Pole Posters 96
Scratch My Nose - Street Writings (1990-95) and Pole Posters (1996)
Some graffiti that you’ve encountered in your life may just stay with you and you’re not always sure why?
In the late 70s, cycling through Sydney’s stormwater drains “Ananda Marga” and “Export Fraser - not Uranium” stayed with me. In the 80s, “Tex Deadly & The Dum Dums” and “Doggy Porridge,” scrawled on the side of terraces, stayed with me.
But in the 90s the font size dramatically decreased - a small, neatly-scrawled texta message on a curb-side drain read:
“Me and Charles Manson lick the same ice cream- Scratch My Nose,”
It was on a Surry Hills gutter across the road from my bedroom window. It was quite a thought. What type ice cream? Are we talking Paddle Pops, a bowl of gelato or double-cone soft serve from a Mr Whippy van? (I suspect the latter, given what followed) Is the message an extract from a diary of a very strange date that had taken place or was it one person’s fantasy (possibly Charlie’s)? Was it a joint act of defiance on the part of SMN and Charlie? Was he granted “Gelato Day-Release?” by his penitentiary authorities?
The writings of Scratch My Nose often evoke a deep sense of intrigue:
“She rubs me up the wrong way. She rubs me against my sandwich”
Putting the English language together, in a way like no other
In 1995, after encountering a SMN performance at Camperdown’s Artery, I was left (and I remain to this day), deeply disturbed by the sight and sound of an ice cream van emerging from the winter evening’s mist- lights flashing and Greensleeves playing. This diverted the crowd’s attention away from some stocking-masked terrorists, torturing a gaffa-taped man into screaming “cheese,” before he was wheeled off, like a hijacked gimp, into the oblivion of the night.
A new century approached. New styles, new tastes and new clubs. But what does one make of billposters adorning Kings Cross telegraph poles promoting:
“Sausage Bar- slide down my sausage – Scratch My Nose”
I Google “Sausage Bar” and I currently get 26900 results. Once again, SMN was way ahead of anyone’s time.