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The Demotivational Series (1997)

Artist’s Statement

The Demotivational Series is a direct response to the inundation of motivational paraphernalia in the workplace. This motivational material, in the form of framed posters, T-shirts, coffee mugs, etc., often marries a hackneyed, but beautiful image (the breed of banal photograph that overpopulates the stock photo market) with a phrase, or phrases, designed to inspire employees to work harder, faster and longer in the absence of previously available incentives (such as job security, stability, a future with the company, etc.). Borrowing on certain accepted notions, (themselves often expressed as platitudes, such as “the photograph never lies” and “truth is beauty”), the motivational texts generate their own brand of currency based on the alleged truth and power of the photos.

Using my own corny images (taken during my formative years in photography: from 1967-1977) linked with ironically contemptuous pseudo-platitudes, The Demotivational Series reflects on the malleability of the ‘pretty’ photo, which attempts to lend plausibility to essentially any idea by virtue of its complete lack of context.

The Demotivational Series: Exhibition history

Public space interventions:

2001 and then we take berlin, Contemporary Art Forum, Kitchener, Ontario

1997 Utopia/Dystopia, Floating Gallery, Winnipeg

The Demotivational Series: Exhibition details

The Demotivational Series is a site-specific project made up of about ten possible works. The particular pieces selected will be photomechanically reproduced to the size specified (from a minimum of 51 x 61 cm / 20 x 24 inches – up to billboard scale) for installation in public spaces generally reserved for advertising (such as billboards, bus shelters, etc.) and will be prepared in the language most appropriate for the site. If required, 51 x 61 cm / 20 x 24 inch exhibition prints could be prepared for a gallery exhibit, in conjunction with a public space installation.

The Demotivational Series: Inquiries

Please contact the artist.