In an exciting new project, London-based artist Mark Titchner has been commissioned by Platform for Art to produce 10 huge billboards for the platform exhibition space at Gloucester Road Tube Station.
Titchner’s project explores billboards or hoardings as a traditional site for advertising or campaigning. In making each work he has extracted a single phrase from the corporate vision of each of the world’s top 10 brands, as they were published in a randomly selected week. The statements are utopian, almost evangelical, and propose a model of harmony between mankind, environment, industry and global marketing.
The extracts are combined with the prefix “We Want”, taken from the 10-point plan of an anti-capitalist revolutionary group. Through the addition of these two small words, Titchner has transformed statements that imply good intentions into demands that seem almost threatening.
Each text is embedded in, and almost overpowered by, a highly stylised background that references the style of trade-union banners, as well as the designs of William Morris. Titchner has maintained an interest in these sources particularly because of the relationship they have with traditional craft and the labour movement.
Other important references within the works include baroque religious art as well as psychedelic posters, whilst further unmistakable connotations, whether religious, political or corporate, lie in the use of the 10 specific demands or commands. The combination of this complex set of references offers a kind of secular spiritual aesthetic. The result is a delicious overload of style, colour and meaning, working simultaneously in conflict and in harmony.