Thursday, 10 October 2019

Marx Show

Marx Show
Most recently this has been happening at focus E15 and as far afield as the Bergen Assembly in Norway with the Capital Drawing Group.
What is Capitalism and Where is it Taking Us? Part 1 from andrew cooper on Vimeo.
see also - Marx Show
photo thanks Sara Kollstrøm Heilevang
Andrew has been presenting the ‘Marx Show’ show over the last five years, he is continuously evolving this show, informed by his experiences of groups (such as Focus E15) who are taking serious action in the community and often inform and contribute to his performances. He has thirty years experience of working as an artist and  art teacher in East London.Andrew’s Marx show is an interactive and often humorous way of communicating the essential aspects of Marx’s Capital, the experience of the show creates a door inviting  people to look at their everyday life experiences with work, money, housing and more.The work speaks to the great many people are experiencing the grinding truths of their exploitation, and it exposes the super exploitation of our fellow humans, in many countries which feed investments of the super rich and even the infrastructures here.The use of strange, images fun and humour is used as a way to provoke enquiry in the audience and it liberates the energy necessary to see clearly and change things.

Projected drawings and animations often evoking gothic horror are used to take us on a journey through the “mystery” and misinformation that normally masks the capitalism which we are enmeshed in, revealing what is behind appearances. Characters with names like ‘E-Con-Money’ snap at you, they  are reminiscent of the crocodile in Punch and Judy shows and (showing homage for this aspect of culture), mediumistic wooden puppets made from domestic timber, with grotesque wooden brains talk and squirt water. The flamboyant wooden characters aim to uncover the forces that shape our working and living conditions, which can often be experienced like a confusing fairground ride in life, but with but with real constraining  consequences that we have respond to survive in this system.

“I was truly inspired by Andrew Cooper’s illustrations and talks on Karl Marx and capital. I had taken a massive interest but have always found it difficult with reading, i often watch videos to help take things in but the drawings were really able to catch my mind and help my understanding. I find the artwork absolutely fascinating and feel the complicated systems and theories are expressed in a way that clicks with my brain and outlook on the world. Looking at a visual description is so much more effective Andrew’s work is truly amazing and helped me to realise the way i process information. I wish every piece of information i read came with illustrations like this!”Jasmine Stone ,one of the founders of Focus E15 housing campaign

List of previous events 

2013 ‘Communist Gallery’ at the Bank of Ideas occupation (as part of a huge  public protest in response to 2007/8 economic collapse) in UBS building. Owing to the conversations at this time with people protesting a call out was made  for a  reading group for Marx’s Capital.  Owing to eviction of the occupation  the reading group had to take place in the Cafe at Royal Festival hall , one of few free places to sit indoors in London. I started to produce drawings as i’m a slow reader of this material and find it easier to visualise to help understanding and to talk about what was being learned. From this a group called the Capital Drawing Group developed of artists interested in illustrating Marx and I have developed these ‘shows’ with people and groups mentioned as a way of engagement.

Marx Shows:-The commodity Fetish -Jan 2014 Hastings ‘The works’ (disused Job Centre)-

What Makes Work and UnemploymentWithy House Tenants Hall Stepney Green E2 

September 2014and-Carpenters Focus E15 housing campaign occupation September 2014-

Southwyk House Community Centre, Brixton, February 2015 -Aylesbury Estate Occupation, 

March 2015-‘The Fight Against Cuts and Austerity Kings Cross’, Revolutionary Communist Group Oct 2015 

Celebrate Resistance June 2016 Harts Lane New Cross Revolutionary Communist Group
-Peckham Pulse 2017 with writer and activist Eric Ogbogbo
-Five Years Gallery 2018 with writer and activist Eric Ogbogbo

-Bergen Assembly Norway  -What is Capitalism and Where is it taking us

-Focus E15 Housing Campaign series of 3 -What is Capitalism and Where is it taking us  with writer and activist Eric Ogbogbo
(thanks to Judy Watchman for text and edits)

Monday, 7 March 2016


Lots to update but here is a sartt..

How come a new comic-How come things are the way they are with exploitation increasing--this comic deals with these issues and also the way different voices get excluded in this culture 

Images from the Comic were used at a one off intervention at the RCA on class and art...we'll see... The event was called the Elephant in the Room 

 the street continues to be one of the best places to show and interact with people Below is a new banner looking at imperialism focusing on the middle East 

Monday, 22 June 2015


During the last year I've found my practice move almost completely out of what would be called 'art' so it's been difficult to proceed with this blog mainly because of having to rethink everything. There have been however so many events, where it has been important to use drawing, painting, performance and talking sculptures.  The political events and  complete ratcheting up of the war on ordinary people has called for many interventions and work with courageous people.
Painting banner for Aylesbury Estate, a huge Estate in London Which is threatened with demolition despite 73% of Tenants voting against it. In this work and other banners people were invited to take part in the painting, and discussion took place about the form and images which the place and circumstance and people gave birth to. 

