Antony Lister – Interview & Competition

We caught up with Aussie artist, Antony Lister, prior to the launch of his new book for a chat about how fucked the world is right now. To celebrate, we’re offering a signed copy to the person who posts the best anti-war image on Instagram, with the tags #verynearlyalmost and #nowarlister. We’ll decide the winner on the 15th November.

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More jump off after the jump off…

VNA: So, what’s the go with the bus shelters? Obviously you’ve had a couple around Sydney recently. What’s the idea behind them, is it a ‘fuck you’, or is it something else…?

Lister: Ah, it’s definitely activating public spaces for public people. I don’t see why some advertising company has the right to smash my pretty face with all their bullshit advertising and sexism and womanising. You know, their product’s sales… I mean, they’re paying more for that for one day than it costs for someone to live in a shelter or in a home, a decent home. There’s all these homeless people around and there’s all these advertising people that think it’s important that they maintain… Look, I’ve got a problem with advertisers thinking that they want me to see their shit. So I’ve just taken it back… For the people.

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VNA: Are you concerned about the repercussions of this and getting in trouble with the authorities?

L: The authorities, or the advertising companies?

VNA: Are you worried about them trying to get some kind of financial recompense from that, are you concerned that could happen?

L: I don’t see what I’m doing is wrong. I believe it’s completely legal for me to take those spaces and anything outside of that is just a mistaken fact I guess.

VNA: So what happens if you get caught?

L: If I get caught doing it, well then I get the mike don’t I? I get to say ‘you people disgust me’ and then I get to say that you know that something is terribly wrong when disaster is dressed as entertainment. And I get to say that something’s gone equally terribly as wrong when advertising spaces are culturally significant. You know, I’ve got a problem with this Coke sign in King’s Cross as well, the fact that people come up here and take photos of it like it’s some kind of…

VNA: Like a landmark?

L: Yeah, like it’s a landmark, some kind of tourist destination, as an icon. And it would be… I don’t know, I’ve got a problem with a lot of things. Sport’s one of them and, you know, society’s competitive nature and its obsession with failure and its obsession with beauty. And I guess it comes out in my work in different ways. I really believe in what some of these ads are saying, but I don’t feel like me moving a couple of them around every few months makes that big of a difference.

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VNA: Well they probably replace them the next day anyway.

L: Very quickly, yeah. I mean, public spaces should be for public people and activating one’s freedom of speech is just like activating one’s right to protest, I’m just protesting. Not against anything, I’m protesting for the creativeness of people. And after John Lennon, there’s not a lot we can do, so the whole ‘fuck you’ thing with the fingers up and balls out, cheeky smile, is really just to activate peoples’ attention. And when I say ‘fuck you’ I mean I love you. And when I say ‘I don’t care’ I mean I do care. And when I say ‘turn it down’, I really do mean turn it down (laughs). So it’s difficult when satire is the only logic and you try to make sense of things. I guess it depends on your tone and the fact I’m not writing ‘fuck you’ in a rainbow painting or some shit. It’s conditioned, it’s an environment that’s safe and sanitary, so I feel it’s a good place to go. It’s like a riddle, but I don’t have any answers really, I just have questions. Like, why is it a problem for me to go and piss on a tree, like a dog pisses on a tree…
VNA: Yeah, I got fined two hundred bucks for pissing outside in Jindabyne the other week…

L: Now, you see, that must be why I brought it up, it’s fucked, it doesn’t make sense.

VNA: It’s a natural act.

L: Yeah, and if it’s written in a law book, then it’s something that the police… Ah, I don’t want to mention their name cos it’s not just them. It’s the media, we’ve been conditioned by the media, fear tactics and socialist conformists and I guess religion’s a lot to do with it too.

VNA: I guess a lot of the media is wrapped up in cash and control…

L: Control, yeah. Setting people free is not something they’re interested in doing. Television is a big problem, the only happy news is the weather, but they love to turn that on too. There’s a lot of problems, but I don’t know what the solutions are, I only know what the problems are. I’m not sure if I’m part of the problem. Actually I know I’m not part of the problem of my people.

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VNA: So tell me what your latest show is about, what kind of themes are you exploring?

L: Well, we’re dealing with love and loss, we’re dealing with beauty and failure, we’re dealing with the devil and we’re dealing with angels… We’re dealing with foot and mouth disease. Touching on the graffiti disease, the idea of ornate-ness, the idea of dimensions.

VNA: In what sense?

