In the late 90s, with the ban on tobacco advertising approaching, a well-known cigarette manufacturer ran a cryptic and semi-subliminal advertising campaign.
This series of double exposures records my reaction to the psychological hooks used to sell a deadly product. By layering images of departed icons on top of these magazine adverts, I explore the concepts of the ethics and morality and ask the question – how do those marketing executives sleep at night?
Whether it’s minding your manners at home, watching what you say at work, or holding back on social media; self-censorship is on the rise. The internal struggle can feel like a cognitive jail cell with you as the screw. Our integrity and self-respect take the hit. But if we don’t risk offending people, how will we know what we think?
For Bukowski, life was not all champagne and skittles. There were school bullies, dead end jobs, nights sleeping rough, back alley fights, jail-time, whores, hangovers and hardships. But through it all was a crazy kind of contentment. What mattered most to Hank was how well you walk through the fire.
The world’s problems are systemic. The systems are complex. Those in charge don’t understand them. So they lie. We know it. They know it. And they know we know it. Its a post truth world where emotions come first. Angry people click more. But do they come up with solutions? Time will tell. But for now, we act like nothing’s wrong.