Invertising: The Revolutionary Art of Slogan SubversionJuxtapoz // Friday, 02 Dec 2011
One of the primary roles of a nascent revolutionary movement is to co-opt, subvert and counter the propaganda of the existing cultural hegemony, to smash the mores of acceptable discourse and communicate revolutionary sentiment in a striking and coherent manner. There is no form of communication more pervasive, insidious and stupefying in modern society than advertising. Look around this page: you are constantly inundated with advertisements for various products and brands, reminded subliminally of your consumerist responsibilities, made to feel less than, incomplete, and in need of some kind of material palliative only a major corporation can provide.
One simple way to strike back at this pernicious, perpetual assault is to appropriate these slogans for revolutionary sentiments. As pithy, brutal, crude, or delicate as you like it; each subtle or revolutionary re-imagining of an ubiquitous slogan is a reclamation of language, a refutation of the crass mass marketing which plagues the modern human eyeball.
Adbusters, some of the earliest perpetuators of the Occupy Wall Street global phenomenon, have built an anti-Empire on this basic formula. The imagery of Occupy Wall Street– its tents, signs, chants, masks, actions– is theater, art, propaganda, protest. Even if you don't feel comfortable pitching a tent in your local Wells Fargo or joining thousands to block a major port, there are other ways to join the growing movement against the commodification of humanity.
Below are some examples of propagandic reclamation of advertising slogans. This is by no means the first time this has been done, nor do I claim to be the pithiest practitioner of this art. I merely seek to accelerate the process until every insipid slogan is reinvented or rendered meaningless and this sick system of slavery and destruction is replaced by one uplifting to the human spirit and the world at large.
Note: I do not condone the breaking of any precious laws! If someone were to wheat-paste, scrawl, stencil or roll these or similar slogans all over property, private or public, I disavow any knowledge of such actions and promise to sigh wearily as another idiotic advert or blightful bank building is defaced. Kids these days.