Billboard Text Art
Curated by Grey Zone
"EMERGING WOR(L)DS": June 2007 - October 2008
Communications, Contemplations and Confrontations
TEXTUAL AND WORD-BASED ART INTERVENTIONS ON BILLBOARDS IN THE HEART OF EUROPE
One of this year’s highlights is a one-year project featuring textual and word-based art interventions on billboards in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Entitled EMERGING WOR(L)DS, the project runs from June 2007 until June 2008.
Utilizing billboard spaces normally reserved for product advertising, corporate marketing, political campaigns and public service announcements, EMERGING WOR(L)DS is a platform for diverse art interventions, messages and statements, tackling a broad range of issues and subjects concerned with the complex social, political, corporate and cultural structures currently emerging within the context of the post-Cold War – and post 9/11 – world, as well as the way they influence the lives of individuals.
Freed from the constraints of two opposing ideologies and superpowers - and largely abandoning the old Right-Left divisions of the political spectrum - contemporary society on a global scale is experiencing a proliferation of new complex social, political and cultural structures, networks, patterns, hierarchies and alliances. These newly emerging structures are influenced as much by mass media, global information exchange and phenomena such as multiculturalism and the interweaving of global and local cultural and corporate artefacts, symbols and signs, as by global political and macroeconomic forces.
On a local urban level in Prague, EMERGING WOR(L)DS aims to explore the role and potentials of art and artists in influencing these newly emerging systems, networks and affinities. The project is open to diverse artistic approaches and strategies, from socially and politically engaged and motivated communications, through media-activist confrontations to contemplative reflections of everyday life.
Rather than using billboards dedicated to the project for its entire duration - performing the function of a public art gallery - EMERGING WOR(L)DS’ billboard artworks are interspersed among commercial advertising billboards, replacing corporate and political messages, modifying standard information flows and exploring new art-based narratives, vocabularies and syntax, becoming parallel markers, tags and signs in Prague’s urban environment.
Having largely completed the process of post-Communist social and economic transformation, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe now play an active role in the evolution and development of globally, regionally and locally emerging social, political and cultural phenomena. Although the old Communist system no longer exercises a hold on power, its remnants continue to influence society. In the Czech Republic, as well as Poland, for example, the archives of the Communist secret police are only now being made fully accessible to the general public and this may yet have serious social repercussions.
EMERGING WOR(L)DS runs in synergy with other Tina B. projects and is be fully web-supported. Each month, the EMERGING WOR(L)DS section of the Tina B. website provides maps of the city with locations of the current billboard artworks on show, allowing visitors to explore the city landscape while searching for art.
Artists that have participated so far:
• Kendell Geers (South Africa)
• Jonathan Monk (UK)
• Kay Rosen (US)
• XYZ (Slovakia)
• Jiří Skála (CZ)
• Pode Bal (CZ)
• Guma Guar (CZ)
• Tomáš Vaněk (CZ)
• Vittorio Santoro (Zurich)
• Isabele Cornaro (Paris)
• Anetta Mona Chisa (Rumania/Slovakia)
• Zbyněk Sedlecký (CZ)
• Robert Šalanda (CZ)
• Jan Nálevka (CZ)
• Adam Pendleton (US)
• Adam Vačkář (CZ)
• Rosario Antoci (Italy)
• Solange Fabiao (Brazil)
• Bethan Huws (UK)
• Koki Tanaka (Japan)