The Null Device

Blacksmoke 5-11

Jimmy Cauty's follow-up to his Queen-in-a-gas-mask postage stamp: images of Big Ben exploding like the World Trade Center, labelled "5-11" after the date of Guy Fawkes' Day. The images have triggered widespread public outrage on behalf of 9/11 victims:
Gareth Glover, who helped set up the Robert Eaton Memorial Fund, told the Brighton Argus newspaper: "The images are very cheap and highly insensitive. In my opinion they should be treated with the contempt they deserve."

Cauty's defense is that the images are Tackling Uncomfortable Issues.

Mr Cauty said: "Any uncomfortable reaction to this new artwork may reflect the proximity of the subject. If Blacksmoke 5-11 depicted the government buildings in Baghdad or Kabul, would we pay attention? The war on terrorism starts here."

I wonder what the outraged citizens make of all those computer-generated animations of Big Ben blowing up that were all the rage in action films some years earlier.

(A word of advice to Mr. Cauty: if you wish to avoid public outrage, spraypaint your art pseudonymously on a wall. Nobody expects Banksy to steer away from subject matter verging on the obnoxious (i.e., his stencil of Auschwitz victims wearing lipstick). Come to think of it, could Banksy and Jimmy Cauty be one and the same? The Queen-in-a-gas-mask piece did look somewhat Banksyesque.)

There are 2 comments on "Blacksmoke 5-11":

Posted by: Mathias http:// Tue Nov 18 16:35:07 2003

I saw the 5-11 posters in Lewes, E. Sussex on bonfire night and they certainly made me laugh - as they did to everyone else we saw. And as for Banksy's "Auschwitz" victims, the text he used to accompany it (http://www.banksy.co.uk/manifesto-3.html) explains the whys and wherefores perfectly. Also, rather ironically, on the subject of Banksy and psuedonymous spray painting: http://www.banksy.co.uk/

Posted by: billy http:// Wed Nov 19 16:16:39 2003

9/11 is my birthday.

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