Resources

keepitslick poster
downloadDownload Keep It Slick poster


flickrPhotos on Flickr

PRESS RESOURCES

Media Contact: Margaret Cox, mc94@cmu.edu

Keep It Slick Curator: Astria Suparak, astria.suparak@gmail.com

docPress Release: Keep It Slick

docE-News: Nov. 2008

Related Projects

podcastPodcast: interview with
     The Yes Men

podcastKUHF Houston Public Radio: Interview with Andy Bichlbaum
on The Front Row

docDemocracy Now: The Yes Men w/ Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez

docTrailer: New documentary,
The Yes Men Fix The World

docNew York Times
Special Edition

downloadJoin: Fix The World Challenge

docExhibition Catalog + Activity Book: The Yes Men Activity Book

downloadActivity Item: SurvivaBall Sewing Patterns

downloadTeacher Activity Guide: The Yes Men Fix The World

Press

Time Out Chicago, "Karma chameleons: The Yes Men step into Big Business’s shoes," Christina Couch, Sept. 23, 2010

Newcity Art, "#1 Show To See This Week: The Yes Men 'Keep It Slick' at Columbia," Sept. 16, 2010

Paper City, "The most prescient show of the year, opening 10 days after the still-gushing BP oil spill," "Are You a Yes Man?," Catherine D. Anspon, June 5, 2010

Houston Press, "Corporate Takeover," Kelly Klaasmeyer, June 3, 2010

Art Lies, "The Yes Men, Diverseworks," Regan Golden-McNerney, June, 2010

Glasstire, "The Yes Men at DiverseWorks," Beth Secor, May 30, 2010

Texas Observer, "IF THERE’S A SWEET SPOT WHERE JONATHAN SWIFT, BORAT, MICHAEL MOORE and underground British street artist Banksy blend under a banner of cultural agitation, the Yes Men can claim it," "The Power of Yes," by Josh Rosenblatt, The Texas Observer, May 24, 2010

Artforum, "The Yes Men’s ability to seamlessly blend with and subvert corporate identities engages the public to envision a more just world of commercial and governmental responsibility... The logic behind 'Keep It Slick' runs contrary to most exhibitions. Instead of affirming the artists’ originality or craftsmanship, this show is intended to motivate ordinary citizens to themselves become Yes Men through DIY activism and infiltration," "Critic's Pick of Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with the Yes Men," May 18, 2010

New York Press, "Yes Men Produce Activity Book to Make More Yes Men," New York Press Blog, May 10, 2010

CultureMap: "ASHTON KUTCHER WITH A CAUSE (AND LESS MONEY): Yes Men are anything but: Punking the press one story at a time," Nancy Wozny
May 5, 2010

Houston Press, "This is the first-ever solo exhibition of The Yes Men's exploits.... Hysterical stuff," Troy Schulze, May 13, 2010

Houston Press, "Top Art Pick: Bigwigs worldwide live in fear of The Yes Men and their hijinks-style activism," Dusti Rhodes

Houston Independent Media Center, "The YES Men Fix Houston," Rachel Clarke, May 5, 2010

Houston Chronicle: "The Yes Men infiltrate DiverseWorks," Douglas Britt, April 30, 2010

29-95: "The Yes Men Infiltrate Houston This Weekend," Sara Cress, 29-95, April 28, 2010

Liverpool Daily Post, "Arts Editor's Pick of the Day," Laura Davis, Liverpool Daily Post, Nov. 3, 2009

Art Papers, "Curated by Astria Suparak, Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with The Yes Men is a timely acknowledgment of the work of Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum, two of the great social satirists of our time… The exhibition’s pointed installation hits it just right. Rather than mold The Yes Men’s activist artwork into a discreet, restrained presentation, Suparak gets into its spirit—both its serious underbelly and its consciously foppish exterior,” "The Yes Men," John Massier, Art Paper, July/Aug. 2009, p. 60

