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01 SEPTEMBER 2017

Truth In Advertising: Guerrilla Art in Santa Cruz 1980-1985

"The photographs in this exhibit are of actual altered billboards that appeared on the streets of Santa Cruz, California from 1980 to 1985. The photographs have been adjusted for brightness, contrast, and parallax, but no content changes were made.

The billboards were made over by a clandestine network of midnight billboard editors operating under the name of Truth In Advertising, or TIA for short.

This exhibit of their historic work was first presented in 2007 at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. The exhibit is made up of 12 billboards presented in the order in which they appeared on the streets of Santa Cruz. The sequence also tells the story of Truth in Advertising, and documents publicity and commentary."

(Bob Stayton)

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TAGS

1980sactivismadadvertising billboardsadvertising hijackingappropriation practicesbillboardbillboard bandit • Bob Stayton • critical cultural hijacking • culture jammingdetournement publicitaire • guerrilla art • guerrilla tacticsmedia hijacking • media reinterpretation • re-purposerecombinatory practiceridicule • Santa Cruz • transformative works • Truth in Advertising (TIA) • William Board (pseudonym)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 NOVEMBER 2008

Peter Kennard: photomontage activist

"Peter Kennard has spent most of his life in London, and has been considerably more involved than most in the capital's political gatherings during the last 25 years.
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His two major subjects quickly emerged: armaments and poverty. This was the early eighties with 3 million unemployed, Thatcher in her first term girding her loins for the Falklands War, and the CND at the height of its popularity. Kennard had an audience.
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'The point of my work is to use easily accessible iconic images, but to render them unacceptable. To break down the image of the all–powerful missile....after breaking them, to show new possibilities emerging in the cracks and splintered fragments of the old reality.'

His belief at this time was that photomontage had the power to show the causes rather than the results. In recent times however, he seems to have had his doubts: 'There is a problem with montage in that you see it everywhere now because of digital technology. There is so much transformed imagery around that people accept constructed images without questioning their meaning. I think my work was losing impact because of that.'"
(David Palmer)

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TAGS

activismart • CND • culture jammingcut and paste • Falklands War • guerrilla tacticsMargaret Thatcherparody • Peter Kennard • photographyphotomontagepolitical satirepoliticspropagandare-purposeridiculetacticTony BlairUK

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 NOVEMBER 2008

John Heartfield

[Short extract from America's Ovation TV on pioneering photomontage activist John Heartfield.]

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 APRIL 2005

Heartfield: Political Commentary Through Photomontage

"Exposing Nazism, and its leaders, to ridicule was [John] Heartfield's main aim in the 30s. 'The Meaning of the Hitler Salute' shows Hitler's right hand accepting a wad of bank notes from a gigantic bourgeois standing behind him. ''Little man requests big donation. Motto: Millions are behind me.

Heartfield was an early pioneer of photomontage. He used it as a political weapon to challenge fascism prior to the 2nd World War. For Heartfield ''New political problems demand[ed] new means of propaganda. For this task photography [possessed] the greatest power of persuasion."

(The Leninist, 1992)

Fig.1 John Heartfield (1932). Der Sinn des Hitlergrusses: Kleiner Mann bittet um große Gaben. Motto: Millonen Stehen Hinter Mir! [The Meaning of the Hitler Salute: Little man asks for big gifts. Motto: Millions Stand Behind Me!], 1932 [http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works–of–art/1987.1125.8]

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TAGS

1932 • activismAdolf Hitleranglophobia • character portrait • fotomontageGermanguerrilla tacticsHelmut HerzfeldJohn HeartfieldNaziparodypersuasionphotographyphotomontagepolitical • political poster • propagandaridiculetacticThird Reichundermineupstaging
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