Adbusters started out as a not-for-profit pro-environment organisation in 1989, but throughout the years the Canadian publication developed into a social, political and cultural movement. It had considerable influence in the world of art and in political circles thanks to its righteous ‘culture jamming’ and advocacy for dissent. In recent years, the art direction of the magazine has shifted into a more visual format, feeling more like a curated journey through an urgent representation of the here and now.
Previous editions included the work of artists such as David Shrigley and duo Peter Kennard – Cat Phillips, but the publication is more focused on photographic content, while illustrations aren’t featured as often. Nonetheless, Louis Netter from the School of Art, Design and Performance responded to a call for artists which was put out by Adbusters prior to their “Brutal new Aesthetics” issue. Although he felt the submission was to no avail, the Senior Lecturer was surprised to see his work was actually included in the magazine when he received his copy.
“I had no idea I was actually included until Tuesday evening when I saw my artist copy at home. Seeing my image prominently displayed was a real joy and they even included my artist statement.”
Louis Netter revealed he has been a fan of Adbusters since he first saw it back in 1994 in the library when he was a university student, and that he has been in contact with the publication’s art directors for the past 15 years. He continuously attempted to be featured in the magazine because he believes in its importance and how it relates to his research interests in satire, activism and contemporary politics. He considers Adbusters asks profound questions about the state of the world and our collective mentality.
“My image is called ‘Dogs under the table’ (etching) and it is a comment upon the artifice of wealth and privilege. It is a puncture to the naïve perception that wealth and status has anything to do with being civilised and or humane.”
“Satire is a necessary agitator in political discourse and it functions best when it looks beyond politics and towards the chasm of human frailty, gullibility and penchant for self-destruction.”