Sunday, November 06, 2005

Old Silent Protest

Silent Protest
jamjam23 2003

Well I met Bill at an art event in Manchester. He was apparently about to do a runner so unalcoholed was he. Just before 5 he took down his wall framed pinklin burn poster explaining the whys and wherefores of silent protest together with his green baise mounted cards. The free wine and beer was all drunk people began to leave then without notice Bill walks back in grabs a bottle of water and departs out of the back. People began shifting away half trying to see what if anything was going to happen. Then at ten past six the lights went off and on and we assumed that was our call. Looking up I noticed it was bill. i then began to wonder if anyone actualy knew who bill was. My friend kept on asking me who he was, i said the old guy going bald a bit with a ruck sack. Apparently there were loads of people like that but I was keeping quiet, say he heard me and he thought I was a KLF fan.
At about 6.23 (this is an ex jamm) Bill reemerged with 5 large frames and placed them inward facing towards the wall. He then brought out a sturdy grey table and placed it next to me, seconds later he re-emerged with foolscap folders one entitled WALKS, with the folders placed down he bagan to manoever the table, further and further away from me. Then without hesitation he leaped onto his table shouting "shut up", and then commenced his talk, which started off with his realisation that he was the same age and probably had lots in common with tony blair, well culturaly possibly, he then digressed with his musings about paintings with a word a day. He leapt of his table and retreived a painting that simply said SILENCE in white on black with a yellow underline. He said from this dawned the idea for the silent protest cards. 54 unique cards with a slogan a day to keep the chatter away. He diverted his converstation to explain how easy it is to have ideas formulating around ideas when the original is not complete. He then ran to retreive his next painting which was black on white with the words THOU SHALT NOT KILL and how he felt this related to the bible and the number for loads in the bible is generally 40 (40 days and nights etc) so as he is a pot of paint graffiti man he would paint 40x40 of these messages in a pattern in a 40x40 grid 1600 times. He admitted he had not thought this through but the end result would be planting the painting on the gates of downing street sometime near november 17.
He briefly mentioned a project of walks based around super imposing the words SILENT PROTEST onto a map of london he confessed he was only up to E and was going to be doing the N tomorrow (24 jan).

He then returned to his main topic of the playing cards and showed a film he had made with Gimpo and John Hirst which was basically a close up of all the cards, there were some laughs at the rude ones and then we were done.
He cleared the tables and proceeded to sell his six quid cards. He was kind enough to give me the display case and also sign my blank card, it simply says "you are a twat and you smell love Bill x" (this was my request as I think he was begining to regret starting signing cards).
He could not answer my question as to why he did not have the playing card numbers on.

Some of the other works in the exhibition were also quite interesting, there were some striking images of middle american signs warmongering against saddam and ossama, A series of clocks with background designs and each series of clock telling the time in Bagdad New york london etc.
But to be perfectly frank there was not a lot. I guess I like Bills stuff because I am a fan of his art and particularily as it was anti any war weather that be in your bedroom nation or boardroom.
Remember silence is golden.

Silent Protest cards at a cost of 6uk pounds are available from don't expect a reply he is probably
already plotting his next move, try instead

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