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Catapult Attack on Merchandise Mart

Art War ( April 17 2007) Sometimes called Carnival of Art on the River

The Art War was a massive performance art happenining that took place during Version Festival 07. Hundreds of artists and cultural workers of all stripes gathered to wage battle against the mass of shows that was "Artropolis" at the Merchandise and Apparel Marts. An army invaded by land, a flotilla attacked via water and a bicycle calvary , led by Critical Mass, launched a charge across the bridge to secure our safe exit. Various figures of the Art establishments's heads were cut off by a neon guillotine. Pillow fights, water balloon fights, and stuffed animals launched via catapult were part of our arsenal. We demanded their surrender. We retreated under the cover of a calvary charge by Critical Mass.

We eventually won the war in 2011 when Artropolis finally collapsed and closed its doors.

From the program:
"Join hundreds of artists, performers and cultural workers of all stripes in the First Annual Carnival of Art on the River. This one day public art action takes place during the Artropolis weekend. Assemble and display/perform your art at points around the Merchandise Mart at 6pm. Bring your agit-prop, art and energy to help celebrate the diversity of the art worlds that lay beyond the confines of the Merchandise mArt Mausoleum. Wait for the signal! and let the Art War begin."

Great Documentation by Oscar Arriola is [ available here.]

Postcard for the Carnival of Art on the River

art war version festival 7The planning map for the Art War

Marching to victory.

Neon Guillotine by Unknown Artist

art war chicago version 7
Effigies of the Art Establishment being led to the Guillotine




960 W 31st Street
Chicago Il 60608

Operating a Front for The Left
in the Arts since 1991

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