STUCK UP and “They Live”
- in Stickerz, Stickin' it to the Man, Surveillance, Visual literacy
My “I’m Sorry (George W. Bush)” sticker is included in an exhibition entitled STUCK UP, A Selected History of Alternative & Pop Culture Told Through Stickers, which opens on January 20, 2012, and runs through March 3, 2012, at Maxwell Collette Gallery in Chicago. The exhibition, which was curated by DB Burkeman, draws from his extensive personal collection and:
“provides an unparalleled opportunity to explore the expanding role that stickers have played in popular culture over the past four decades. ‘STUCK UP…’ features stickers from Street Art legends (Banksy, Barry McGee, Shepard Fairey, Space Invader, KAWS), and internationally lauded contemporary artists (Andy Warhol, Jenny Holzer, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Tom Sachs) shown side by side with anonymous stickers peeled from the streets of NYC.”
The exhibition opened at the Scope Art Fair during Art Basel | Miami Beach in December 2011. For this project, Burkeman created seven large themed panels, sort of like what I’ve done in sticker exhibitions in the past, but his stickers look like they’re floating in air, which is pretty sweet. My sticker is on the lower left of this panel, second row up from the bottom:
Aside from this, I watched John Carpenter’s 1988 film They Live yesterday on the recommendation of friends at Peace Paper. With a more contemporary cast, the film could have been made in the last couple of years with its themes of corporate greed, capitalist consumption, police surveillance, and the role of advertising and the media in controlling human thought. When the main character in the movie puts on a special pair of sunglasses, he is able to see the truth that alien ghouls run the banks and government and that billboards, magazines, and material objects contain subliminal messages to “OBEY,” “CONSUME,” and “MARRY AND REPRODUCE.”
Shepard Fairey is said to have been influenced by the film for his OBEY Giant propaganda campaign.