L: In the sense of creating new pieces personally that reflect the compositions that I’m working on, like the one I’m working on here; they’re like landscapes but they’re multi-image based so I’m fitting a lot of things in there. And the dimensions are, like, I’m going to have a lot of work come out of that so it could be confusing in a sense. These are actually paintings for the show right here. The show’s called, ‘The Beautiful Misery’.

VNA: What significance does that have?

L: Beautiful Misery? What I think I thought of it, or at least what my friend Matthew James thought of it and it resonated deep and hard, was when I was going through a severe case of diarrhoea and it hurt and it came out of that. Art is shit in an elevator, it goes up and down; too much buying, not enough taking, too much cleaning, not enough making.

VNA: How do you feel about the removal of the artisan product from society?

L: I’m not even sure people realise we are being killed out and de-skilled and magic’s being taken out of our world and being replaced by science. It’s like alchemy’s being replaced by science and emotion’s being replaced by technology. I feel that, the way we’re going, the robots are going to have a revolution before the humans and the world thinks we’re dumb and we don’t even care. So I guess nature has to play a huge role in it. I think nature’s always played a huge role in inspiring artists like Normal Lindsay.

VNA: He’s one of your big influences, right?

L: Yeah, I visited his place when I was conceiving the idea of building this show. Look, I’d rather see a big bronze sculpture that costs less to clean than it does to light up a Coke sign, sure. And you could probably build a very big one for the size and time they’ve maintained that sign. And I’d like to think that if the sculpture was of me that I wouldn’t care if kids came and drew on it and painted it, and blew it up for all I care. Really, cut its’ head off. These marks of emotion are activated by players in society. It’s all relevant and it’s all got to be encouraged, you know. What did Burroughs say, ‘nothing is borrowed, everything is permitted.’ And it didn’t make sense to me, until last night when I was sitting here with my friend Pork. And he was, like, ‘Yo, I just did this photo shoot, bro, and I completely stole your flame idea’. And I was, like, ‘no that’s fucking sick, I didn’t invent lighting up a spray can, I must have seen it somewhere. And to think that Porky thought of me and felt guilty that he was ripping me off, but then to have the courage and the humility to actually say that. And that’s when I understood nothing is borrowed and everything is permitted… But I don’t know if I completely agree with it.

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VNA: It’s when you come to the point where that crossover is for someone else’s financial….it’s when it crosses over to a monetary transaction, that’s when it becomes advertising.

L: That’s interesting, because last night we were also talking how this magazine I just created, it’s all propaganda until you take a proper gander, ‘tweet, tweet’. The photos in here were shot by the photographer of Monster Children and here’s the other editor, Campbell, cutting my hand for the shoot. I wrote Pics for Hollywood and I put this online through a friend who made it. That was the only way I could get it made, cos I’m far too lazy and A.D.D. to even sit down at anything for any length of time, that’s why I’m doing push-ups while we talk. I actually felt guilty for not cutting him in on at first, but then I thought, hang on, he makes magazines and he’s taking all these photos and the photos are of me and there’s photos of all these people who don’t get paid to be in this magazine. So that’s exactly the line where it crossed for monetary gain, where the lines change. I actually wanted to pay for this to get it, to feed it to the streets, you know.
I also built this app, and I don’t care for it to be for sale at all… This is the app, called ‘Listervision’; it grabs your photos (music starts playing), the 50 recent or individual ones and it can create stop animations, slow the speed down whatever. Now, if I’ve put a hundred grand, twenty-five grand or three grand into making this, I don’t think of a return, I don’t even think of getting my money back. It’s always been that way with me with projects, like when I went to university, there was a large number of peers that really were focusing on getting grants and getting these big deal projects together. But if they didn’t get the money the projects wouldn’t happen and I never worked like that. I lived within my means, and even though I dreamed big I would be able to be dynamic enough to not get involved with anything I didn’t believe in enough to make happen anyway. Or waste my time with something that I needed, you know, some dream to make happen.

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VNA: Interesting that you talked about the robots starting the revolution before the humans, cos we’re all so dumbed-down and force-fed. We’re just spooned this steady, stupid dialogue. There’s this really interesting thing I saw the other day about this old PC game called Quake that had sentient robots that go around killing everyone. This guy had set up all these robots set to kill each other and left the program running. He came back to it four years later and they’re all just stood there and haven’t moved. They’d calculated the risks of killing each other and dying being the outcomes so they’re all just stood there. So he entered the game as another character and just watched them watching him. They all did nothing until he shot one of them and then they all ran and shot him. During that time, each amassed about half a gig of memory, of thought, of artificial memory.

