For The Economist Plaza, Cleo Broda has made a series of signs. The signs mimic the type of signs one might expect to find in a plaza, but contain quite different information. The artist has asked a range of people to draw a guide to the complex shape of The Economist Plaza from memory. Each of these memory-distorted images of the space is unique and is labelled with the author’s name. Placed on the Plaza, the signs give multiple and conflicting perceptions or readings of the site.
Broda’s main interest in representations of information such as maps, diagrams and signs is their subjectivity and partiality. She is fascinated by authority that they seem to carry despite this, and hopes to disrupt our idea of what information is and whose version of it is important. The result is often something that offers alternative views of reality and lets us question our ideas of what important or useful information actually is.
Recent projects are two Local Information Guides made for areas of London and Liverpool as part of New Contemporaries 99. The Guides present an alternative view of the places in a familiar form and have the look of official information. The maps do not show road names, churches, post offices or tube stations but rather, have symbols for ‘Rubbish likely to contain hair/cheese’, ‘Handy hole to push things down’, ‘Image of dog’ and ‘Popular place to pee’.
Broda completed a Master of Fine Arts at The Slade in 1988 and has exhibited work in New Contemporaries 99 (in Liverpool Biennial and in London at Milch Gallery), at the Tramway in Glasgow and at Waygood in Newcastle. Her most recent works are an artist’s project published in Everything magazine and a piece for the exhibition DIY (London, September 2000). Her work has been written about in Time Out and Third Text. She is currently showing You Are Here in Manchester and will shortly be starting a six month residency at The London School of Economics.