Art of Dissent

Art of Dissent

... is an exhibition by comedian Mark Thomas, who was fortunate enough to work with artist Tracey Moberly, designer Greg Matthews and cameraman Rikki Blue.
Mark decided to commit 100 acts of minor dissent from 13th of May 2013 to the 13th May 2014.
The acts could be as small as putting a sticker on a book or as large as taking the police to court.

1) Charlie in the Tate.
(4 photos)

I told my son we were going to the Tate art gallery and he said, " Will any of my pictures by there."
I said, "Only if we take them."
So we took his pictures and stuck them in the gallery.
My mother-in-law (who was with us) said, "They look a lot better than some of the work in here."
The 100 Acts show was inspired by that event.
These pictures show Charlie aged 5 projected on to the chest of Charlie aged 18.

2) Kes .


I wanted a poster that would deter the gentrifiers.

4) Getting banned from Tesco's.
(Collage by Greg Matthews, material from Rikki Blue, Sam Riddle, Chris Coltrane, Jonny Marbles and Vanessa Furey.)

I asked the Tesco manager if he would ban me from the shop. "Why?" he said.
I said " The problem is that large corporations are destroying the ecology of the high street and small businesses. Everywhere looks the same."
He said, "If you have a problem with the shop don't come in."
"That's a boycott, leaving me doing all the work. I want you to ban me."

5) Breaking the law.
(5 photo Tracey Moberly and Mark Thomas)

Some laws are easy to break especially anachronistic ones:
It is illegal to carry a pole in public, this applies to wheels, planks and ladders.
It is illegal to play an annoying game in public and handle a salmon in a suspicious manner. These photographs celebrate a day of law breaking.
The annoying game in the picture is Risk.
The plank in homage to my son was placed in the Tate art gallery.
Tracey poses with the tyres outside the Saudi Arabian embassy.

6) Love Film Hate Deaf People.
(3 photos anon) Amazon own Love Film and they do not provide proper subtitles.

Amazon have refused to discuss this with the deaf community.
The banners were placed on Amazon's new head office in London.
That afternoon the company issued a statement saying the were going to introduce proper subtitles. That is the power of a well placed banner my friends.

7) Liberties.
(4 photos Mark Thomas and Liberties CCTV)

I went to put stickers in the public toilets of well known London department stores, saying "24 hour CCTV in operation" (yes, it is silly I know). When I arrived at Liberties I found they had CCTV in the loo already.
So I danced and stripped in their toilet and then using the Data Protection Act demanded the footage of me in the toilet.

8) Domestic Extremist Corner.
(Spotter card by the police, photos Mark Thomas and calendar Mark Thomas and Greg Matthews.)

READ THE FILES. Contents from police, ATOS, Liberties and Curzon cinema)

9) Daily Mail Free Zone.
(Collage Greg Matthews , images crowd sourced)

Greg and I made some stickers, people put them up and sent us the photos.

10) Meet the neighbours.
(1 photo Phil Stebbing)

When estate agents organise open viewings for expensive property we would dress up and wait outside the property to great our potential new neighbours, often singing the theme from the TV show "Neighbours" and handing out biscuits and Tennets.

11) Foxtons.

12) The Hare and the Bear protest.

The John Lewis partnership does not pay their cleaners the living wage.
I went into JL and decorated their xmas display... here is it recreated.

11) Curzon cinema.
(4 Photos Rikki Blue)

The Curzon cinema chain refused to recognize the trade union. I helped coordinate supporting action. Earlier this year the management recognised the union. RESULT.

12) Living Wage
(Greg Matthews)
I made 100's of these xmas cards and placed them in the card racks at john Lewis stores.

The coins mimic the Waitrose charity coins.
Take some. Go on, take some discs and remember to put them in the Waitrose charity box.

13) ATOS and the WOW petition.
(Photos Mark Thomas, map design by Greg Matthews)

The WOW petition was online at the governments website. It got over 100,000 signatures, forcing a debate in the House of Commons about the effect of welfare cuts on the disabled. MP's seem to get lost on the way to the Chamber when it comes to debating poverty and poor people, so I sent every MP a map of how to get to the debating chamber.

14) I heart social housing

15) Nick Clegg Pinata
(Greg Matthews, photos crowd sourced)
The Nick Clegg pin\0x0303ata contained sweets and broken promises.

16) Barbie racers!
(Poster Greg Matthews Photo Rikki Blue)

17) UKIP Posters and Farage
(Photos crowd sourced, Tracey Moberly and Mark Thomas)
I ran a competition to find a new definition for the word 'farage', the new word has been chosen and the objective is to get it into common usage and then into the OED.

1 of the 100 Acts was to commission singers Jonny and the Baptists to write a song about the new word.
Nigel Farage said "I want my country back" so I have been sending him bits of country from wherever I am touring.
You can help by bagging some soil from Rotherham and putting the small bag into the jar. I will post it on to him.

19) Citizens Kazoo Orchestra
(4 Photos Tracey Moberly Rikki Blue and crowd sourced)
CKO was formed after Camden Council in London criminalised busking without a license.
The Church of the Holy Kazoo is the political wing of the CKO.

20) Pornershop
(Photos Tracey Moberly)
WARNING: This exhibition does contain sexually explicit material.

Tracey and I bought packs of porn. Carefully cut open the packaging and then collaged the interiors of the magazines. Then we would reseal the plastic bags they came in and them place them back on shelves of the shops we bought them from. We would sometimes wait for unsuspecting customers to buy the doctored porn.

21) We will drive them to the airport.
(Design Greg Matthews cards crowd sourced)
Bankers often say "If we don't get our bonuses we will leave the country."

I run a volunteer taxi army who will drive the bankers to the airport for free.
You can join;
If you do you can leave a web page like these people.

22) Book heckling.

I sometimes put heckles into books.

23) #20 note
(Stamp by Noel Douglas)
I have a stamp that I use on #20 notes.

24) Book stickers.
(Design and collage by Greg Matthews , photos crowd sourced)

I made some stickers and gave them to people. They used them and sent the photos.

(Design and collage Greg Matthews photos crowd sourced)
I made some stickers and gave them to people.
They used them and sent the photos.

The BASTRADTRADE logo is trade marked and recognized as the international symbol of bad corporate behavior.
I now run a BASTARDTRADE award with War on Want.
The shortlist for the worst companies is: G4S, RBS and Coca Cola. Voting takes place in the coming months.
Thanks to everyone who worked with me over the past year, especially Tracey Moberly, Greg Matthews and Rikki Blue.
Thanks also to the staff at the Millennium Gallery, especially Rosie, Chris and Ben.