As noted in my posting before last (‘Up in Lights”) it is the juxtapositions of images and messages that are often most enlightening about our mass confusion and denial – I call them juxtaphotisions. Here are three crackers that really require little additional comment.
These two posters were sitting alongside each other outside Bristol Parkway station in June (Many thanks to Phil Insall of Sustrans for sending me this. Click on the photo to see it in full detail). It reminds me of that famous depression era photograph of unemployed black people queuing for soup under the poster of a smug white family in a car and the caption “there’s no way like the American Way).
I have a particular loathing for this Ford Galaxy poster in any context – how pathetic that kids are plugged into video monitors whilst the countryside rolls by outside. Could someone please subvert this poster and paste images of countryside onto the tv screens to highlight the full irony?
Next: magazine racks in which different worldviews and versions of reality come into direct and vivid contrast. (This is from a magazine stall in Mid Wales earlier this year and nicely contrasts an apocalyptic image from a climate change special issue of Geographic with adjacent magazines that droolingly promote high carbon living (click on the photo to see more detail). In this case I find the different images of drought and water particularly striking – the world can bake whilst the rich bathe in their penthouse pools (echos of Solyent Green).
Information about climate change exists in our society as little oases of truth surrounded by a vast sea of lifestyle marketing and counter messaging. Is it any surprise that it is so hard to develop and then maintain a belief in this issue? These magazines present climate change as just another lifestyle and consumption choice, and, when presented like this, is it any surprise which version of reality people choose ? Be honest, which version of reality would you prefer to live in?
Finally- one I’ve posted before, but it’s so good that it can stand a repeat. It’s from The Guardian website and illustrates the deep confusion of the liberal media. Normally they keep issues compartmentalised- climate disaster on the environmental pages, electronic gadgets on the lifestyle pages, luxury travel in the travel supplement (and where more apt for a denial break than Dubai?) and economic growth on the business pages. But ads , driven solely by the need to grab attention, have little time for such pleasantries.
We see so many of these juxtapositions in our daily lives that we take them for granted. We need to have them taken out of context to see their dissonance clearly. Art often selects images from the wider world and, by isolating them in a neutral gallery space, creates new meaning and interpretations. If I was an installation artist, I would see this as a very rich seam of inspiration.
PLEASE SEND ME YOUR OWN IMAGES OF BIZARRE JUXTAPOSITIONS TO GEORGE (-AT-) COINET>ORG>UK WHEN I HAVE A GOOD SET I WILL POST UP A NEW ITEM