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  • Record-breaking anti-advertising action hits UK streets

    12th May 2014

    * 360 original artworks by 38 international artists replace adverts by major corporates such as McDonalds, CocaCola, H&M and Morrisons
    * Millbank, Department of Business and Innovation, Scotland Yard, Harrods, Oxford Street and Shell Centre in London targeted.
    * Entire route of Leeds marathon covered with anti-advertising artworks
    * Themes include austerity, human rights, debt, climate change, body image and fracking
    This weekend has seen the biggest ever unauthorised takeover of outdoor advertising, as part of the rapidly growing “Brandalism” campaign against what activists have called 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, Fanta, McDonalds, Morrisons and Lyca Mobile - were replaced with artworks 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 [ 1 ], 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. Since then the Brandalism project has grown in ambition and scale.
    The Brandalism website will show people how they can replicate this type of action in their localities.
    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.”

    largest advertising takeover in world history (as far as we can tell).
    365 public ads were access replaced with art from 38 international artists including Peter Kennard, Paul Insect, Bill Posters, Goldpeg and Radiohead’s artist of choice Stanley Donwood (UK), Princess Hijab (France), Ron English (USA), Peter Fuss (Poland) and Anthony Lister (Australia).

    submission date: 5/12/2014

  • About Brandalism

ionone world | art | Brandalism  | UK
    • Brandalism is a revolt against corporate control of the visual realm. It is the biggest anti-advertising campaign in world history and it's getting bigger. Starting in July 2012 with a small team in a van, Brandalism has grown tenfold to include teams in 10 UK cities skilled up in taking back space. The most recent Brandalism Takeover in May 2014 saw the reclamation of over 360 corporate advertising spaces with hand made original art works submitted by 40 international artists. Following on in the guerilla art traditions of the 20th Century and taking inspiration from Agitprop, Situationist and Street Art movements, the Brandalism project sees artists from around the world collaborate to challenge the authority and legitimacy of commercial images within public space and within our culture.

      Brandalism has worked with 16 teams of citizens who have been trained in the techniques and tactics of 'subvertising' - the art of subverting advertisements; before heading out onto the streets of the UK’s major cities for two days of redecoration. In Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds, Oxford, London, Brighton, Bristol, and Birmingham the team mounted artworks which they had screen-printed themselves, disguised as outdoor advertising installers.

      Brandalism starts from the democratic conviction that the street is a site of communication, which belongs to the citizens and communities who live there. It is a rebellion against the visual assault of media giants and advertising moguls who have a stranglehold over messages and meaning in our public spaces, through which they force-feed us with images and messages to keep us insecure, unhappy, and shopping.

      All the artwork is unauthorised and unsigned. This is not a project of self-promotion, and none of the artists names (we forgive you Ludo!) or websites appear on the works: we believe there are already enough private interests taking ownership of our streets.

      In Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds, Oxford, London, Brighton, Bristol, and Birmingham, adverts have been replaced over two days with images from artists around the world made especially for the event. Themes explored include the ecological damage of consumerism, debt, gender stereotypes, the right to the city, the disaster of finance capitalism, and the pervasiveness of advertising itself.

      The first Brandalism Takeover took place in July 2012. Two friends, sick of the visual pollution of their city, spent 5 days reclaiming 36 billboards in five cities around the UK. Overwhelmed by the positive response from people across the country, we decided to train up other people to do the same thing themselves. Two years later, groups across the country are now taking action in their local areas to reclaim public space from the claws of corporate interests. More Takeovers are expected in the near future.

      Brandalism provides resources and support for anyone who wants to reclaim their visual space. Check out the resources page, and get in touch through brandalism@riseup.net