L: Well, that’s the world right now and I may be one of those people that just walks in and shoots one of them, cos, really, everyone just sits still at the moment. Not everyone, I mean, I’m not the only one forming part of this revolution, but I’m calling it freedom of artificial speech and I think it’s as relevant to fight for, now more than ever, as freedom of speech was.
VNA: And perhaps more influential and more important. We’re very visual creatures and we really process a lot of what we see unconsciously, so we’re soaking up a lot of advertising and little stimuli from everywhere without really consciously being aware of it.

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L: Yeah, in 120 years, it’s a certain fact that every single human on this planet will be dead, and, at that time, for the offspring of our creation, there’s no certain way of knowing that Coke won’t be the next Jesus and that poses a problem in my mind. I wonder about the 120 years before now, who was setting the plans up for the future, to be living in the world we are now. And if Europe is drip fed then Australia is definitely double drip fed. It’s almost like a condensed version of everything everyone in a corporate privatised America wants everyone to be like. All the mom and pop stores are shut down, especially in small communities. In the town where I come from, Brisbane, it’s just seriously socially conditioned and it’s kept on a very tight leash.

VNA: Yeah, there’s a feeling that it’s very liberal, very laid back over here in Australia, but it’s a total police state. Whereas, in the UK, I feel you can get away with a lot more.

L: Absolutely, there’s a human value over there that’s been stripped from Australia. There’s a sense of politeness, but I don’t mean that in a Fawlty Towers kind of way, I mean that in a human way. I’ve been arrested in England a couple of times and it’s always been really pleasant, in comparison with America, which is just brutal, and Australia, which is training to be brutal. It’s people being inspired to go onto career choices by watching things like Cops and from being controlled in nightclubs by bouncers and they want that power. It’s this competitive social nature, where it used to be there to keep the dickheads out, but now it’s the dickheads that are the only ones that go there. Please, God, make less fuckheads – that’s what I was going to call this book (laughs).

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VNA: It’s changing in the UK more though, it’s becoming more of a police state. And they’re investing a lot more money in arming up the police forces, preparing for when a big clampdown if that should ever need to happen, which I guess is looking increasingly likely.

L: Mmm, one man’s mess is another man’s message. I don’t understand the mess that Coca Cola’s creating for us, I know that the message they’ve got is, ‘give us money’, and there’s a problem with that, cos people get greedy. I’ll probably get along with those dudes in a bar or something and I’ll probably drink Coca Cola. But that’s not the point, the point is that because of taking all of these spots, my culture is being raped and wiped out. You know, the culture of the caveman writing on the wall is being destroyed by the culture of the grey man who keeps stripping every father and son of their mark-making, their celebration of existence. I think it’s disgusting, so I choose to act on my freedom of visual speech…

VNA: I think the avenues of that freedom of speech are becoming increasingly narrow and more restricted…

L: Here’s a book I built, which is the last ten years of sketchbooks. So, for ten years, I’ve always bought the same size sketchbooks and this is the product of it. Really just the drunken ramblings of a mad man, I’m sure.

VNA: How is this funded?

L – This is by a partner. There’s no sponsor, it’s pretty much all independent. But I’d have taken someone’s money to build it and I’d like to… More importantly, I’d like to think it’s going to encourage the youth to activate themselves. It’s such a beautiful tool to be able to say things that need to be said if you use it correctly. You know, self-portraits are a waste of time, I’m more interested in showing a mirror to society. Not that I’m always successful at doing so, but I’d like to think that I’m getting better at it. If I hadn’t got the reaction that I got from other artists, from peers, you know peers love to disappear, but I got encouragement, so I moved forward on it. Honestly, I’m so familiar with these pages over the years I couldn’t see why anyone would want to look at them (laughs and reels off various excerpts from the book)…’painting is a result of one mistake after another’, ‘in Japan, problem and opportunity mean the same’, ‘copying is for shitcunts’, ‘art school is like learning how to act drunk without ever getting drunk’, ‘why say why when you can see why’. It’s nonsense really, but I figure it’s better to be ambiguous and abstract, than to de-skill and to de-educate people like a lot of other books are doing and, like, sport is on television. The amount of time and energy that people put into it, you know, throwing and catching balls. I mean, it’s not even juggling.

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VNA: That’s something that’s always jarred with me; I’ve always loved sport, especially basketball…

L: Loved getting involved in it?

