Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Olek, Injustice, Anti Slavery International, Dirty White Cotton

All photos: NoLionsInEngland

Ready mades – the term coined by Duchamp when he elevated everyday pissoirs to works of art – is annexed by Poland/NY artist Olek to describe in one way the main form of her work, "Crochet Readymades". It is worth googling the images of the effect she has when she cloaks public sculpture in crochet art. There is a lot more to her work, including performance art where she dresses up volunteers in full body crochet morph suits to interact with the public.

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Amusing interaction,man in Olek crochet body suit, Olek UK Solo show 2012.

Anyone who thinks slavery died out with the 19th century deeds of William Wilberforce and the Slavery Abolition Act needs to take a peek around themselves, detention and exploitation thrives all around us, even here in London where immigrant workers have their passports confiscated by gangmasters, are obliged to live in insanitary overcrowded conditions at exorbitant rent and paid such a pittance that they are never out of the debt of their gangmasters.

Olek is showing her support for the work of slavery international by hanging this massive four panel crochet piece at Village Underground, London this week. Here is a very short time lapse of the panels being installed - Click through to view it properly on Olek's Vimeo stream!

Olek In London from olek on Vimeo.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

September 29th - October 5th, 2012
Village Underground, London, UK

The “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” quote is from a letter written by Martin Luther King from a Birmingham (Alabama) Jail in 1963.

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Olek, Village Underground,

The statement resonates with Olek’s own personal predicament, following an incident on a visit to the UK around the time of her solo show at Tony’s Gallery last year, Olek has been found guilty despite the incident arising as she defended herself against the unwanted and excessive attentions of a man in a bar. Olek is expecting sentencing this week and is currently restricted by an ASBO style tag. Again, Life and Art are inseparable

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Olek - Free At Last?

Village underground hosts an art show and auction this Wednesday (3rd Oct 12) staged by Street Art Against Slavery to benefit Anti Slavery International. Details of the auction can be found HERE. Olek is supporting this cause and her piece on Great Eastern Street is part of the event.

Street Artists Against Slavery, Weds 3 OCt 2012, rsvp essential (link below)

While addressing this worthy issue it is worth mentioning a couple of other closely related street art interventions. Firstly, insulation tape artists AD/SO who also has donated work to the Street Artists Against Slavery auction executed this stunning 8 story piece on the multi storey car park very close to Village Underground.


We also came across this Mear One piece “Freedom For Humanity” looking stunning on Hanbury St.

Freedom To Humanity (detail) - MEAR ONE
Mear One

Finally, Dr D has been getting up some paste up to show support for a documentary exposing labour exploitation and its consequences in the cotton trade, and if there is one thing we have learned about Dr d its that he only does good cause.

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Dr d., The Cotton Film: Dirty White Gold

The Cotton Film: Dirty White Gold is being produced by Leah Borromeo (some readers may know her by the name Montris), the film needs some funding and Dr d. is releasing this Dot and Nick Cotton (venerable and slightly un-hinged stars of UK soap opera Eastenders”) print to raise funds to support the production of this film. Details of the fund raising and Dr d print are HERE, support it!

Wrapping up on a lighter note, the day after Olek installed the crochet work, someone darned (damn – I hope that is the right word) a heart into the piece overnight. A wool love tag. Wow! Piece over tag, yarn outline over Crochet Readymade, whatever the unwritten rules of crochet piecing and tagging are its lovely to see wool dogging is nice and sweet and supportive!

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Heart Olek

Street Art Against Slavery
Anti Slavery International
The Cotton Film: Dirty White Gold

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