Saturday, 26 October 2013

Art Language Location - Love O.N.O in Cambridge

Today I spent a day in Cambridge placing my LOVE O.N.O. cards in newsagents windows throughout the city or at least that was my plan. I was armed with cards of course, packed lunch and a map with all the city's news emporiums.

Unused Cards
Of the 12 newsagents I visited 5 let me put up my cards, 5 didn't want any cards in their windows and 2 rejected my art, saying they didn't understand what it was all about. So although it was a fantastic rambling day, dipping in and out of the Art:Language:Location festival I came home with 5 cards (right) in my pocket.

JB Stores, Mill Road, Cambridge
Even though all the cards are being exhibited (and for sale) at Oxfam, 28 Sidney Street I still wanted to make this a live project and place them in real newsagents. All the content was found on genuine dating sites from Cambridge people although I tweaked it a little to add a pinch of spice and humour.

Spice Gate, Mill Road
Each card had a phone number so I'm eager to see if we can get any funny responses from the Cambridge public with a GSOH. My first success after 2 initial rejections was at JB Stores on Mill Road, where 'Work Hard Play Hardy' is now there for a week minimum. Cost £1.

The Truth
Mill Road proved a successful patch and I followed up quickly with 'The Truth' in Spice Gate. With a window of collaged posters they weren't too choosey about my motivations and didn't charge a bean. This meant that the card might just be there for a day or a month, who knows. I did however contribute to their Gaza donation charity box. Cost 60p

 J R Convenience Store, Burleigh Road
Another couple of blanks kept my spirits down until I stumbled across the smallest of newsagents, J R Convenience Store in Burleigh Road. The young girl behind the counter didn't bat an eyelid and 'Geek Needs Love' found a home. She even offered to put it in there for free, but I had to pop a £1 in her Children In Need charity bucket.

Standards In Love
My fourth hit was at Tindalls Art shop who really joined in the spirit of the project and the charming lady behind the counter couldn't help but giggle a little. I didn't get a photo of it in the window because she was so tickled by it she wanted a photocopy for herself. In fact she said the 'Standards In Love' card was SO Cambridge in its content.

Laura Napier -
Amnesia Painting
After some more rejections it was wonderful to see Robert Good and Matthew Wilson at the English Faculty Library, Sidgwick site for a special live creation by Laura Napier. Who sat and obliterated a document with water and brush, changing it into a blurred wash of blue for her performance Amnesia Painting. Perfect time for lunch too, nothing like watching a bit of organised madness whilst chomping on cheese sandwiches. How very British!

Regents News
Regent St
It was tough going after lunch as I made my way back into the streets of Cambridge, past bustling tourists, toffs and Saturday shopping denizens. The newsagents turned me away again and again until I found the kindest of innkeepers to open his stable to my unusual art project.

It's all about priorities
At first Mr Regents News wasn't keen on my card 'Its all about Priorities' but he warmed to me when I produced a smaller example. Yes, he said, that's more like a notecard, it seems he was questioning my authenticity and not my artistic prowess. Blimey, everyone's a Bryan Sewell, we're not a nation of shopkeepers anymore, but art critics nowadays.

You've got a chance to be a critic yourself, in fact you can't avoid it, as Art:Language:Location have their wordplaying thought-provoking artworks placed throughout the city of Cambridge until the 3rd November 2013.

Check out where you can find it here


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