VNA: Yeah, but never understood that armchair mentality of shouting at the TV and having that clan allegiance that’s missing from our lives with other people that you’re pouring into an electrical box.

L: It’s thuggery dressed as patriotism.

VNA: It’s the kind of caveman mentality of being part of some kind of family.

L: It is, that togetherness, that community.

VNA: Things have become so stripped down and so transient that we need something to latch on to.

L: Yeah, the basics of where we are now has stemmed in every way back to caveman society, where some are hunting and collecting and some are, you know, cleaning and raising. Some are competing for the hierarchy and power, for whatever reason, and the lucky few of us get to sit around and draw on the walls.

VNA: But I guess that was part of the dreamtime, that level of thought…

L: And there was a ritual involved. We’ve now replaced ritual with the television, we’ve replaced the Church and gathering as groups and families and hearing stories with cinema, we’ve replaced God with movie celebrities.

VNA: Absolutely, and even things like God and religion replaced, in their turn, a deeper connection to spirituality. It’s something I’m interested in at the moment, a deeper connection with the earth and the energies that exist and we’ve sort of had that taken away. Like in the UK you see a lot of churches were built over ley lines to take people away from Pagan worship. That’s kind of where the devil came from, in essence, because the Church wanted to take people away from their connection with nature and control them and the best way to do that is to say that their god was bad, wrong and evil. So a lot of the negativity of that religion at the moment is based around the positivity that pre-existed.

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L: Yeah, Aleister Crowley was killed in Hastings over ley lines for preaching what he believed in and this just proves that society wasn’t ready for the fact that satire was the only logic back then. One man’s god is another man’s devil, but they’re all one and the same thing. In essence, it’s the force-feeding that really confuses and scares people and it’s interesting that the history that we’re aware of is written by the winners. The killers are the ones that tried to keep quiet.

VNA: Well, the Bible was extracted and rewritten according to whoever was in power.

L: Exactly, and look how messed up it is now. I believe in every way that people should be preached to about love and togetherness. But I don’t believe in fiddling with children, I don’t believe in right and wrong. There’s good and bad and it fits into everyone’s religion. Religion is a dirty word now. Peace is a dirty word! Saying ‘No War’ just pigeon-holes you into hippy shit. The way you have to talk about war and paedophilia now is you have to scream it out just to see who’s paying attention. Ah, NOW I have an audience, now I can talk to you…

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VNA: We have the newspapers screaming into our faces every day with stuff like that, it kind of numbs after a while.

L: Yeah, the beauty of failing. We can’t see that we’re failing, but we love to celebrate disaster. Love it, we love it! You watch the news and there’ll be shock and there’ll be sad music and we will cry for the loss and pain of other people. We watch videos and there’ll be some sound effect of a horn honking and laughter, automated laughter, and it’s emotive to us! There’s just so much power conditioning and editing; there’s so much power in the editing booth. That’s really where media’s sitting high and pretty. By me going and activating these bus shelters, it’s pretty much like me editing the controllers in the station. But there’s no money to be made here until I go and sell something, like a bus shelter image, but then I’m completely contradictory and can be defamed. That’s fine with me. I’m not afraid to lose, I have nothing to lose.

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VNA: So it doesn’t sit hypocritically with you?

