Paris68 Redux by Michael Collins

Paris68 Redux is a collaboration between artists Michael Collins and Dominic McGill. The work is a part of an exhibition “50 Years of Protest Posters in England” curated by Clive Russell and John Phillips.

The works in the APTART showare collaborative from the outset but it didn’t take long before our work started to combine with others.

The first time this happened was in Berlin early 2018, after a two day pasting marathon attacking the opening of a new Google hub in Kreuzberg. Afterwards we found our work was adopted by the Fuck Google protests without us ever meeting anyone. Google did Fuck off eventually. Good start.

We made hundreds of anti Brexit posters many of which were turned into placards and handed out on marches… sadly not so successful. Likewise the anti-Trump posters and placards.

The biggest impact on the way we work happened when we were invited to be part of the Disruption Bureau at Glastonbury in 2019 and we started collaborating with Extinction Rebellion (XR). The posters on show are all from after this time.

In October 2019 we set up shop in a Brixton Railway arch which quickly became known as Krusty’s Cave. Here we screen printed background images and people came in to stencil their messaging, and further images, before pasting them up on the streets as the rebellion progressed.

This workshop process has grown continually over the years and now involves hundreds of backgrounds and stencils. We ran a workshop during the recent David Graeber memorial at Rowley Way, loads of residents attended.

The posters on display Rowley way (next page).

MSC shark killers is in conjunction with Ocean Rebellion, the gory shark fin image is courtesy of photographer Jeff Rotman. Somehow this poster and two others found themselves plastered on the window of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

‘Don’t touch my bottom’ is another Ocean Rebellion poster, a collaboration between Paris68Redux (Dominic and Myself) and Clive Russell.

As well as appearing at MSC these three have been widely seen at COP26 in Glasgow and the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon. The shoals of dead fish have been extensively used as workshop backgrounds.

‘For every new billionaire’ was first made for use in the aborted September 22 rebellion and was also heavily pasted on the outreach buses that toured the country.

The Binary background was used for the workshop run at the opening of David Graeber Memorial in October which will hopefully become a regular event.

The next poster is the only one on display which uses an image from the Atelier Populaire. ‘Retour a la normale’ is one of the images we have returned to many times. In this instance it is used, overlaid with David Graeber’s categories of ‘Bullshit jobs’.

It was made after a suggestion from Clare Farrell that people might want to make  posters for the Carnival in Portobello road in October 2021 celebrating David’s life. I hope he would have liked it.

‘Spare a little greed’ is a line from ‘Fortress / Deerpark ‘ by ‘The Fall’. We’ve used this text In many ways, not least in a collaboration with Heath Kane laid over his ‘rich enough to be batman’ Queen Elizabeth.

We’ve employed images of overloaded shopping trolleys and overloaded shoppers  many times but the shoal of empty trolleys as backgrounds are made from a linocut by Miles Glynn. 

The final image is a Phoenix, nicked from Phoenix safes’. We first used it as a stencil, it took six hours to cut, after that we made a screen.

We still use the stencil in workshops but also offer the screen printed version for overprinting. The one on show was made for XR in 2020 with a border overlay by Moa Parup and Erik Hartin.

The bold text is a slight paraphrasing from Stefan Hessels ‘ Time for outrage’

We’ve been using this in printed and stencilled form since Krusty’s cave.

We love to steal as much as we love to collaborate, it feels very much part of the Situationist, punk, ethos that has shaped both our lives.

The family that pastes together sticks together.

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