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Madison Sign Project

May 17, 2010

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Recently, six “historical” signs that I created went up in Madison, Wisconsin through a project with the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. The signs honor former spaces in the city that are no longer, but were pillars of underground music, queer culture, radical politics, D.I.Y. culture, and community organizing.
The signs will be up until the Fall and commemorate Mifflin Street Co-op, Whole Earth Co-op, Freedom House, Hotel Washington, Lysistrata Restaurant, and O’Cayz Corral. The last three spaces ended when fires destroyed their respective buildings – two by accident and one by arson (Lysistrata which was a radical space for feminist organizing in the late 70s/early 80s.)
The project itself was inspired by collectives and artists that I admire, particularly REPOhistory, the Howling Mob Society, and the Pocho Research Society, that have employed signage to draw attention to important community based histories through public art and street art.


Here are photos of two of the signs – O’Cayz and Hotel Washington.

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Props to Shaun from Justseeds for sign expertise, Norm Stockwell at WORT for historical expertise, and the MMOCA staff for facilitating the project and jumping through the bureaucratic hoops.
More info / press:
http://www.mmoca.org/exhibitions/exhibitdetails/Lampert/NicolasLampert.php
http://www.avclub.com/madison/articles/the-spirits-of-madison-activism-show-up-in-sign-fo,40427/

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