London Dada Work No. 552; Primary Contrary / The Treachery of Words

Primary Contrary
  The Conning of the Consumer / The Treachery of Words
c. Michael St.Mark 2011 ( title after Magritte’s The Treachery of Images )

Taking the generally accepted artists’ primary colours of red, yellow and blue, this seminal work intends basic dichotomy in visual/literal contradiction and confusion in the viewer, regressing him/her back to first intellectual learning, disassembling the mental link between experience and language that is used to such effect in politics, the advertising media and retail sector to manipulate the mass individual’s choice.. and so thereby awakening a powerful awareness of its powerful hold over us and the first step in weakening that iron grip.

This Work is also specifically relevant to product labelling – horse meat in the packaging guise of beef, for example..

.. or  “ Green Leaf Salad


UPDATE Oct 1st 2018

An interesting new consumer brain scrambler and ad’ man’s new impact text tool – coming to a billboard near you soon..

1ne,  2wo,  3hree,  4our,  5ive,  6ix,  7even,  8ight,  9ine  10en  11leven,  12welve, 13hirteen .. etc

® Michael St.Mark


*Update; what’s new in 2020..

An online price compare company called 5ECONDS

” Search for anything at a better price in 5 seconds “

10 thoughts on “London Dada Work No. 552; Primary Contrary / The Treachery of Words

  1. Pingback: LONDON DADA work 574; The Politician’s Word | LONDON DADA

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  4. This is my favourite one of your recent posts Michael. It tricked me too.
    I also loved the shortest day shot, I’ve always been a sucker for nature.

    Have a happy New Year my freind. My absence has only been due to the fact that I have been writing a book and a stage play. I am happy to report both are now finished. My book is due to be published by June/July of this year. I have now started writing a short two man comedic play I am planning to put on at the Edinburgh Comedy festival in August Next Year. Now I have more time I plan to do a few more halfy human condition posts. All the best for 2012 and keep up the good work sir!


    • Thanks for the feedback halfy, I wondered where you’d gone – still relishing the Rugby replays I thought, maybe.
      Keep it up with the writing my friend – as a famous published novelist once said to me
      “ almost everything else, the more you practice the better you get”
      Good SOH he has too huh 😉


  5. I think I also saw YELLOW as yellow ( read yellow and colour appears ) when I read it but seconds later I blinked and thought ‘ hang on .. something not quite right here ‘ lol

    When a person nods , we assume it means ‘yes’ hard to say ‘yes ‘ while shaking your head , isn’t it ? 😉
    Colour food blue and it immediately looses its appeal .



    • Yes Mira, the power of words and associations to over-ride actual experience is entrenched in our subconscious. To be aware of it though, might be the key to bypassing it somewhat.
      Hmm. blue custard… loses its appeal, somehow 🙂


      • Blue custard … yuk 😉
        I do agree that with awareness you can usually choose , but some illusions are very strong; even when you know , your eyes or rather your mind will tell a different tale.



  6. A very odd happening when i first looked at this and i didn’t realise that i’d done it. I read the words but saw the colour they should have been in my mind instead of what was written :))

    It certainly shows how we can be conditioned into seeing what ‘the powers that be’ want us to see. Probably the same technique used by supermarkets to get us to buy what we had no intention of buying when we set foot in the store!


    • Exactly, Brianna. The power of words over us ( the image) is becoming stronger than the experience, the fact.
      Tory Bliar used this to great advantage with his new labour project. As if he almost believed it himself, that if there was an impression of something going ok in the country, then it actually was. He was/is a genius at conjouring impressions.
      Its interesting how its hold over out minds becomes very apparent in this work.


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