BEFEHLE-PROJEKT [command project]

Placard campaign with photo collection, 2008

Social intervention with command placards as paradox orders to think.


Thousands of Command Placards in the County Steinfurt, Germany! More than 5000 placards in wide range of formats were spread with campaigns in city centres, installations with placards were shown and a photo collection was started. In the cities Rheine, Lengerich, Ibbenbüren and Emsdetten our placard were mingled in advertising zones in public space and in the city centres in May / June 2008. The artist team toured with a small transporter wagon and distributed among passers-by masses of placards to take away. All were asked to help placarding at any location they want and to upload photos of it. The photo collection of the process in June 2008 shows an exhibition at DA, Kunsthaus. And the art project goes on!

We live in a society with individual self-determination and flexibility. It sounds good but the resultant mass of possibilities and freedom lead often to disorientation. If it has to be the pursuit of happiness or other ideals - people search and check their life directed by what media, advertising, politics and opinion research serves. Qualities and definitions of surrounding fields, work, values and rules let the inner reality get mixed up and out of kilter. The conduct of life is perceived as doubtful and questionable. Self-help books, management advices, personal trainer, life coaches — the being is on the testbed. Only too willingly we are searching for suggestions.

Placarding as Art Campaign

The project disseminates with placards paradox instructions for thinking. The placard edition visualises short commands which refer to attitudes, emotions and positive meaning. They give no orders for operation but desirable self requests in an abstract form. Is that what we want for a better life? Placard with us! The art campaign is an intervention in public space. If you go to the city centre and ask in shops to place a placard in the window or if you placard anywhere you want to: Mingle up and disperse commands inside and outside, private and public. We initiate adoption of space: Placard, make a photo of the location and upload this document: Intention is to get a photo collection with different contexts, they will mirror subversive statements.


The website is a download and image platform for the art campaign. The placards are available as PDF files in the format DIN A4 and as do-it-yourself pattern for mini placard stands, free for print out. In a web gallery we collect photos of placarding locations. Pictures can be uploaded easily, they are shown in a gallery.

Project / Exhibition

The artwork was developed with the project grant for art / communication (Projektstipendium KunstKommunikation 2008) of the DA, Kunsthaus Kloster Gravenhorst, Germany. In May / June the county Steinfurt was placarded with more than 5000 prints, in 5 cities placard installations were shown. The exhibition of the project shows the process and photos of partizipation which were uploaded in the web gallery.

July 6, 2008 to January 30, 2009
DA, Kunsthaus Kloster Gravenhorst