The Public Does Not Exist

Solo exhibition at Phoenix Arts Centre, Leicester
at the invitation of DOT
part of the Arena Festival
November 2008

The Public Does Not Exist consists of a series of slogans. Each slogans pertains to art in some way; some are invented and some are adapted from various sources. 

Each slogan is manifest in multiple ways. Some of the ways in which the slogans were manifest in this incarnation of the work were as follows: printed on large colourful sheets of paper pinned stuck to the wall; printed on the mugs of the cafe; printed on the serviettes of the cafe; painted on the wall; on the clock; on business cards lying around; on the packing labels on cardboard boxes left in the gallery; written on bits of masking tape; as a list pinned to the wall; on colourful stickers. Each of these manifestations contained one or many of the slogans but never all of them.

The philosopher of language, Jean Jacque Lecercle, has theorised how slogans are of the essence of language. Rather than the neutral communication of information between discrete, pre-existent subjects, slogans point to the way in which language positons, persuades and calls forth subjects in situations which not only precede the subject but are also always already marked by conflict and multiplicity. There is a twofold interest for the artist in this. Firstly, the discourses of art deal in slogans rather than simply information. Secondly, it might be fruitful to think of the artworks as analogous to slogans: interventions in a pre-existent antagonistic situation.