Thursday, December 9, 2010

You Can Be Dead

In the spring of 1983 billboards promoting enrollment in the Marines appeared in Seattle and around the nation. When one of these appeared in Belltown, an opportunity for appropriation presented itself. In this case the face was pealed away and a little spray paint completed the skull's expression and the revised message to confront the promotion of militarism in our culture. In the following day's papers, much to the participants' surprise, there had been two billboards done the previous night.

The second billboard was located on Eastlake Avenue.

The fact that there were two groups altering billboards was never reported in the media, but once again, provocative news travels fast.

A clipping from the Los Angeles Times

A piece from the AP wire a few days later announced that Marine billboards had been altered in Eugene and in Salem. This was sent to me by one of my press contacts.

Four years later, Regina Hackett wrote an article in the Seattle Post Intelligencer on unsanctioned art in Seattle. The article prominently featured the "You Can Be Dead" billboard and maintained the anonymity of the artists.

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