“The exhibition features artifacts and film from some of their best and most stunning examples and is highly recommended for anyone with a keen interest in culture jamming or satire in general.” - PICA Blog

Pittsburgh City Paper, "At the Miller Gallery, anti-corporate pranksters
The Yes Men Keep It Slick," Curt Riegelnegg, Pittsburgh City Paper, Dec. 25, 2008

Pittsburgh City Paper, "The Yes Men at Carnegie Mellon," Bill O'Driscoll, Pittsburgh City Paper, Nov. 17, 2008

Pop City Media, "Yes They Can: Miller Gallery keeps it real with provocative new exhibitions and programs"

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Artist activists bring ideas to Carnegie Mellon," Kurt Shaw, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Nov. 30, 2008

The Tartan, Pillbox, "Charging against the capitalist empire The Yes Men display their work at the Miller Gallery," Laura Thoren, The Tartan, Pillbox, Nov. 17, 2008

The Yes Men have consistently made meaningful political interventions that have exposed where the real power lies in our society. Their performative actions pioneered an important practice of artists-as-activists, and through time continue to demonstrate this tradition beyond gesture. Keep It Slick brings together a significant and important body of work for future generations of artist to understand and be inspired by."
—Mike Stubbs, Professor, Art, Media & Curating at Liverpool John Moores University


 

Past exhibition

 
 
McDonald's McMascots: Rona McRiveter
by The Yes Men
 
 
New York Times Special Edition,
July 4, 2009
 
 
Conference Scene, Keep It Slick exhibition, Houston TX
 
 
Conference Scene, Keep It Slick exhibition, Chicago, IL
 
 
Apocalypse Scene, Keep It Slick exhibition
 
 
Apocalypse Scene, Keep It Slick exhibition, Houston TX
 
 
(Executive) Board Room Scene, Keep It Slick exhibition, Houston TX
 
 
Memorial To A Fallen Exxon Janitor, Keep It Slick exhibition, Houston TX
 
 
Memorial To A Fallen Exxon Janitor, detail, Keep It Slick exhibition, Chicago, IL
 
 
News Entrance, Keep It Slick exhibition, Houston TX
 
 
McDonald's McGhetto, Keep It Slick exhibition, Chicago, IL
 
 
Party for Contractors, Keep It Slick exhibition, Houston TX
   
 
Credit all Miller Gallery exhibition photos as:
"Keep It Slick, Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University. Tom Little photography."



KEEP IT SLICK

Infiltrating Capitalism with The Yes Men

Curated by Astria Suparak

Organized by Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University
+ Feldman Gallery at Pacific Northwest College of Art

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Reaching countless people through websites, newspapers, and television broadcasts, the sometimes anonymous Yes Men are among the most visible and effective artist-activists of our time. Over the past dozen years they have fearlessly taken on the world’s biggest corporations and bureaucracies through a process they call “Identity Correction.” Masquerading as official representatives at business conferences and on the news, they have helped keep critical issues in the international spotlight. “Unlike Identity Theft, which criminals practice with dishonest intent,” The Yes Men clarify, “Identity Correction is the art of impersonating a powerful criminal to publicly humiliate them for conspiring against the public good.”

Infiltrating the elite realm of the influential and the moneyed, cloaked in the sheerest layer of authority—thrift-store suits, quick-print business cards, forged press releases—these social activators urge us to question where ethics belong in our capitalist-driven society. In their elaborate hoaxes and improvised pranks, The Yes Men provide fleeting glimpses of a more humane world: Dow Chemical assumes full responsibility for the worst industrial accident in history at Bhopal, The New York Times reports on the end of the Iraq war and legislation capping C.E.O. salaries, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reopens public housing in New Orleans and forces Exxon and Shell to restore the region’s wetlands, and the World Trade Organization disbands in order to improve the lot of the poor. Alternately, The Yes Men extrapolate extreme conclusions to the free market’s greed and disdain: McDonald’s recycles its hamburgers for Third World consumption, Exxon converts climate-change victims into fuel, Dow calculates the acceptable ratio of death to profit, and the W.T.O. unsheathes its Management Leisure Suit to remotely control sweatshop workers.

