
“This is a revolt against visual pollution. Advertising is key driver of a system which destroys our future to fulfil the demands of the present, a ceaseless expansion of production and consumption. Communities are taking back control over their public spaces – expect many more actions like this in the near future.”
Bristols unique history of subvertising was a key inspiration for one of the originators of Brandalism. As one of the artworks puts it, we’ve always been fond of ‘our minor refusals.’
One of the Bristol subvertisers said:
“Adverts tell us every day that we’re not good enough, so they can sell us the crap that’s destroying the things we actually love. It’s crazy. And we don’t have to take it.”
For high-resolution images http://www.brandalism.org.uk/gallery more of the Bristol images to appear there soon.