Achtung! Die grosskapitalistischen Hühner kommen!

Photograph of paste-up art on the railway overpass at Newtown Square

As long as I can remember, the bridge over the railway at Newtown Square, Sydney, has been covered in posters. Last week the posters were stripped, it was painted a dreary shit-brown — and then a phone number appeared. Last night this paste-up protest appeared too.

At first I’d been pleased that the bridge was getting a fresh coat of paint, despite the colour. But when the “Bill Posters Prosecuted” message appeared, along with the phone number to book advertising space, I was disappointed to say the least. Yet another community space was turned into a commercial one. No longer could anyone with a bucket of glue and a brush promote their event, now it was only those who could afford to pay commercial rates on busy King Street.

The vibrant arts community of the Newtown precinct is precisely one of the reasons we and many others choose to live here, even though we’re under a flight path and real estate prices have become outrageous. “Achtung! Die grosskapitalistischen Hühner kommen!” indeed. We do not need yet another billboard for mainstream advertisers.

Marrickville City Council, please call off your advertising broker and return this wall to the community where it belongs.

9 Replies to “Achtung! Die grosskapitalistischen Hühner kommen!”

  1. Oh I didn’t quite catch what that said on the bus this morning but I was intrigued.

    Well we might just have to paste over any paid advertising that appears there, huh?

  2. If only they’d posted it over the phone number.

    A shame to see something so ugle created for a few pennies.

    (Und ich sage ,,Willkommen!” zu unseren neuen Huhnoberherren.)

  3. @Simon Rumble and @coljac: I know Marrickville Council is supposedly worried about income — I don’t know why, real estate prices have skyrocketed and so therefore should Council rates — but this is just cheap and nasty, yes.

    Maybe the tactic should be for us all to phone the number and say what a bad idea we think it is. It’s 9938 2806.

    And I’m smarter than Google because I could work out what “Willkommen! zu unseren neuen Hühnoberherren” meant. 😉

  4. I’m not sure I’m making the jump from “anyone can promote their event” to “community space”. Surely if people are promoting any kind of commercial venture, it’s advertising already?

    So if I understand it correctly, you’re concerned about changing the *kind* of advertising that is displayed here? (Presumably it will only be from those advertisers that have sufficient funds…)

  5. @Alastair: Well spotted. Yes, it is all advertising, whether it’s for a big advertiser or small. And yes, I suspect my core issue is the kind of advertising I’d like to see in my village.

    I’m a big fan of diversity, and I gather that diversity is important for evolution, for creativity etc. A monoculture is unhealthy. When I go to different places I want to see different, distinctive things. Which is why I’m disappointed when I see the same Big Brands everywhere I go. On this bridge, I’d like to see new and different things, not more posters for the same-old.

    Actually, what I’d really like to see is just a wall, with no advertising whatsoever. But, given that every flat surface must have A Message of some kind, a new and different message would be nice.

  6. Sarcastic anonymous street art beats scrappy band posters! So by threatening to prosecute those that can be easily identified, this act has unintentionally opened the space for more art 🙂

  7. If you look at some of the other images on minigraffs flickr page (the ‘borrowed’ link you have inserted above), you will notice that she/ he has recently visited Berlin…. hmm, doesn’t take brain surgery to work that one out! It’s all original minigraff!

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