Poster design by David Hand
Print Matters Exhibition
Centrala, 1 – 22 July
Print Matters is a showcase of the political and social power of DIY publishing.
Since the mid twentieth century, radical printshops have been seizing the means of production to spread ideas to the masses. While some of this material would previously have been a challenge to get past censors and editors, the photocopier + print press has made it nearly impossible to destroy all copies of a “dangerous” idea; affordable, accessible printing allowed every reader to become author and publisher.
For Print Matters we’ve selected a group of artists who share essential political ideas using the accessibility of print media. We’re delighted to showcase work by…
BLACK LODGE PRESS
Black Lodge Press is an ongoing print project inspired by queer anti-fascist culture and anarchy. Created by CJ, it comprises posters, graphics and zines espousing radical, direct action. There’s no gentle subtlety here.
“The DIY nature of this art makes it accessible, which is what art should be. “ CJ firmly believes that art shouldn’t just be for the rich: “If it’s not cheap it’s not punk mate!
Birmingham-based artist Foka Wolf hates adverts, so they make their own. The anonymous artist’s work began as a serious of handwritten stickers serving as classified ads for organisations like “ILLUMINATI DEATH CULT”, “ROAD MAN CHAT” and “VOODOO FOR BEGINNERS”, and when they discovered that you could get enough large format prints made to cover a billboard for £25, they moved into full on subvertising. Occupying ad space with huge works that force conversation and poke fun at a host of brands, political parties, and individuals, Foka Wolf makes their prints at home in the post-truth apocalypse.
“People will believe anything if it’s packaged and polished in a certain way. That really worries me.”
Gee Vaucher is an internationally renowned political artist living outside Epping, Essex. She is best known for her radical creativity, montages, and iconic artwork for the infamous anarcho-pacifist band Crass. Employing an eclectic range of styles and techniques, coupled with an essentially DIY aesthetic, she creates powerful images exploring political, cultural, and personal issues. She sees her work as a tool for social change.
DOG SECTION PRESS
Dog Section Press is a not-for-profit publisher and distributor of seditious literature, and a worker-owned cooperative. They aim to keep their own publications affordable and distribute books and pamphlets that are inexpensive. Their books and pamphlets are printed with Calverts, a worker-owned co-operative based in east London. They produce DOPE Magazine, a quarterly newspaper which is distributed to anyone who could use a little solidarity, to sell on the street. Working with a network of radical bookshops, social centres, homeless organisations, and independent volunteers, they currently distribute 30,000 copies each issue. This is worth around £90,000 to their street-vendors – or almost £400,000 annually. DOPE is also free to prisoners, who can request copies via Haven Distribution.
La Linterna (The Lantern) is a letterpress printing workshop based in Cali, Colombia, which was established in 1934. It is dedicated to artisan printing of posters using linoleum engraving and the use of movable types. Each poster is an authentic work of art that represents the craft of printing and handcrafter engraving. La Linterna printed the works on display in collaboration with Dog Section Press. They are produced in the tradition of radical street propaganda, to be displayed in public spaces; their messages are as important today as ever.
Lucy McLauchlan paints walls, water towers, lighthouses, car parks, multi-stories, abandoned subway stations…
She will be launching her book of prints created while doing a residency in 2019 at Dial House, a space run by Gee Vaucher and Penny Rimbaud that will be published by Exitstencil Press.
“I was invited to spend couple weeks at Dial House – to look over the edge.
But I couldn’t step close, I was transfixed with where I was right then. Right there. This cottage holds a strength and voice, powered by its guardians. A fortitude solidified by the relations and creations built there and set out into the world.
Time & space is a rare gift. To simply be. Sheltered under the trees, a heavy duvet and tin pan. Only chores to hose yourself down once in a while, remember to eat, turn in when the light starts to fade. A chance to take a step closer.”