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January 21, 2010

Bank were an artists’ collective established in the mid-90s, who specialised in self-promotion and publicity stunts. Over a 10 year career together, the members staged over 30 exhibitions at a series of  locations including a bank (their first show together, which subsequently led to the christening of the group), a disused swimming pool, a multistory carpark, and eventually their own gallery. Through their many collaborations together and with a wide range of other artists, Bank continued to satirise, mickey-take, and generally sneer at the London artworld that they found themselves excluded from.
Former member John Russell has a website that details of all his former exhibitions, including the ones with Bank.

One of Bank’s former projects, their Fax-Bak service targeted London’s galleries directly. The idea was this: Exhibition press releases, even for internationally established galleries, were (and still are) notoriously poorly written: full of cod-theory, and long sentences that don’t contain any real meaning. Bank provided critical feedback on the press releases, scrawled, in the manner of an over-zealous and tactless school teacher, across the original, which was then faxed (for this was in the mid-90s, in the days before email! …well, sort of) back to the gallery. The pedantic grammatical corrections and critical notes were designed to provoke and annoy, but also to self-promote.

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