L: Absolutely, I sit hypocritically every day. I’m a contradictionist. But I believe that I only create problems in order to solve them. A great artist, Chuck Close said, ‘I’m more interested in problem creation than problem solution’, and I think it’s because I’m interested in what sort of attention I get when I walk down the street and starting fighting for rapist rights (chuckles). I mean, that’s just not cool, but we’re going to find out who gives a shit because a lot of people don’t. I’ve only found this out through experience… It’s not a party til you’re being kicked out. Because that’s when you find out who’s in charge and now we’re talking. You get into the back rooms and the back, back rooms, the VVIP section. Okay, so you’re the one who’s going to kick me out for tagging this wall? Well, I’ll let you know that your club would look better if it had tags on it. You want to punch me in the head, that’s fine I’ve been here before (chuckles). I don’t want to be kicked out, I’d rather that no-one gave a shit and that’s the future I’m fighting for, freedom of visual speech. And when I don’t want someone writing on my wall, I’m either there saying, ‘don’t do it’, or I’ll clean it off. I’m not going to protect it like some sort of vicious dog that doesn’t know the future of having to clean if off. Death is something we have to imagine every day and be comfortable with, because it’s around the corner, and the death of my walls is something I foresaw before I even said ‘yes, I’ll take these walls as mine’, you know? You see, they wrote ‘No War’ on the Opera House and I imagined a world where that was still there. Okay, so if Australia was given back to the Aboriginals, right, and this white man’s production was still there, beautiful and proud; as if anyone was going to get up there and clean that off… Who gives a shit?! So I imagined Australia and Sydney being the place it is three, five, ten years after that No War was written on the Opera House and I was ecstatic! I couldn’t imagine being in a happier place, I was in a great world where people felt free to, for starters, write on the Opera House, and then, for second, the message that shone to the world. Even though it’s a complete contradiction when our soldiers are fighting a war in a foreign country for a different foreign country it’s all too confusing. But our kids are dying right now and there’s no monument at the end of the news segment like there is in America, when I was living there a few years ago, for every soldier that died. So I was imagining this world and I thought that was brilliant. But they got it a little bit wrong though, because it’s culturally significant for a good reason. It’s beautiful and it houses creations of culture. They got it wrong in the sense that, after John Lennon, what do we do? To say no war, is almost cliché now, they don’t get the message. In order to make that sort of statement these days one needs to write ‘war’ on the Coke sign. You know, it’s almost opposite to writing No War on the Opera House. And what did they get out of that? I think the war just kept going. You see, I don’t think the war outside of our country is the war we should be fighting, I think the war’s definitely in the homeland and it’s definitely against the people that are even funding the soldiers to be in a foreign country. Why are they keeping all of our kids over there? What’s going on? You know, I’m not here to change the world, I’m just reacting to the world that’s trying to change me.

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VNA: The end game is, I think, Syria and Iran.

L: Ah, I can’t get involved. What’s it all about? Hummer vans and big screen TVs. You see I don’t like mirrors or ads on television and that’s just part of my make-up. It leaves a lot of room to conceive what I want my children to breathe and what I want them to care about. Shit, I see a dad across from me telling his kid to get off the seats on the train because he’s thinking that either that they’ll be told off by someone else, or there’s a sign there telling you to not do it. I follow things that make sense. I’m not here to crash my car because the line in the street goes off the road, you know what I mean? At this bend in the road I’m going to take it how I need to. With precaution, you know, with foresight. But this society’s been conditioned for ignorance and numbness, to just be prevalent. I don’t know, I’m teaching my kids to almost be more cautious around the police than around some homeless crack-heads. They know how to deal with that motherfucker but they don’t know how to deal with police. It’s the power, the real disequilibrium of power.

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VNA: How do you feel as a parent, bringing kids up in a world like this?

L: I feel confident and I feel strong, because I have visions and I have consciousness, but I feel fear for the influence that they might get from influential friends that are being raised by dads who hate their job, hate their life, live soft and party hard. Drink to get drunk and care about sport.

VNA: Weekend warriors.

L: Yeah, you see I’m a weekend worrier, not a warrior, I worry about the weekend living in the Cross with all these soft-living, party hard motherfuckers that go out there and start fights, rape women and do things without thought of the future. I like to think that I take chances and risks but when I’m gambling I only bet on me and I never expect anything cos I never want to be disappointed. I don’t get excited, I just get ready and these are the sorts of things I teach my kids. It’s a fine line between pressure and encouragement. There’s so much reverse psychology going on and it’s interesting, but it’s also difficult to manage being influential but not manipulative. There’s a fine line and there’s a lot of responsibility with children.

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VNA: It’s like, do you bring your kids up as vegetarians and give them no choice, or do you give them everything and let them make their own mind up?

L: Totally, yeah, and that’s a risky thing to do, but I’d like to think I’m the latter.

VNA: Do you let them make their own mistakes?

L: Sure, even when I can see into the future, absolutely, you have to. It’s hard to learn without making mistakes and it’s only a mistake if you don’t learn from it. Sometimes I see people my own age and younger and often older. People that have been sheltered their whole lives, either with money or with fortune, and they get this hard break, this reality, you know? They couldn’t have seen it coming and it was just so obvious to me that it was coming. I can’t think of an example but you’re like, fuck, you put all your eggs in that basket, like, really? Loss and death, we need to just deal with and peoples’ expectations can really shit on their face.

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VNA: You look a lot of the big corporate people that have a socially successful lifestyle and financial success is obviously something that’s prized in our society, but they’ve lost something inside. Bankers who go to Wall Street, who’ve ploughed themselves into that life and find themselves hollow at the age of thirty-five.

