Wolfgang Tillmans, Vivienne Westwood, Peter Kennard, and more contribute to Dazed’s art project that will raise funds for NHS trust Barts Charity
We’re living through unprecedented times – the current, very unusual alteration to the way we live life right now calls for solidarity, togetherness, and communication. So on Dazed, we’ve created the #AloneTogether community. Across the days, weeks, or months of the coronavirus pandemic and concurrent isolation measures, we’re connecting with our audience to offer URL experiences, art, and advice made with you and talent from across music, fashion, art, tech, and politics. We may be alone, but we are together.
It’s an unusual feeling, isn’t it? The news drifts on and on, infinite scrolls of mass panic, information everywhere and simultaneously hard to find. We’re sharing vivid dreams in our sleep, perhaps struggling to imagine the future while we’re awake. We don’t know when this will end, but in these strange and uncertain times, one thing that we have clarity on is that things will never be the same again.
How things will change we don’t know yet, but artists have always led the way when it comes to pulling back the curtain and seeing into the future. During this moment of stasis and sadness, upheaval and unity, we felt it important to call on our community of artists, musicians, and designers to create artworks that inspire and imagine the possibility of new worlds, explore humanity in the present climate, and demonstrate the power of art as a medium for political message.
33 artists have contributed work to this project that’s being launched as part of Dazed’s #AloneTogether campaign, including Wolfgang Tillmans, Vivienne Westwood, 3D, Katharine Hamnett, Samuel Ross, Jefferson Hack, and Polly Nor. The result is a heady mix of wonderful design and thought, with each artist approaching the project in their own way – with the imaginations ranging from the future of the press, to personal growth, friendship, and consumption. Each artist was given a rough brief, including slogans to be treated as guidelines rather than commands, each responded in their own way. The title of Spiritualized’s 1997 album Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space has been on my mind recently – the message seems timely, a reminder of how small we are and how big everything else is.
We have also partnered with Barts Charity, which supports Barts Health NHS Trust, which has launched an emergency COVID-19 appeal to raise money for NHS staff working on the front line. The majority of the work that’s been published here have donated their signed artworks to a prize draw. For an opportunity to win, you have to donate £10 to Barts Charity – even if you don’t win the prize, your money will have gone to an essential cause. If you do win, you’ll own a limited edition piece of artwork documenting this moment in time.
It is of course surreal that a publicly-funded organisation such as the NHS needs charity donations, but here we are. They need us. I often think about the Ai Weiwei-ism “everything is art, everything is politics”, mainly because I wrestle with whether I think it’s true or not. For now, it seems a fairly robust claim.
Check out our fundraiser Barts Charity here, and donate to be in with a chance of winning poster art from the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Peter Kennard, Wolfgang Tillmans, 3D, Katharine Hamnett, Samuel Ross, and more.
3D: “Home support for the frontline” “A hospital alone shows what war is” – Erich Maria Remarque
BOOT BOYZ BIZ
Boot Boyz Biz: “All societies end up wearing masks” – Jean Baudrillard
Charles Jeffrey: This self-portrait is inspired by Jean-Paul Goude’s collage work and brings to light my inner thinking during this quarantine. Even though I have normalised what has happened slightly and have found having more time to do my work rather enjoyable, it is still a very intense experience. Without knowing when this quarantine will end, your mind does wander to strange places.
Extinction Rebellion: Beauty can emerge from a crisis, if you want it.
Fai Khadra: It felt important to represent nature in the poster – both its beauty and its resilience. I took this photograph on the beach in Malibu, on the night of the pink full moon. It was freezing out, the world completely deserted, and its presence felt eerily powerful.
The collaged figures appear trapped in plastic. Right now, everything feels suspended in time; bound in isolation by the virus. But it’s crucial to remember that our current state is temporary – and that when we emerge, we will realise the power that we hold as a collective. See u soon.
GAIKA: These times I just think about the 80s a lot. Especially Robocop. When we were little kids we used to keep tropical fish. If the tank wasn’t kept clean, and the fish weren’t ALL fed properly, they would die.
