Spelling Mistakes Cost Lives
Special Patrol Group
East London Strippers Collective
Rocco und Seine Brüder
Black Sex Worker Collective
Berlin Strippers Collective
Berlin Buster’s Social Club
The exhibition WERBEPAUSE – The Art of Subvertising marks a gathering of contemporary subvertising artists at Kunstraum Kreuzberg: a motley crew of artists operating between post- situationism, activist-art, parafiction, institutional critique, institutional liberation, hacker culture, public art, direct action and the countercultural public sphere.
Subvertising, or adbusting, is any form of action that subverts advertising. It attempts to intervene in the visual landscape (Richard Gilman-Opalsky) in order to undo the capitalocentric (J.K. Gibson Graham) hegemony that dominates public space.
Subvertising is the art of rewriting a language using its own grammar to create spaces of possibility. By occupying an advertising space, subvertising uses multiple strategies – heartfelt critique; knowing satire; over-enthusiastic impersonation; and uncanny disjunction – to destabilise the function of the marketing culture that dominates our lives. It creates something false to tell us something true, forcing us to reflect on the social status of ‘truth’ today. The re-appropriation of public space is experienced as a moment of freedom.
The aim of the exhibition is to make visible the diversity, contexts and history of contemporary subvertising. The show exhibits equally the interlinked aesthetic practices and social actions of its participating artists.
The exhibition is about raising questions: what are the potentials and limits of a ‘counter-public’ art? How are struggles over the so-called ‘public sphere’ embodied in public art? How many ways are there to out-design authority? Can solidarity travel through a billboard? How are strategies of visual activism renewed across generations? Or, more simply: what keys do you need to open the advertising cabinets of our cities?