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Loesje: Pinup Thought

Stick it! Long established in the Netherlands, the organisation Loesje aims to reshape public expression through extensive poster campaigns. They have now gone Euro, no facade is safe anymore.

As the white-collar hordes ebb and flow to and from work morning in and evening out, do you ever get the impression that public space is ignored in the pro cess? Apart from an occasional glance at billboards or traffic signals, few use transit time for the essence of free moments: observation and refl ection. Zoom back to 1983, Arnhem, Netherlands, where strange posters start showing up around town. They fl out positivistic messages, dare you to take the time to read and think. Almost 20 years later, the posters and Loesje as an organisation have found their way into most of Europe. What started as a purely Dutch phenomenon has gone international, and yet the process remains as simple as it was at conception. Arrange a few young, critical minds around a large table and get out the paper and crayons. Usually a gigantic pot of stew is included in the process. Then everyone starts a mad frenzy of creativity, putting down any random sentence containing a soupçon of sense. Two hours, plenty of arguments and bowls of stew later, a few posters have survived the gauntlet of critical discussion. The messages are then multiplied through the internet, the intention being to ‘stick’ as many as possible. Sticking is a delicate process. Choose a wall or other handy public surface, the more visible the better. Pray the owner isn t watching and complete the rite of paper and wallpaper glue. Remove yourself silently and with utmost speed and again pray that many people catch a glance of the poster before some enemy of public expression decides to remove it. The thrill lies in the invasion of an increasingly privatised public space. The intent is to ferment thought in its purest form: the puzzled ‘huh?’ at discovering an unknown object—and message—in an environment your subconscious has long memorised. Only the trained eye will recognise the perfect poster with its touch of subtle meaning coupled with a clever, funny phrase. And yet the poster is only perfect if it catches the untrained, passing eye.

Poster tip: If youre too busy or fearful to stick posters yourself, you can now still enjoy a poignant message now and again. Loesje allows you to include a mini-poster on your website, which is renewed every month. Check it out at www.loesje.org

Texts on posters:

I DON'T WANT A STRONG EUROPE, I WANT A SOFT WORLD - LOESJE

YOU KNOW THAT THING YOU GET ON YOUR FACE WHEN YOU ARE HAPPY - LOESJE

FREE THE MARKET, BUY LESS - LOESJE

BANANAS TRAVEL EVEN MORE THAN I DO - LOESJE

A BUROCRAT IS IN LOVE WITH ME, I GET LOVELETTERS IN FOURFOLD - LOESJE

INDIVIDUALISING GLOBAL WORLD: AND THE LABEL SAID "MADE BY LEE HO FUNG" - LOESJE

IDENTITY. DO YOU NEED A PASSPORT TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE - LOESJE

RUMOURS HAVE A RICH SEX LIFE - LOESJE

NATURAL RESOURCES: WHAT IF THE COFFEE ENDS - LOESJE

WHY DO MOST FOOD TRANSPORTS STILL GO THE OPPOSITE WAY - LOESJE

FEELING OF INSECURITY: I WAS WALKING DOWN THE STREET AND SUDDENLY MY HEART WAS STOLEN - LOESJE

POLITICAL CAMPAINS: I DON'T WANT NICE SMALL STORIES, SINCE I'M NOT GOING TO SLEEP - LOESJE

I DON'T NEED A GARDEN. I SHARE A PARK - LOESJE

Author: Adam Chrambach

Photo: Razzo Campanelli


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