This survey represents the first-ever solo exhibition of The Yes Men. Here you can walk into a re-creation of their past exploits in the Conference area, witness a comically apocalyptic future, and pay respects to a janitor who generously donated his body to satisfy our insatiable energy needs. In the Executive Board Room, you may browse through The Yes Men’s personal office items and orate along to their absurd PowerPoint presentations.

In all of their exploits, The Yes Men hold a mirror up to faceless, corporate power. They do this not only to mock its acute disconnect with the real needs of people, but also to rouse to action the individuals who uphold this structure—that is, all of us. They push the limits of taste, forcing us to define our ethical boundaries and reaffirm our agency, a vitally important task in an era of eroding civil rights and marketing campaigns that obfuscate what democracy means.

In the tradition of the Situationists, through lurid satire reminiscent of Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain, strategies of tactical media like those of the Critical Art Ensemble, institutional critique à la the Guerilla Girls, Hans Haacke, and Ant Farm, or public performances akin to those of Abbie Hoffman, Adrian Piper, and the Reverend Billy, The Yes Men seek to incite change.

Above all, they urge us to do something better.

- Astria Suparak, Curator

ABOUT THE YES MEN

The Yes Men have gained international notoriety for impersonating World Trade Organization spokesmen on international TV and at business conferences around the world. They describe what they do as Identity Correction. Unlike Identity Theft, which criminals practice with dishonest intent, Identity Correction is the art of impersonating a powerful criminal to publicly humiliate them for conspiring against the public good. Their targets have included big bad bureaucracies like the World Trade Organization, nasty world leaders such as George Bush, ugly right-wing think tanks like The Heritage Foundation, and heartless corporations such as Dow Chemical.

ABOUT THE FELDMAN GALLERY AT PNCA

Dedicated to bringing national and international contemporary artists to Portland, the Feldman Gallery at Pacific Northwest College of Art showcases stellar artists who fully participate in a collaborative creative dialogue that includes studio visits, gallery talks and culminates in a public First Thursday opening. The Feldman Gallery is enriched through the College's partnerships with leading artistic and educational institutions including an on-going collaboration between the College and PICA’s TBA Festival, which in 2008 brings to the Gallery the culture-jamming activists The Yes Men.

ABOUT THE MILLER GALLERY AT CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY

The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University supports the creation, understanding and growth of contemporary art through exhibitions, projects, lectures, events and publications. The gallery aspires to engage diverse audiences and to create and strengthen communities through art and ideas. A unit of the College of Fine Arts, the three-story, 9,000 square foot space is free and open to the public and located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

PAST PUBLIC PROGRAMS
Nov. 14 – Feb. 15, 2009

Nov. 14, Fri.
5-6pm: How To Be A Yes Man Workshop
with preview film clips, Carnegie Mellon School of Art Lecture Series.
6-8pm: Business Casual Reception

Dec. 4, Thurs.
8pm: The Yes Men Movie

@ Melwood Screening Room, Pittsburgh Filmmakers.

Tour Schedule

Sept. 4 – Oct. 26, 2008
Feldman Gallery at Pacific Northwest College of Art, in conjunction with PICA’s Time Based Art Festival 2008, Portland, OR

Nov. 14, 2008 – Feb. 15, 2009
Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Sept. 23 - Oct. 25, 2009
Abandon Normal Devices
: Festival of New Cinema and Digital Culture, with Art & Design Academy, Liverpool John Moores University and FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Liverpool, UK

Apr. 30 - June 5, 2010
DiverseWorks Artspace, Houston, TX

Sept. 7 - Oct. 23, 2010
Glass Curtain Gallery, Columbia College, Chicago, IL