Posts Tagged ‘kennardphillips’

Brandalism by kennardphillipps

Two of the contemporary artists I really respect and have found inspiration from are the collective known as  kennardphillipps.

The link shows their work on subverting well known brands and advertising hoardings – Brandalism!


“capitalism” – newspeak/double talk for neo feudalism. there is no free market..

I recently wrote an essay with a chapter that dealt with the subject of neo-feudalism, commodity fetishism and the mass schizophrenia / cognitive dissonance found in advanced western society. And how my selected artists dealt with this.

neo feudal pyramid

neo feudal pyramid

In 1958, Harvard social commentator John K. Galbraith (b. Canada 1908 – 2006), wrote The Affluent Society. He was one of the first authors to use the term neo-feudalism.

It challenged traditional attitudes towards western economics, and for that it was hated and shunned by wealthy conservatives. (Johnson G., May 2010, Huffington Post).

Briefly, neo-feudalism is; “a concept in which political policies are designed to systematically increase the wealth gap between rich and poor, simultaneously increasing the power of the rich over the poor.” (Johnson, 2010)

Those policies can be seen today by the fact that earned income is taxed at a higher rate than unearned income, and the reduction of inheritance tax and higher rate tax. Other examples are difficult to measure but no less visible, such as white-collar, financial criminals receiving a slap on the wrist, while the poor proletariat feel the full force of law.

Western political leaders such as Tony Blair, have taken their countries to wars, for example in Iraq, on the premise of threats from weapons of mass destruction that have been uncovered as completely false and were used to enforce regime change in foreign lands and take resources such as oil and gas fields by force and these political leaders have escaped any punishment or reprimand.

Tony Blair has gone on to amass great personal wealth and his business interests around the world are booming (Mendick R., The Telegraph, 4th January, 2013).

The advanced capitalist culture is a system with two sets of rules, one for the very rich; another one for the rest of us, and that is the definition of neo-feudalism.

The reaction of CBS Outdoor to kennardphillipps’ Photo-Op (2006) demonstrates the power of a foreign corporate sponsor over a British establishment such as the Imperial War Museum (IWM).

It demonstrates the power of a neo-feudal economic pyramid, whose globalist economic policies and ideologies have lead to a form of cognitive dissonance effecting modern western culture. Shortly before the show opened, IWM informed the artists that the companies who own the advertising space, CBS Outdoor and JCDecaux, were refusing to allow the IWM to use the artwork in the advertising on any of their sites. (kennardphillipps, New Statesman online, 22 October 2013). As the corporate advertisers own the majority of advertising sites in Manchester – a government report from 2011 cited 50-70 per cent of all British outdoor advertising sites – the IWM were forced to scrap the entire campaign along with lead image Photo-Op (2006) and choose an image more to the corporate sponsors’ liking.

The reason CBS Outdoor gave to the IWM was that; “they will not run anything deemed to be political nor involving explosions on public transport media” (kennardphillipps, 2013).

However, during this period, CBS Outdoor were running an advertising campaign in the London Underground, where all advertising space is licensed to this company, of a poster for Frederick Forsyth’s latest book, Kill List, which blatantly depicts a drone, an unmanned armed aircraft, flying out of a fiery explosion, firing missiles in the viewers’ direction. The image runs with the strapline: “IDENTIFY. LOCATE. DESTROY.”

A plane, excuse the pun, example then of corporate double standards and deliberate deceptiveness.