George Rouy: My contribution is “I Want To Be”, inspired by the lyrics in Sex Pistols song “Anarchy In The UK”. ‘Cause I want to be anarchy. I feel that removing the ‘Anarchy’ moves away from an anti-establishment idea that resonated with a lot of people at the time. We are currently in a very different place and maybe there is a new word that should be left up to the spectator to decide or as I saw it I just want to Be through ‘Being’.
GmbH: For our contribution we found this sentence in J. Krishnamurti’s text Life Is What Is Happening This Instant that seemed to embody our current state of mind perfectly. Both of us have the last few weeks been very ill, having tested positive for Covid-19, so our experience of this pandemic has been especially visceral. In addition to the NASA image of Earth we included the Nazar / ‘evil eye’ we designed for our Spring Summer 2020 collection, orbiting Earth as a protective satellite.
HANK WILLIS THOMAS
Hank Willis Thomas: It’s the only word on my mind.
Honey Dijon: “From land to sea. From sun to moon. From birds to bees. From nature to man – we are one.”
Ida Ekblad: I based mine on the line ‘I can’t wait to see you another minute’ from the song “That’s us / Wild Combination” by Arthur Russell, which is one of the most ‘alive’ and hopeful songs i can think of.
James Massiah: If it’s possible, it’s permissible.
JAMIE REID AND JACK MILLS
Jamie Reid and Jack Mills: A typographic and editorial exercise. We picked six perspectives on creativity, and connected the cult figures who said them through the laws of the “Six Degrees of Separation”.
JEFFERSON HACK IN COLLABORATION WITH DAVID WISE AT FORTHCOMING STUDIO
Jefferson Hack: The future lies with youth. Never has youth been more important.
Jonas Lindstroem: I thought in these times, more than anything else, we need people to dream. It’s the one thing we can all still do, and we need the right dreams more than anything. For the future, for new ideas, for our world. I still believe in dreams.
Julian Klincewicz: “During this quarantine, I’ve been thinking a lot about moving forwards, about what it means to be an artist, and what it means to be a human. This Nick Drake lyric kept coming to mind: “Are you trying to find new ways, of doing better than your worst.” I guess one thing that has always fascinated me is the idea of Striving... And for me, that’s what “MOVING TOWARDS A RAY OF LIGHT” is all about – this idea of striving. Of moving towards a better self, a better future, better work, a better understanding of life and love and art.”
Katharine Hamnett: If we inform ourselves of the problems and act responsibly now, there will be a future for our children and their descendents. Otherwise not.
Kingsley Ifill: If there’s one thing that we’ve all got in common as humans, it’s that we’re human. The same. Regardless of our beliefs, morals, or whatever. Nobody is right and nobody is wrong. We all believe what we want to believe, and we feel that our truth in the truth. Rightly so, why not? However, outside of this, we are individuals that exist together as a small part of something greater. Just like the title of your project and everyone around the world that’s isolated as I type this, together but alone, Alone Together.
KRIS ANDREW SMALL
Kris Andrew Small: It originally came from something Keith Haring said in his Journals which always stuck with me, he meant you had to make work that came from yourself (inside) and then the outside would take notice. So it means that but it also has a double meaning, we are all confined to our homes at the moment, so the only way our work can get out there is online, we have to ‘get out from the inside’.
Lotte Andersen: The writing is lifted from some type of anarcho-quarantine script I have been working on in isolation, it nods to the landscape and quasi dictatorial language of a demagoguesque influencer. Meme making, wellness, tag line culture, listicles, caption essays. The statements oscillate between rhetorical, jumbled and grandiose, sometimes asserted clearly, from the bedroom. The image was made in a public photo booth in Seoul in April 2019. I interested in these public photography facilities and their role in shared memory.
Margot Bowman: I feel so many things about this moment, truly it’s hard to summarise any of it in the present. One thing I do know is it is an unveiling of the infrastructures that have sat below the surface. Infrastructures of power, of family (chosen or blood), of community, of pleasure – each one somehow pinned together with memories of the past and a mobile phone.
MM Paris: The slogan ‘All United Against the Epidemic’ is written in M/M(Paris)’s signature World of M/M typeface. The colours have been chosen from flags around the world, while the geometric typeface reflects their graphic nature. The use of a personal typeface and drawing are characteristic of M/M’s idiosyncratic style, and here inspires a global message of unification. All elements have been placed upon a photo of a blue sky – something that’s shared by all of humankind – to illustrate transcendence across nations. In this sense, the poster is a visual representation of a united world.
