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Wieden + Kennedy Displays Workers In A Pop Art Cage

In a wry pop-up installation at Wieden + Kennedy London, real people go about real work within an optical illusion.

  • <p>Titled "Real Life at Work" and rendered in '60s pop art lines, Wieden + Kennedy’s London storefront space looks two-dimensional until a 3-D human comes along and sits at the desk, effecting a surreal optical illusion.</p>
  • <p>It turns the daily office grind into a type of performance art.</p>
  • <p>The pop-up space is part of the ad agency’s Hello Neighbour initiative, launched in 2012, in which they commission creative people working within a one-mile radius to create a unique display for their storefront window each month.</p>
  • <p>Graphic artist Emily Forgot and installation artist Laurie D are the neighbours responsible for this wry transformation, which includes a clock that moves backwards, a chunky typewriter, crumpled wads of paper on the floor, and an incessantly ringing phone.</p>
  • <p>“Real Life Creative Team at Work.” Their activity is also broadcast via webcam on the <a href="http://www.reallifewk.com" target="_blank">installation’s website</a>.</p>
  • <p>If you catch live workers on the video stream, watching them toil at this parody of an office desk from your own office desk can be a bit existential angst-inducing.</p>
  • <p>Placing people in the animated space creates a sort of inverted <em>Space Jam</em> effect. It’s also a bit reminiscent of Akira Kurosawa’s <em>Dreams</em>, in which characters walk through landscapes that replicate famous paintings.</p>
  • <p>“Real Life at Work” is on display at 16 Hanbury Street in London until August 31.</p>
  • 01 /08

    Titled "Real Life at Work" and rendered in '60s pop art lines, Wieden + Kennedy’s London storefront space looks two-dimensional until a 3-D human comes along and sits at the desk, effecting a surreal optical illusion.

  • 02 /08

    It turns the daily office grind into a type of performance art.

  • 03 /08

    The pop-up space is part of the ad agency’s Hello Neighbour initiative, launched in 2012, in which they commission creative people working within a one-mile radius to create a unique display for their storefront window each month.

  • 04 /08

    Graphic artist Emily Forgot and installation artist Laurie D are the neighbours responsible for this wry transformation, which includes a clock that moves backwards, a chunky typewriter, crumpled wads of paper on the floor, and an incessantly ringing phone.

  • 05 /08

    “Real Life Creative Team at Work.” Their activity is also broadcast via webcam on the installation’s website.

  • 06 /08

    If you catch live workers on the video stream, watching them toil at this parody of an office desk from your own office desk can be a bit existential angst-inducing.

  • 07 /08

    Placing people in the animated space creates a sort of inverted Space Jam effect. It’s also a bit reminiscent of Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, in which characters walk through landscapes that replicate famous paintings.

  • 08 /08

    “Real Life at Work” is on display at 16 Hanbury Street in London until August 31.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live in a cartoon? The London office of advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy commissioned graphic artist Emily Forgot and installation artist Laurie D to transform their storefront into a black-and-white cardboard office inspired by Roy Lichtenstein’s paintings. Titled "Real Life at Work" and rendered in '60s pop art lines, the monochromatic space looks two-dimensional until a 3-D human comes along and sits at the desk, effecting a surreal optical illusion.

The wry installation is complete with a clock that moves backwards, a chunky typewriter, crumpled wads of paper on the floor, and an incessantly ringing phone. And it turns the daily office grind into a type of performance art. Though month’s end, passersby can watch people, stationed in the space, going about their business behind the glass labeled: "Real Life Creative Team at Work." Their activity is also broadcast via webcam on the installation’s website. (Sometimes the video stream just features an empty chair, but if you catch a live worker, watching her toil at this parody of an office desk from your own office desk can be a bit existential angst-inducing.)

Placing real humans in this animated space creates a sort of inverted Space Jam effect. It’s also a bit reminiscent of Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, in which characters walk through landscapes that replicate famous paintings.

The pop-up space is part of Wieden + Kennedy’s Hello Neighbour initiative, launched in 2012, in which they commission creative people working within a one-mile radius to create a unique display for their storefront window each month. Past installations have included a massive quilted Union Jack, with each of the 15 squares designed by a different artist, and a spookily projected Halloween ghost.

"Real Life at Work" is on display at 16 Hanbury Street in London until August 31.