Over the years, many artists have assumed the pose of a Corporation. The Residents invented a corporation they worked for, and then orchestrated a rebellion against their corporate masters. Public Image Limited, of course, wore the Corporation mask. Sigue Sigue Sputnik not only took the corporate pose to the point of inserting ads between tracks on their first album, but also invented a firm of bodyguards that accompanied them. Paul Pope invented a fictional publisher for himself so that he wouldn’t look like yet another self-publisher, and Grant Morrison became GMword in 2002.
Makes life a little more entertaining, dunnit?
Today I am interested in… Well, it’s not quite the flipside. But wouldn’t it be funny if someone started having their every Proclamation taken to the public by a coven of PR mystics? I’m amused by the notion of an international cell or cult carrying the Word to the heathens. The artist is never seen, except in depictions, somewhere between sacred art and Communist posters. You could set up a table at a convention that just had a framed portrait, and acolytes.
There’s a certain sick appeal in that, that should probably disturb me more than it does.
(And then you could have a Crusade.)
(Originally written 29 May 2005)