Cheeky Monkey

I’ve been cutting things out of newspapers and magazines for some decades. When my friend Seamus insisted that I create some space in his attic by removing several bags of hoarded mags, boxes of scripts and piles of books that you should never throw away although they are crap and you haven’t thought about them once in twelve years, I also unearthed a mighty box containing cuttings dating from 1963. ”What a delightfully lazy way to enliven the blog!” I mused.


Here’s one from The Guardian in 1992:
BROKEN BARREL OF LAUGHS
Pistols are pulled in an East London churchyard, posters have gone up announcing an open day for killing. What on earth is going on? Art of course. Patrick Wright reports.
A few days ago, a poster appeared in East London’s Brick Lane proclaiming a “Day of Killing” to be held once a year or whenever “the population level become dangerously high”. The event would be open to anyone able to hold a gun, and those with disabilities would be permitted to kill by proxy, so long as they had completed the appropriate form and submitted it one week in advance. Participants could kill anyone they wanted within the 24 hour period but revenge killings after the allotted time were strictly forbidden. It was against the rules merely to wound or cripple, and participants would be expected to pay for such damage as they might inflict on property.


This poster, which had been already scribbled over with the words “crackpot’ and “dickhead”, gave no indication of its origin. Yet any passer-by who failed to recognise the presence of Art only had to keep walking down Brick Lane to find the words “The Day of Killing” repeated in a more revealing context: beneath a large black replica of a Beretta pistol mounted on a wall of Truman’s Brewery, currently housing the temporary headquarters of Edge 92, an “International Biennale of Innovative Visual Art” mounted jointly in London and Madrid, and promising an “artists’ vision of the new Europe”.


The “Day of Killing” is the contribution of David Cerny, a 24-year-old Czech artist who likes to work in “strong political and social contexts”.

14.08.2007