David Shrigley

David Shrigley's 'Pulped Fiction'

David Shrigley's 'Pulped Fiction'

Renowned Turner Prize-nominated artist David Shrigley embarked on a remarkable artistic venture that transcends mere creative expression in 2023. In a move that challenges conventions and sparks dialogue, Shrigley took 6,000 copies of Dan Brown's ubiquitous bestseller "The Da Vinci Code" and ingeniously republished them as George Orwell's timeless classic "1984".

David Shrigley and The Da Vinci Code

The genesis of Shrigley's transformative project can be traced back to 2017, when he learned of an Oxfam shop in Swansea that had reached its saturation point with donations of "The Da Vinci Code". In a stroke of artistic inspiration, Shrigley seized upon this intriguing confluence of circumstances and set his ambitious plan into motion.

The 1,250 copies of Shrigley's reimagined edition of "1984" were be unveiled for sale at the same Oxfam shop. Each copy is a unique testament to Shrigley's creative ingenuity, complete with a signed and numbered print, offered at a price of £495. This unveiling marks the culmination of a journey that began with Shrigley's imaginative vision and has since captured the imagination of art enthusiasts and literary aficionados alike.

Phil Broadhurst, the manager of the Oxfam shop, vividly recalls the events that sparked Shrigley's intervention. "Around that time, there was one particular donation that we were getting a little more than we could use, which was 'The Da Vinci Code'," Broadhurst recounts. This surplus of copies prompted Broadhurst to craft a witty sign inviting patrons to donate vinyl records instead, a gesture that ultimately caught Shrigley's attention and set his artistic endeavour in motion.

Shrigley's acquisition of thousands of copies of "The Da Vinci Code" was no small feat. Initially scouring charity shops for copies proved to be a slow process, prompting Shrigley to seek alternative avenues. With the assistance of Wrap Distribution in Oxfordshire, a repository for surplus books, Shrigley was able to amass the necessary materials to bring his vision to life.

David Shrigley: Artist pulps 6,000 copies of The Da Vinci Code and turns  them into 1984 - BBC News

David Shrigley and George Orwell's 1984

The decision to republish Orwell's "1984" using the surplus copies of "The Da Vinci Code" was a deliberate one, rooted in Shrigley's belief in the enduring significance of Orwell's work. As Shrigley emphasizes, this act is not merely a form of literary criticism but a statement about the power of storytelling and the role of art in shaping society.

With the 70th anniversary of George Orwell's passing approaching, Shrigley recognised the opportune moment to breathe new life into "1984", a seminal work that continues to resonate with readers today. Through his innovative project, Shrigley invites us to reconsider the boundaries of creativity and the potential for reinvention in the face of cultural abundance.

As Shrigley's repurposed editions of "1984" find their way into the hands of collectors and enthusiasts, they serve as tangible reminders of the artist's bold vision and his commitment to challenging norms and sparking conversation. In a world saturated with mass-produced culture, Shrigley's project stands as a testament to the enduring power of art to provoke thought, inspire change, and redefine the boundaries of possibility.

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