News: Statement From Canadian Artist Derek Besant

Beyond The Joke has received the following email from Derek Besant this evening. Besant is the artist whose blurred images of strangers in a Calgary underpass exhibition turned out to be pictures of comedians who had appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015. The case was revealed through social media by stand-up Bisha K Ali after a friend told her he had spotted her photo on the wall. Bisha K Ali's picture was taken by fellow comedian Jayde Adams. Other photos include those taken by the following. Ashley Storrie by Janey Godley, Chris Betts by Callum Teggin, Harriet Kemsley by Andy Hollingworth, Markus Birdman by Benedict Johnson, Sofie Hagen by Karla Gowlett, Paul Savage by Duncan Oakley, Mark Thomas by Steve Ullathorne.

"When I received some torn out pages from a handout flyer with these faces, 
my impression was they were already out in the public domain.  
Therefore, I thought they could be collaged as backgrounds to be further interrupted 
with text elements for the 4th Street community art-site concept. 
I intended my project to incorporate a theme of “representations of strangers that could be from 
anywhere, in any city…”  My premise was to open up a conversation centered around “who are we - in cities”.
I’ve initiated that the temporary artwork be removed immediately and want to apologize to all concerned.
In no way did I ever mean to hurt anyone involved, and I am extremely sorry that this is the result of my misunderstanding."
Derek Michael Besant / artist
(picture courtesy of /Twitter)



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