New York-based artist Jon Burgerman has been going head-to-head with some of the subway system’s most violent subway posters, and losing. In his ongoing series, which he describes as “interventions staged in public against the backdrop of advertising panels” he aims to show how much violence is around us down there… or something.
He told Yahoo Movies that “with each reoccurring high-profile tragedy in the US involving shootings, I find myself being evermore paranoid and vigilant when I leave my apartment… I’ve noticed there are some very obvious threats right under our noses, in plain view, for everyone to see. Who are these people aiming at?”
We’ve reached out to Jon to find out if he’ll follow this up with a series showing him breaking up those insufferable rom-com couples—they really throw it in your face as you’re walking to the platform, alone, to go home, where you’ll sit, alone… Something must be done!
UPDATE: Burgerman tells us, “Where possible I will continue—the project is part of an on-going part of my practice of what I call a ‘quiet intervention’, where subtle, often cheap, non-permanent actions drastically (and sometimes comically) alter the reading of a signifier, object or situation. It’s my belief that through these playful, creative acts, Art can act as an agent to change the world, by being the catalysis to allow people to change their worlds in really simple ways. The goal with head shots was just to make people look again at and re-evaluate the type of imagery we have no choice of avoiding in our public spaces.”
Interestingly, he tells us that a national newspaper in the UK (where he’s from) said they couldn’t print the images as they were too violent, “yet it seems completely acceptable to promote and aggrandize acts of violence on a large scale to an unwitting public. What messages are we promoting when much exalted and celebrated celebrities and ‘heroes’ are publicly shown brandishing weapons who’s prime function is to either injure or kill?”