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Institutional Unrest

June 17, 2008

While I was wandering around the campus of Davidson College, it was interesting to encounter an exhibit of sorts on the construction barrier wall in front of Cunningham Fine Arts Building. I couldn’t find any information on who organized the placement of the posters there; I don’t know if it was a student initiative or if it was an assignment for a specific art class. The poster-size woodblock prints were pasted to the plywood barrier in a way that suggested urban graffiti and revolutionary protest. There were about 10 different posters, each being repeated several times as woodblock prints often are. I took photos of the ones that I liked in particular. They have this “I Blame the Patriarchy” vibe to them.

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poster seen on campus of Davidson College

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poster seen on campus of Davidson College

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poster seen on campus of Davidson College

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7 Comments
  1. June 17, 2008 4:35 pm

    i love culture jamming.
    i wish i could participate via my writing.

    i like to think i do, at times, but i don’t think it’s often enough to say that i do.

    i loved the first one best, although they are all thought provoking.

  2. June 17, 2008 4:54 pm

    c, thank you so much for teaching me the proper term: Culture Jamming. I love it, too. There was a Shepard Fairey (Propaganda Engineering) exhibit at Davidson when I was a student there, probably 8 or 9 years ago.

    I have noticed that you do it with your writing (to the extent that it would be applicable). 🙂

  3. Lofter permalink
    June 17, 2008 7:35 pm

    I think it is absolutely wonderful that we live in a country where such freedom of expression is allowed, and even welcomed. I love the art work… someone, if it is indeed carvings, took quite a bit of time to create it. And the message is most certainly conveyed… well done!
    Thanks for sharing it, and for reminding a tired, old man that ‘institutional unrest’ is still alive and well!

  4. June 17, 2008 9:57 pm

    Those are great. I’d love to know more about the artists who created them, but sometimes the mystery adds to the power.

    But, a bit of irony towards the message in the third image: http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/010348.html#010348

  5. June 18, 2008 3:15 pm

    I agree with Christine, culture jamming rox. I saw a documentary at a film festival on it a few years back. Cats were putting up corporate parody signs, altering billboards, and tagging. Americans are so brainwashed with consumerism symbols, glitzy ad campaigns, and duped into a pseudo reality that they need a jarring wake up. I dug the poster art pictures.

  6. June 19, 2008 1:45 pm

    Lofter, the motto of our college is Alenda Lux Ubi Orta Libertas. I like that it is an institution, but the professors there actually encourage the students to express themselves and question the institutions themselves.

    Deb, it would be great to know how this project got started at least. Maybe a student will write me and tell me about it. The third image caught my eye because the person is dressed as a guerilla and that is what we were studying. Culture Jamming is related to Guerilla Marketing, which I was familiar with because of Ron Paul’s campaign. He uses language like revolution, tyranny, battle, etc. when addressing his supporters.

    Thanks for linking to that article.

    Johnny, I’m so glad you like these. You are right about the pseudo reality. That’s actually something that my classmate who served in Iraq said was hard about coming back to live in the US. He said every moment was so important and weighty in Iraq, but here he felt like people were in a trance (from tv viewing and following the lives of celebrities).

  7. June 20, 2008 8:02 am

    These are great. The first is my favorite.

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