Thursday, 24 July 2014


Intensification in the pudding Factory was performed within Portman Gallery a space existing within the foyer of a state school. The performance was shot by Alexander Mc Clean

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


Coming Up -Sunday June 8th 2014: Ghost Dwelling Express, masks and talking carved wood furniture. Performance Space, 2pm-4pm. FREE. 

See- MADD for Brockwell Park 2014 – Community Events Programme Announced click on this link for location details.

     Masks in the Dark House                                                                                           Photo Charlie Fox

and see below for some past encounters------Scroll on down  

Monday, 15 August 2011

GHOST TRAIN TO SOULS TOWN- Domestic fragments answer back

Common objects and experiences for everyone! 
A ruinous ghost train.

A working ghost train in which people were wheeled into a space containing many carved tools and domestic fragments and a film in which they came alive. 
You can view the film here-click on link

*Ghost Train to Souls Town- -... 'been thinking about it quite a bit since in relation to what we talked about spectacle/art etc - I think it was weird because when I turned up I was still thinking about the Olympics opening ceremony the night before. I've already had an argument about that with someone giving me a remedial explanation of 'spectacle' (I hate a certain type of moralising/left perspective where it is  assumed everyone must be an idiot and can't work out for themselves that the Olympics ceremony is a big propaganda event). But what interested me about Boyle's olympic thing was that by mixing up representations of the NHS, with sentimentailised imagery of industrial revelotion, Harry Potter, depiction of multi-culturaism dancing onions and all the other cliches and caricatures it kind of destabilised meanings. IT wasn't subversive in the way Boyle intended (probably) but seemed to show some other potential - a kind of chaos of meaning revealed as potentially liberating - kind of in the way poetry presents a possible chaos/slipping across meanings and linking of usually separated ideas. anyway there was something of that in your show in the way the carved objects reanimated Marx's chair-leg animation of commodity-objects, stealing their social-life from humans-turned-into-objects but then the comodities are reclaimed by the 'craft' of carving, the mark of the hand reinscribed into industrially-lathed wood as a kind of grotesque parody  ... its something about grotesque parody as a kind of liberation/liberatory destabilising humour - as a negation of a negation which leaves everything up for grabs - something like that.' John Russell 

Physical manifestation - Mark It
In this photo Mr Fiend is waking up the dead to get some more work out of them. 'Thump' used to work in a custard cream factory "in my mind I made everyone heart shaped" she says but there was no place for that when they closed the factory and moved it to graze on cheaper labour in 1979. Stella was a receptionist she said, 'they used to like me 'cause i could talk posh' . Ron Barret thinks the others are lazy and poor Traumatised Stewart is still poetic trying to find corners of time to write poetry in a life time of full time work with compulsory-voluntary overtime (C.V). " Look how much I look after you stewart giving you this extra work" Says the Fiend.

Video still from film of the last Saturday matinee performance -the dead are being woken up so more surplus value can be extracted.

All were taken into the dark market traumatised interior regardless.

Ride our racy ghost train to a shadowy, haunted, market traumatised domestic interior.

Encounter stroppy house hold tools that answer back.

Experience altered states in an incubation chamber of horribly alive furniture and see the debut film made by the Manic-ins,
‘Those Whose Souls Refuse Repossession”

            Opens Saturday 28th  6-10pm

Fri. & Sat. 2-10pm,       Sun 2-7pm,    Weds. & Thurs. 2-8pm,   (until Sat 11th August)
115 Dulwich Road, SE24 Opposite Brockwell Park Lido

Andrew Cooper uses craft techniques such as wood carving on objects he finds in skips and charity shops that retain a sense of the uncanny and a history of former use. Bashed peeling paint and exposed wood reveal a common cabal of characters he finds waiting beneath the surface wanting to speak. These sculptures are put into environments he creates, animated in films or used as ‘Manic-ins’ during performances.
'The Fiend' Murdering with a bottle of Abstinence. "Abstinence, it's good for you and it's good for us" Thanks to George who came into the space and took part in several performances. 

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Manik-ins Brixton Market and Camberwell Green

Photo of performance in Brixton Market Szabolcs Süli-Zakar


The Manik-ins Speak Out!
Next-Brixton Market 6.30 pm Thursday 14th July
Denied a voice the manik-ins speak out. They really do get locked out or their words deleted.
 Evicted from their flats as the council sells them off to a 'wanna be' mega bucks landlord who is packaging the area as a culturally 'edgy' abode for those that can pay his rents.-not for the likes of the manik-ins.
Photo of performance in Brixton Market Szabolcs Süli-Zakar