June 22, 2020

What effect do newspapers have on our opinions and views of the world?

Mij Rothera, 53

Newspaper headlines during this pandemic are horrifying. I have been making collages, using 0’s and O’s cut from current newspapers. Each piece is made from a single copy of a different newspaper. To date, I have made 34. There are wide variations in typefaces, and the fonts’ sizes and colours. Some papers talk to us calmly. Others shout and cause panic. I have been confronted countless times by the letter O in words such as Covid, Lockdown, Isolation, Hospital, Police, Zoom, Boris, etc., and by numbers in the 000’s. The series might at first appear decorative and graphic-design-based but it conveys the horror of the pandemic. The metaphor inherent in repeatedly extracting lots of 0 from The Press is rather pleasing. The process is cathartic, and also a little like shouting “Tra la la, not listening!” while covering your ears, to avoid hearing something unpleasant. Who owns, edits, writes for and publishes each paper? What are they trying to have us believe? What kind of language are they using? Why? What are they keeping quiet about? Who buys which newspaper? Why? What effect do newspapers have on our opinions and views of the world?

O and 0 from The Press, Black Indian Ink, Newspaper, Glue, Watercolour Paper.Each piece 29cm x 29cm