As I said in my last post; I created these posters for our Freak Show event. I silk-screen printed 22 posters. I didn’t try very hard to line up all of the layers while printing and they’re all on cheap newsprint paper. I made them this way because I wanted them to look like they were cheaply produced on mass.

Jack and I put them up around all of the Fine Art studios to promote Freak Show. I had purposefully not included much information on them. I wanted to interest people with an attractive and mysterious poster and make them curious to ask around about them. In particular, I wanted to encourage the first years to start asking around and use the freak show as a way of introducing ourselves to them. It seemed to work to a certain extent, a lot of people who knew I was the one who printed them were just asking why I hadn’t put the date and address on them but it still meant I could have that conversation with them about freak show and what we were doing. I wasn’t aware before hand that the first years were having crits that week, so they didn’t really have much affect of them. Something that came up in conversations I had with people, which in hindsight is strange that it didn’t occur to me is the ethical questions surrounding the use of disturbing imagery and the use of the word freak.

I was asked by a few people if they could have one to keep which seems quite normal except for the fact that they’re my work and in the studios, students don’t normally ask other students outright if they can just have a piece of their work. I think because of the context in which I used them, people didn’t really think of them as my uni work or even as something of much intrinsic value; they are just prints after all and because I put them everywhere in the studios I was disowning them in a way or at least giving the impression that I didn’t mind what happened to them. Which for the majority of them I didn’t mind if they were damaged or stolen but there was one poster I had chosen to leave up after we’d taken back all the others to use at Freak Show. I had left behind one poster in the area of the studio where I work and it was stolen. I was a little annoyed but it made think a lot more about their worth and whether I should be annoyed at all.
We used the posters as a part of the decoration of the Freak Show and a few of them were stolen but it was especially confusing that someone chose to steal a poster which was pasted with glue to the column holding up the peak of the circus tent. There were plenty of posters that were just pinned to walls.

I think in general it was a successful little project. I wanted to generate some interesting discussions between people and making these posters seems to have done that.
It was also an experiment in making a piece of artwork in serves a purpose as a part of a larger work which was about bringing people together and building an environment and a group.

2 Responses to “what happened to all my Freak Show posters?”

  1. I feel bad as i took one of these posters, but i think the whole thing was amazing. We turned up to this party and to be fair, it’s the best one i’ve been to yet as a whole atmosphere was created. Just reading how these posters are also silk screen printed just makes them a whole new level of being special, and i feel lucky to have one up on my wall. It definitely created an excitement to my friends and myself as we didn’t know what to expect from looking at the poster.
    Also to the people who were dressed up as the pig and bird doctor mask thing, we were pretty creeped out, we loved that!

  2. patrick says:

    I was quite happy about people stealing them. I surprised myself when I got annoyed by the theft of one in particular but that’s only because in my head I’d decided that one was different and so, I only have myself to blame.

    The posters were an experiment for me to use illustration and traditional printing to create a piece of work where those things weren’t the focus. Instead they were about creating something interesting and attractive that would create an excitement and get people to talk to each other.

    Enjoy the poster!