The free-to-download-and-display-do-it-yourself-exhibition-of-the-people is back for 2021!
A big thank you to everyone who has already got involved with this, so lovely to hear about all the exhibitions taking place, a full list of all the exhibitions we know about are now below but will add others as we hear about them. A reminder that ‘You, Me and Cold War Steve’ can be displayed by anyone, anywhere, a truly DIY exhibition of the people!
Bedford – The Place
Birmingham – Fircroft College
Bristol – Martin Parr Foundation
Corfe Castle in Purbeck, Dorset
Edinburgh – Out of the Blue
Felixstowe – Cuppa
Liverpool – Liverpool Sound City
London – The Social
Margaretting – Hippo Screen Printers
Market Harborough – Harborough Lights
Reading – Tutu’s Ethiopian Restuarant
Rhondda Valley – Workers Gallery
Rotherham – Roadhouse Bar & Bottle
Salem MA (USA)
St Albans – Eat Wholefoods
St Neots – Art & Soul Cafe
Stroud – Piccadilly Mill Courtyard
Weston Super Mare – University Centre Weston (Loxton Campus)
Widnes – Studio Loose
York – Holgate Gallery
. . and somewhere in 1983 too
Last year before the great plague hit our shores Cold War Steve enlisted the help of many of you to stage a truly ambitious and international exhibition of the people. With almost 100 locations around the world from Falkirk to The Falklands, You, Me and Cold War Steve was free to download and exhibit for anyone that wanted to get involved. Old libraries, pubs, garden centres, colleges and hospitals were all set to take part in perhaps the world’s biggest communal art exhibition.
Then Covid 19 happened, marking yet another somersault in this epoch of super-history. Everything changed, more unquestionable certainties thrown out of the window of the speeding car like satsuma peel, including the very fundamentals of human nature itself, social interaction. The ability to assemble together and celebrate or mark an important life event, a birth, a death, or to just get pissed down the pub or at a Christmas party totally shelved until the virus was beaten. So the exhibitions were of course one by one cancelled.
During the last year we couldn’t stop thinking about the importance of being together, now that it was impossible – and this in part led to the film ‘Cold War Steve Meets The Outside World’ (and exhibition of the same name) happening last summer. The need for humans to be together in a physical sense, to share in a moment of joy, appreciation of artwork, a night of dancing, talking, cheering, mourning and crying all of sudden looked vital. At the very essence of what it is to be human and be happy, or at least feeling something, anything at all.
At this point we should pay tribute to Tutu’s Ethiopian Table in Reading who at the start of the year got in touch to let us know that they were still planing to host their exhibition. Like the Euros or The Olympics, ‘You, Me and Cold War Steve 2020’ was still going to happen in their little Cafe in Reading in 2021. And so it did yesterday, finally launched on the railings by Palmer Park outside Tutu’s. The idea of creating a 2021 edition of ‘You, Me and Cold War Steve’ had been floating about for a little while but the determination and love of Tutu’s to get the pictures up a year and half later and reception in the local community and online for this small act of bringing people back together struck a chord over here in the CWS Office. Was properly emotional actually.
So today we’re delighted to announce You, Me and Cold War Steve – The International Exhibition of the People 2021! A brand new set of 23 free-to-download-and-exhibit artworks. We encourage you to get involved, find a space that is accessible for all in your local area, could be your local boozer, a newsagent or the wall of a chip shop. Anywhere where people can gather safely, share a moment together and enjoy the artwork. Literally do it for yourselves (DIY) and your local community, do it for Cold War Steve, do it for Tutu’s!
– All exhibitions to run between Mon 30 Aug – Sun 3 Oct 2021.
– Print the files and display as you wish but there are 23 in total, they work well together as a set and are numbered in a suggested order which we reckon works.
– Don’t sell the artworks, it’s not the point.
– Make the exhibition free entry if you can so anyone can attend.
– We may do an exhibition poster again that can be sold to raise money for your local community project or charity – more news on that to follow. Bear with us, we’re making this up as we go along again.
– Once you have confirmed your exhibition email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know the details. We want to know!
– Have fun and work together to put on a brilliant show, we’ll do our best to shout about all the different locations as they are confirmed, and hopefully visit a few too!
The CWS Office