Please see below a recap of the pro-EU / anti-Brexit campaign in the form of a mail, which kept growing longer and longer as I was writing it, to Cornelia Parker, who sent me the attached photograph:
Thank you so much for the photo taken on referendum day in Chichester. It means a lot to me that our posters made it to outside London. It was an uphill struggle, Annett Kottek at my London studio literally wrote to fifty different student unions and just got three replies. One regional Labour Party office requested posters and said they would forward our email to relevant people but we never heard back. Charities and faith groups, like the Quakers, liked them a lot but said, because of their charitable status, they were not allowed to express a political opinion. The same went for many of the arts organisations and colleges we wrote to. However a good number of them across the country didn’t seem to be troubled by this and displayed and distributed the posters vigorously. Respect to you! There were many individuals who adopted poster tubes and distributed them. Volunteers Chester Kottek and John Cronin made endless runs to the post office mailing tubes. Martinspeed, the art shippers, did a great job storing the 21 industrial size pallets of poster tubes, and delivering them to Sebastian Street one by one, all free of charge.
The self-print and social media parts of the campaign were the most visible, but I’m glad I insisted on having old fashioned A1 posters. Thanks to the financial help of Evelyn Stern, David Chipperfield and Ruth and Richard Rogers we printed 25000 of them. Daniel Mason of Something Else Press handled the logistics of this printing job in London.
After having designed the first 25 online posters, released 23rd April, Paul Hutchinson and myself at the Berlin studio tirelessly kept texting and designing new and adapting existing posters, including specialised versions for different target groups. Also at the Berlin studio Armin Gerold Lorenz doubled up as website manager and together with Evelyn Marwehe as organisers of the numerous press requests. Freelance editor Graham Fallowes was available online to instantly copy-edit any new statements and poster texts.
In the run up to the 7th June registration deadline I realized the potential of T-shirts, which we then hastily produced thanks to Merch and Destroy. These then went to various famous people or people who know them, with mixed results – many did not respond, others did. Juergen Teller’s photo of Vivienne Westwood went viral, and so did the one of ‘James Bond’ on the last day of the campaign. David Cameron re-tweeted it two hours after I posted it on my Instagram account.
In the last ten days of the campaign a larger print run of T-shirts made in London were distributed around art galleries and book shops as well as through Lily Cole’s site impossible.com. i-D magazine and Dazed Digital held drop in online shoots with the shirts and the Boiler Room DJ site got strongly behind the cause.
Always in the good hands of Eugen Ivan Bergmann at the Between Bridges space in Berlin, we held events around Brexit and related subjects, the refugee crisis and the rise of populism and right wing extremism across Europe.
Needless to say almost all involved have a ‘migrant status’, are ‘immigrants' of some sort: three British living in Germany, two Germans living in London, a German born to an Irish father, an Austrian in Berlin, a Kazach born German and so on.
Also a big thank you to all at the studio who were working on my other projects and who found time to contribute greatly, through feedback and advice and by keeping a good spirit in the midst of the madness.
To all who consider getting involved in activism, I can only encourage you to do so. It was a great and rewarding experience, despite not reaching our goal. It brings people from different backgrounds together in unexpected and friendly ways and creates friendships that hopefully will last. For myself I plan to take this further and to other places as right wing populism and extremism will be with us for some time to come. Please get in touch if you would like to contribute in whatever way in the future. I was not the only artist generating messages and imagery: In the light of the dull official IN campaign it was great to see that artists can have a different and often more direct voice. Check out the eu-uk.info website.
My heartfelt thanks and respect to all supporters!
Below is the new Between Bridges programme which promises to be a strong series of events before the summer break. Please come by daytime, or on Thursday evenings and other dates advertised below.
Please visit the archive section tillmans.co.uk/campaign-eu to see and download all parts of the campaign.
Wolfgang Tillmans, ¿dónde estamos?, 2016
Sonora128, Mexico City, 1 Mar – 31 May , 2016
Wolfgang Tillmans, House of Art of České Budějovice, Budweis, Czech Republic, 24 Nov - 28 Dec 2015
Various - Ostgut Ton | Zehn, 3xCD, compilation, 2015, cover artwork by Wolfgang Tillmans
PCR, David Zwirner, September - October 2015, New York, USA
This exhibition in the context of QueerFest in St. Petersburg was closed by the police and is now looking for an alternative space.
QueerFest is a unique human rights event. It was invented and implemented in order to create in the city places for a dialogue between the various parts of society in order to develop tolerance to the invisible and stigmatized groups. To fight against homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and xenophobia in general, festival chooses a language understandable to everyone - the language of culture, art and beauty.
i-D Magazine, the activist issue, no. 336, 2015
Spex, no. 361, Fade To Mind, 2015
Lignine Duress, Galerie Chantal Crousel, 18 Apr - 23 May 2015
Abstract Pictures (Collector's Edition), Hatje Cantz, 2011
Book for Architects, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 26 Jan - 05 Jul 2015
(Mis)Understanding Photography - Werke und Manifeste, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany, 14 Jun - 17 Aug 2014
Manifesta 10, The European Biennale of Contemporary Art, St. Petersburg, Russia, 28 Jun - 31 Oct 2014
artist book in a series of subscription books published by TBW Books, Oakland, California
Patrick Caulfield (1936 – 2005)
09.01.14 - 08.03.14
Between Bridges Keithstr 15, 10787 Berlin www.betweenbridges.net
Online Katalog, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (Deutsch) mit dem Text von Tom Holert, Das Unvorhergesehene
Wolfgang Tillmans "Kepler Venice tables – Edition für die Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen”
Kunst nach 45, Sammlungspräsentation / Collection display, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau München, 2013
detailed documentation PDF download
Wolfgang Tillmans: Abstract Pictures (2011)
Texts by Dominic Eichler, Wolfgang Tillmans
Hardcover: 384 pages,
Publisher: Hatje Cantz
Language: English, Deutsch
Jochen Klein (2011)
Hardcover: 432 pages
British Art Show 7, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, 23 Oct 2010 - 9 Jan 2011