Art that says Hello

John Marriott

1997, 17:00 minutes, colour, English


"Art that says Hello" is an absurd and humorous ficto-documentary about the passion of one man in a colourful uniform for making cities friendlier places to be. His is the story of the lost art of Courtesy, a peculiar form of public service that he provides on city sidewalks, to confused and sometimes delighted pedestrians and passersby.
This special world is presented through the words and deeds of an Art Courtesy Services Provider as he takes Courtesy to the people in the streets of downtown Toronto. This video intersperses footage of absurd
street actions (The Shoe-Shine with Yellow Paint, him photographing people‚s feet as they stand on a backdrop of the moon‚s surface) with disarming interviews and „On-the-job‰ commentary about the history and philosophy of the Courtesy tradition.
Dead-pan, humorous, and accompanied by a Tom Waits-esque theme song, it has prompted laughter and cheers at various screenings. "a look at life from a slightly different perspective" Lisa Mark, Artforum.

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Critical Writing

John Marriott
by Lisa Gabrielle Mark. Artforum, Mar. 1998, v. 36, no. 7.