EXILE POSTER PROJECT 2011
If you would like to purchase a poster please visit: http://www.exileposterproject.com/
The Exile Poster Project was a show aimed to confront a specific area of injustice and oppression in Portland through the powerful medium of the poster. The annual show, based in Imago Dei's 9th street gallery, feautred passionate and personal work from Professional artists from throughout the city. This body of work is presented in a way that incites action within the city's art and faith communities, hopefully galvinizing those communities to assist the city in its ongoing efforts to uphold the law.
The 2011 show focused on the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
The Power of a Poster
The poster is unique among art forms. It has a long history of taking complex ideas and packing them into a single, potent, and compelling image. One instant. Once glance. That's all a good poster needs to charge a mind with a new thought or change a heart with a fresh feeling. The poster is also tough, inexpensive, mobile: it's as likely to surprise us in an alleyway as in a gallery. And the poster is personal and passionate, and therefore viral: designed to incite, to confront, to stimulate response.
As such, the poster is potentially a powerful tool by which to address ugly social issues like the sexual exploitation of children.
First, posters don't depend upon impersonal data or upon painful stories. Rather, because they depend upon a singular, memorable, insightful image, they can supply the average citizen with a symbol able to serve as both talking point and rallying point. Posters don't necessarily ask people to know more or do more; at bottom line they help clarify to people how they already feel while also demonstrating that such feeling can be expressed in powerful ways. An encounter with a poster can be more than a transaction of information: it can be a spark of galvanized action as one person realizes they are not alone in their convictions and that they would not be alone in acting on those convictions.
Second, thanks to their size, inexpensiveness, and street-toughness, posters can't be evaded. Perpetrators of thriving criminal activities become experts in evasion: they learn to evade the law, to evade civil society, to evade their own consciences. But posters can't be evaded. They can hang anywhere. A poster infiltrates the unlit city and proclaims the spirit of the law in the language sex-traffickers manipulate: the language of passion and beauty. In so doing, it has a unique power to rattle their rationalizations and possibly warn off those they would entice.
Third, a poster can help dissolve the illusion of disconnectedness between people in our city. While an image hangs on a polished street front and incites action out of apathy, the same image can hang in a seedy backstreet and confront brutality with beauty. Rather than ceding creative space to a culture of sex oppression or allowing civil culture to remain silent before it, posters advertise the unavoidable fact of our connection and decry denial from either side. Posters can establish a shared public space in which the ugliness of the situation becomes appropriately unavoidable and intolerable.
The artists participating in this years Exile Poster Project would like to gift the city with more than beautiful symbols of protest. They are making images that will proclaim the authority of law and decency to the city on behalf of children who deserve our committed, unified, passionate action.
For more information please contact
Martin French: .