After a successful career in advertising, Conn Bertish has reinvented himself as a subversive, ad-busting art prankster.
In his exhibition experiment 0834319513, he challenges the power structures inherent in capitalism by appropriating and redeploying our country’s existing traditions of low-tech advertising. “I collected defunct city signage, stripped it of its advertorial origins and painted text on them,” says Bertish. He placed these signs in public spaces throughout the greater Cape Town area along with a telephone number, allowing for an incidental audience to respond to the text. Comprising the individual signs and prints as well as transcribed telephonic responses and an ambient sound installation, experiment 0834319513 documents the results of Bertish’s experiment. It is a beautiful tribute to the invention and creativity of those all too often marginalised by consumer culture.