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These Defaced Political Posters Make Quebec Elections Less Annoying

With elections looming, Quebec is even more mired in political turmoil than it is on the usual Anglo-hating, hijab-banning day. Thankfully artist David Shaw is making the whole experience bearable by revealing what some people have long suspected...

by Meghan Pearson
Mar 19 2014, 8:30pm

Though I can’t speak for everyone, I can speak for myself and I will just say this: I am sick and tired of all of Quebec’s political shit. The zoo that is our political system functions as an entertainment special for the rest of the country while Quebec waits and watches to see if Pauline Marois will add some sort of valuable contribution to the province.

With the upcoming election, the province is even more mired in political turmoil than it is on the usual English-hating day. David Shaw takes the political posters plastered around Montreal and makes them, well, bearable. He gives Marois a facelift and exposes the aliens hiding under the PQ’s skin.

We decided to ask him about his hilarious posters and what they’re all about.

VICE: Where did you get the idea to start doing this?
David Shaw: I think it was the grimacing face of Thomas Mulcair on this poster that looked like it was made with construction paper and a pair of safety scissors. I thought, aww, look at that little vampire hunter. I’ll make him a real campaign.

How do you choose what poster you’re going to do next and what you’re going to do to them?
Like the artist Carrot Top, I have a folder of props I collect for the project, but it’s mostly what strikes me when I see the poster. I’ll make a mental note, like, this guy should be holding a bag of Cheetos, or have someone in a headlock.  I try to keep the net wide, so nobody’s singled out.

Why do you do this? Just for fun?
It’s definitely fun, but I also think everyone wishes they had more control over what is being pushed in their face as soon as they leave the house. Advertising has creeped so far into our personal space, it’s not unreasonable to want to push back. And it’s just so much waste and pollution, using this "cover-every-surface" tactic to promote a political candidate. It’s about as advanced as rave flyering. 

Are you really invested in Montreal politics?
I vote, but I’m as fed up with the shit as the average person. I’d say there’s pretty low return on that investment. I see actual change coming from a bottom-up, community-based direction, but this has been a pretty revealing year for politics on every level. What a world

Have you ever put these up in Montreal?
We’ve done art parties where we grab a big bundle of posters and alter them, then put them up again. It’s more exciting, but it’s messy, and they get taken down pretty quickly. Using a computer is more open ended, and a lot of people believe these are real signs for Quebec politicians, which says... something?

What are your thoughts on the PQ?
I think they’re pretty tiring. It’s tempting to say they’ve just got their heads up their asses and are clinging on to a myopic and antiquated world view, but at the same time they’re running a pretty thoughtful game of misdirection and obfuscation, in terms of having to address anything approaching a serious issue. 

David doesn't have a website but you can check out his Youtube channel here.

@MPearson9

David Shaw

David Shaw

David Shaw

David Shaw

David Shaw

David Shaw

David Shaw

David Shaw

David Shaw

David Shaw

David Shaw