L: Absolutely. And whether or not they were raised by fathers that never let them grow out of themselves – that told them they were always going to be the boss – or whether they were raised by fathers that let them grow, it comes down to what your definition of success is and who you want to succeed to. It’s almost like the difference between fine artists and, I hate to say it, a t-shirt designer, or a graphic artist, or even an art teacher. I was in university with kids in the first year that were getting a degree so they could be art teachers. Now I never understood that… I mean, it’s understandable for some other profession, but to go and teach art, to teach someone like me how to be an artist and to grade me and judge me without even living a life like I needed to lead it went against everything I believed in. Now I’ve seen mentors my whole life and come up very short a lot of the time, but it’s only been for my benefit, you know. It’s like fathers in a way, like, mum’s new boyfriend’s got new problems, it’s like you sample things from different bits and put it together yourself. Or you get raised with a fucking format and you’re either lucky, or you’re not and I’m just lucky that I have the mindfulness to be teaching my kid to grow out of me, you know. “I’m going to beat you, dad”, well, good, because you’re the next model, kid, I’m training you to be faster. I’ve got friends with dads who they’re still trying to please. Their dad’s the smartest man in the world and it may feel good to be a dad like that, it may feel good to have a dad like that, but I just don’t know that world and it’s not natural for me to be better than my son forever.

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VNA: It’s like that point where the student passes the teacher, that should always happen. It should be a collective knowledge that you pass on and build on.

L: Yeah, but that’s something that’s lost and power is being protected by those that have it for a long time. The lion, even after it’s old…

VNA: People get scared of passing it on because they don’t want to be superseded. I see that in places like work as well, people withhold that knowledge and that power and don’t pass it on and build a bigger team because they’re afraid of losing their position.

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L: Yeah, that takes a lot of humility and humbleness and that’s something that can’t be taught. It can only be taught through the beauty of failure and the knowledge that ego needs to be kept at a distance. Everyone’s self isn’t more important than all of us. I’m willing to… I’ve paid in many ways for being a soldier in this freedom fighter revolution of my making. And I don’t say why me, why am I paying to pave the way for your culture, I just deal with it. It’s just how it is. Recently I got paint on a couple at their wedding shoot in Adelaide and this guy, right, I don’t know what he did or what his job was. Let’s just say he was a bouncer at a club and he’s kicked people out for tagging shit before. It’s an illegal graffiti area and they emailed me…

VNA: And they wanted to have a photo shoot in a graffiti spot cos it’s cool?

L: Yeah, because it’s cool. This is how society’s raping my culture and this is how they’re taking everything that I’ve built with my friends and my forefathers, that have been stomped on and wiped out by the grey man. I mean that guy might as well be a buffer, he’s not part of my culture, but he’s taking it anyway. I didn’t mean to get paint on him, but it happened and I’m not sad that it happened and I had every right to be there. They came to the zoo and they got in the cage and what did they expect me to do…? The walls are wet in my world! I don’t have clothes I care about, I’m not down there in my wedding dress (chuckles). So, yeah, there’s some lawsuit going on where the photographer wants to be reimbursed for her whole day’s work, for taking them down to the spot because they’re on her about it. And they’re trying to sue me. I said, ‘I’ll sign the dress for free’ but my lawyers said ‘don’t say anything, don’t even respond’. So it’s all just legend, there is no video, it’s all just a fabricated story as far as we’re concerned. So in my world, to pay her for her whole day’s work, I’d want all the wedding photos and if I have to pay for the dress, I’d want the dress. I’d just flip that shit around. If I was them I’d take it to a current affair. That would be a great story, you know, ‘evil graffiti artist wrecking our world, our beautiful world.’

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VNA: And there they are, stepping into something they were trying to commodify.

L: So the lines are quite blurry right now. John used music for the revolution and Aleister used philosophy and they were both killed for it. Who else was killed for it? Many people have been killed for it. I don’t know when they’ll choose to assassinate me, I don’t know if I’m that relevant or important. I’m sure I’m not, but I think art is a great tool and I think Banksy started the greatest thing by doing what he was doing. There was an interview about him recently, with him working at Pictures on Walls and he was saying this shit about how he raped Santa Claus, he’s a Santa Claus rapist. I actually stopped a rape the other day. I was chasing her down the street and I just stopped chasing her (laughs). I called the rapist hotline the other day and it turns out it’s just for victims. Like, where’s the equality…?