Rosler’s poetic and humorous interrogation of her subject matter inspired me to develop my Etching from Unit 10 further. I wanted to incorporate text into the images, with descriptions of the subject matter at hand. I had been using photographic polymer plate to etch my previous work, but as I now wanted to work back into my image, I chose to use a zinc plate with a photographic finish on it. Unfortunately it was too difficult to wrk back into the plate, as the original image would be ruined. My next option would be to use a second plate and overlay it, to use the dry point method of etching, or letterpress over the top of the image instead. This piece of work is ongoing.


Martha Rosler is an American artist. She works in video, photo-text, installation, and performance, as well as writing about art and culture. Rosler’s work is centered on everyday life and the public sphere, often with an eye to women’s experience. Recurrent concerns are the media and war as well as architecture and the built environment, from housing and homelessness to systems of transport. Her work and writing have been widely influential.

Rosler’s, “The Bowery in two inadequate descriptive systems” (1974-5) contextualizes the artists’ significant engagement with the area. The work offers a poetic, humorous, even elegaic interrogation of the concept of the Bowery as urban blight. Refusing the style of documentary or journalistic portraiture often used to personify poverty through the degraded human subject, Rosler concentrates instead on the evidence of an absence: empty liquor bottles and assorted detritus that suggest alcohol infused vagrancy and mark the passage of time. Juxtaposing these images are lists of synonyms for drunkenness or drunks.

Inspired by Clunie Reid, Barbara Kruger and Jamie Reid, I wanted to take my screen prints one step further. Using my collage images and my text and language ides, I created a series of four prints. Each print was printed onto metallic card, in which when looked at you can see your own reflection, as if you are almost part of the image. The text that overlays the collage images, are phrases either taken from my book, ‘The Rest Of Easter Plans’, my short film, ‘Transgressions’ or drunk conversations I have overheard. Ideally I wish to display these prints in a style similar to Clunie Reid, as I feel there is something quite humourous about them.

Clunie Reid uses the same approach as Barbara Kruger and Jamie Reid in that she uses the whole of the mass media only to regurgitate it, in a macerated and comically bilious style. Her work distills the very essence of pop consciousness. Using the photographic image as both her subject and media, Reid takes pictures of advertisements, newspapers, magazines, TV, and the internet, things she finds on the street, things in her studio; she even re-photographs her photos. She makes collages and drawings on them, scrawls absurd logos, spontaneous retorts to the camera’s neatly packaged imagery. And then she re-photographs them again.

When asked about her piece ‘Take No Photographs, Leave Only Ripples’, Reid stated that “The images are not enclosed thematically, they were chosen because of how they can be played off each other. I’m interested in advertising, the way in which images of bodies and objects have a relationship to the way our view of the world is constructed. By vulgarising this imagery, my work explores the hidden mechanics of image construction, highlighting things which are implicit in media.” Her work ‘She Gets Even Happier’ presents dozens of photographs, drawings, and collages on roughly cut foam-board, each humorously hung with a wire, a cartoon lingo for ‘picture’.

“I wanted to find a way to present photo images on that kind of scale, their multiplicity could also be something bigger, operate more ambitiously, be more monumental. It also allows me to go beyond the photo, to write, scrawl beyond the image, to play with something that’s a bit more autographic or direct – a bit like graffiti or vandalism.” Her consumed images are re-ordered, re-authored, and personalised, subsumed into a warped constructed identity.

Reid’s ransom note style of text, and cut and paste images, and owing to the fact that the Punk era was the ‘golden age’ of zines, I was inspired to create a Zine of my own. The idea behind it was to define the meaning of ‘Transgressions’ and anti-social behaviour, which was of course a main part of the Punk scene. The images used in the Zine are that of my own, and also found images, that I have deconstructed to create someing new, and I hope exciting. The text used in it has been cut up and placed sporadically over the page with an anarchaic intention in mind. I created the Zine in black and white, as was the style at the time, as it’s easy to make numerous copies just by photocopying the pages and simply stapling together.

Jamie Reid is a British artist and anarchist with connections to the Situationists. His work, featuring letters cut from newspaper headlines in the style of a ransom note, came close to defining the image of punk rock, particularly in the UK. His best known works include the Sex Pistols album ‘Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols’ and the singles “Anarchy in the UK”, “God Save The Queen” (based on a Cecil Beaton photograph of Queen Elizabeth II, with an added safety pin through her nose and swastikas in her eyes), “Pretty Vacant” and “Holidays in the Sun”. Reid created the ransom-note look used with the Sex Pistols graphics while he was designing Suburban Press, a radical political magazine he ran for five years. The fractured imagery used, is inherent to the ‘tear it up and start all over again’ ethos, which demonstrates  both deconstruction and reconstruction. This era had the do-it-yourself aesthetic and was also classified as the ‘golden age of zines’.

In the run up to the Jubilee in 1977, Reid transgressed accepted codes by displaying a torn up Union Jack held together with ‘bureaucratic, yet patriotically named’ bulldog clips, for the Sex Pistols single ‘Anarchy in the UK’, deconstructing ideoligical subject matter.

Inspired by Kruger’s work, I wanted to create a body of work that made a bold statement, ecorporating both image and text. I decided to use Screen Printing as the method to undertake this project, as the images would could be quickly reproduced and to a high quality standard.

Barbara Kruger is an American conceptual artist. Much of her work consists of black and white photographs overlaid with declarative captions in white-on-red Futura Bold Oblique or Helvetica Ultra Condensed. Much of Kruger’s work engages the merging of found photographs from existing sources with pithy and aggressive text that involves the viewer in the struggle for power and control that her captions speak to. In their trademark white letters against a slash of red background, some of her instantly recognizable slogans read “I shop therefore I am,” and “Your body is a battleground.” Much of her text questions the viewer about feminism, consumerism, and individual autonomy and desire, although her black-and-white images are culled from the mainstream magazines that sell the very ideas she is disputing. Kruger stated that “I work with pictures and words because they have the ability to determine who we are and who we aren’t.” Kruger’s style of displaying her work has not always conformed to the conventional. As well as appearing in museums and galleries worldwide, Kruger’s work has appeared on billboards, buscards, posters, a public park, a train station platform in Strasbourg, France, and in other public places.

Following this research I began to experiment with making collages of my own, with images I had taken over the course of the year. I had wanted to move away from just presenting my images in the same way, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.

During the research I did for exploring type and language, I began to research the Punk Era and the artisits that had a big imact on it. I also looked at the instant art during this period, such as posters and flyers. During 1977 and 1985, a collection of frenetic flyers and posters were created for the Punk scene, especially in America. Many were created by the musicians themselves and demonstrate the emphasis within the punk scene on individuality and the manic urge of its members to create things new. Images were compiled out of whatever material could be found, often photocopied and stapled to the nearest telephone pole to warn the world about next week’s gig.