Biily Childish Art Hate poster showing bodies lying in front of a building with a chimney. The building could possibly be Auschwitz. The sheet is distressed, to reinforce how much art is hated, with the hangman’s symbol with a swastika and ‘Art Hate Archive, Facsimile’ stamp to lower middle margin with the number 091423’. Signed in pencil with a cross.
Sheet size 43 x 34cm (17 x 13 inches)
Purchased in 2012 at the Art Boot Fair.
The ‘Hate Art’ posters, although the idea was originally by Billy Childish, the posters were designed by a team effort in their production by Childish, Steve Lowe and Adam Wood, and all at L-13 Studios.-See Below:
The genesis of ART HATE came from Billy Childish. In 2008 he formed the British Art Resistance (BAR): a proto-Dada non-group (no one could join it) that involved him designing a series of text based posters, flyers and sign-painted placards; a collection of letters from significant figures in the art world apologising to him for a variety of misdemeanours; and a number of Son of Art actions where he donned a bright yellow suit (referencing the troublesome character Nagel from Knut Hamsun’s novel Mysteries) and handed out the BAR Son of Art information sheets. One of the posters Billy made for this said ART WAR with his hangman gallows symbol between the two words. He then asked me to remake the symbol so it was hanging a swastika, showing me footage he’d found from the Warsaw uprising where someone was daubing the hung swastika as anti-Nazi graffiti on a wall in the ghetto. With this new symbol (that we re-imagined as meaning death to the “dominator culture”) we made a new poster that read ART HATE.
The following week Billy came into L-13 with an idea, promising “you’re going to like this”. He proposed we put ‘National’ at the top of the poster and ‘Week’ at the bottom, and suggested we have a week where we made a stand against the growing popularity of art and encouraged people to hate it instead. Thinking this to be a grand idea I suggested some actual dates for National ART HATE Week and proposed we make more propaganda posters to promote events for such occasion. So, with the bit between our teeth and in no time at all we had a full rostrum of posters for protests and events along with general ART HATE propaganda. The events ranged from a Mass Rally outside the ICA, to morning and evening ‘Art Hates’ at Tate Modern (based on Orwell’s ‘two minute hates’ from 1984), a Children’s ART HATE Workshop (suggested by Neal Brown) and a Women’s Protest Camp on the Thames (North shore).
Most of these were designed by Billy, me and Adam Wood (with me and Adam in charge of production, perfecting the aging and distressing technique we’d been developing for some time), but we also asked Jamie Reid and Jimmy Cauty to contribute. We even made a 7” single of the ART HATE Anthem with Jimmy’s mash up of the Sex Pistols God Save the Queen, Billy’s vocals and with Jamie’s design on the cover, and put everything out into the world on a specially made website.
At no point during this preparation did we think any of these events would actually happen. For us it was all play in an alternative reality. In the past we’d created a candidate for Mayor of London (THE ASSISTANT for Mayor, 2007) and run a fake postal (dis)service (The Cautese Nationál Postal Disservice (CNPD)) using similar tactics, so we were a bit surprised when people started asking how they could join the ART HATE movement and take part in events. To counteract this we stated that ART HATE was a non-organisation like BAR before it, that no one could join, the events were propositions for someone else to organise and that the founders of ART HATE would not lower themselves to be involved in such mundane matters. Following on from this we formed the Central Committee of ART HATE Artists and then agreed on authorial anonymity for all designs and artworks made. We also started to play more with the problematic nature of using the swastika in conjunction with aged 1930’s style posters and the inevitable confusions caused.
So, following National ART HATE Week (2009), World ART HATE Day (2010), the formation of the Anti ART HATE League (2010), an ART HATE exhibition on Cork Street (2011) and the publication of a book Love the ART HATE (L-13 Press, 2011), we disbanded the CCAHA and formed the Militant ART HATE Tendency (MAHT) (2011) to develop a more militant tendency and abandon the lightweight satirical elements that people seemed to like the most. For us ART HATE had to be difficult, worrisome and confusing. Not something that could be easily laughed off at a polite dinner party. The humour was still important but it had to go deep and dark.
Quote from ‘Steve Lowe’ ‘L-13 Light Industrial Workshop’