DC at Night

DC at Night

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Crier Creates a Humorous Look at DC Headlines

There is no question that writing clever headlines is an art, but can the headlines themselves be considered art. Well for DC-area artists Natalie Campbell, Bryan Minnich, and Martine Workman, the answer is a resounding yes.

Working with a group of fellow artists, the trio has produced the satiric, tongue-in-cheek newspaper (in different size versions) The Crier.  Half artist mag, half local rag, the issue was edited and assembled via submissions, and a series of prints were produced at Pleasant Point Workshop in the Shaw-Howard section of the city to create an interactive installation that was unveiled this weekend.

With headlines like Excuse You Is That My Bag (a takeoff on the ubiquitous DC Metro message - Excuse me, is that your bag?), Tourists Disappointed Washington Mall Is Not a Mall, and The Four Best Conspiracy Theories About the Scaffolding on the Washington Monument, The Crier cleverly pokes fun at DC, while at the same time capturing the zeitgeist of the nation's capital.

To add verisimilitude to the tiny paper (whose banner proclaims Free In DC, $1 elsewhere), the inaugural issue (3 are planned), includes ads, classifieds, maps, cartoons, and other items you might find in a street paper.

Part of the project was a playful attempt at "reducing the news to a manageable personal size" that could then be distributed, says Campbell, who explained that both she and Martine had been using tiny newspapers in their art displays. "We wanted to do something hyper-local that played with different forms," she added.

When she lived in Washington state, Martine actually published a small art paper for the 800 residents of that tiny community called Twisp. "People loved it," she said with a laugh.

Minnich, a graphic designer, is no stranger to humorous publications. He actually produces his own magazine Popular Demand. But then, he also publishes a 2nd magazine, Brute, which is designed to despise and comment negatively on everything Popular Demand publishes. "Brute is a bully, but it lets me get all my hate out," Minnich explained.

Probably the most interesting piece in the installment is the setup with printed sheets of The Crier that seem as if they are actually coming off a printing press. And if you like it, it is for sale. All you need is $1,000 and a big vehicle to get it home.

Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
Campbell, Martine, and Minnich, all agree that the Pleasant Point Workshop is one of DC's most happening art operations. To learn more about the kinds of things that go on there, click here.

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