PETER KENNARD AND JAMIE REID
Peter Kennard: Afterwards, another world is possible, where weapons factories permanently convert to making medical equipment and their missiles turned into pots and pans...where clothes factories permanently convert to making PPE (personal protective equipment) for all health and care workers...where workers in food factories, warehouses, care homes, hospitals, transport, shops, home delivery, those we need the most but pay the least are permanently recognised as ‘key’ and ‘essential’ and paid accordingly...while bond traders, hedge funders, media barons, fossil fuel CEOs, superyacht owners will be permanently seen as ‘low skilled’ ‘inessential’, not key to unlocking humanities needs and taxed accordingly. Never again the old inequalities... now we're clapping on our doorsteps for all the amazing health workers, afterwards we'll be out on the streets struggling for a universal welfare state, universal public health care for all, a universal basic wage, and for all fossil fuels to stay in the ground for good – another world is possible.
Jamie Andrew Reid: I’ve always seen Peter as a master of subversion. The juxtaposition in his artworks are unsettling and unforgettable. The typographic addition is simple, a nod to traditional political and war posters – something to support but not overpower the lead image and add some rhythm and hierarchy to the poster.
Polly Nor: I’m usually drawn to expressing anger, confusion, or rage in my work but in these times in weird these times it felt necessary to create something uplifting. This piece is inspired by the words by Yrsa Daley-Ward, one of my favourite writers. I really resonate with the way she discusses the both the good, the bad, and the complicated experiences and feelings of being human. Reading her work always feels really soothing and comforting during difficult times. I wanted to illustrate that with this piece.
Samuel Ross: Abstraction of emotions encompassing the feeling of entrapment, lucid time and euphoria to an extent – the system is discombobulated – reality is to be questioned.
Sandy Kim: My phone’s been vibrating every 10 min because I asked 30+ friends to submit photos for this collage. It’s cool to see how art (and a pandemic) can bring a community of people together. I made about 420 different versions, and honestly, I could probably do 100 more.
Stephanie Specht: Now more than ever I am aware of rural borders, since these have been closed in Belgium due to corona. Freedom is no longer about physical movement, but has to take place in your head. I did not want to create borders for myself for this design, so I decided I would allow my intuitive side to take over. It became a smiling face that is embraced by a comforting organic form that has a similar smile. As if I drew my soul that wants to still my thoughts. These shapes stand together and yet alone: an answer that can be given to the old Dazed slogan ‘how does it make you feel’ in these weird times.
William Farr: It’s not always valued, to practice using our imagination as if its laziness, actually it can be a very active pursuit. From a young age ideas like Daydreaming are painted in a way that’s negative. A freedom that no one can take away is the ability to explore the worlds in our mind’s eye. For me this is a time to explore the endlessness of the eternal space our consciousness occupies.
Wilson Oryema: I made this poster because there’s a narrative going around that makes it sound like human activity has never been impeded like this before. Or that this is out of the ‘norm’ because it's been a relatively peaceful few decades for some of us in the western world. When in fact, we can see events scattered through history affecting us like this, or often, even worse. There's nothing that can be considered out of the norm when you realise there are 320,000+ distinct viruses in mammals, and 100,000,000+ in vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants (estimation by SJ Anthony and others from Viral Diversity in Animals study). Also, there’s nothing that can be considered out of the norm when you realise we are in constant revolution on a tiny blue planet in a supercluster of galaxies, in some of the furthest reaches of the known universe. Be flexible. Nothing should be unexpected!
Wolfgang Tillmans: Many are glued to the screen, reading the news. Who pays the journalists? Newspapers are hurting badly in normal times, now they have much reduced advertising and income. If you value what you’re reading, consider paying for it if you can afford it. Not just by getting a subscription to those who have already in the past erected a paywall, but in particular help those who accept payment on a voluntary basis. They need us now and we will need them in the future. #keepthefreepress #enjoythefreepress #enjoy. Keep newspapers alive and afloat.
Thank you so much to Print4UK for all their help and support.