David Blandy

Queen's Park, London. 'Ya Get Me?' premiered at the Electric Cinema, Saturday 22nd November 2003
21 August 2003 - 22 November 2003

Backslang was a project by David Blandy about West London teenagers’ street slang. Blandy worked with young people from The Avenues Youth Project in Queen's Park, to identify and define the key words they used as part of their everyday vocabulary.

As a part of the process the participants created the film Ya Get Me? in which they asked peers, teachers and youth workers to explain words and phrases like 'gublash' and 'wa gwan'. They also produced a printed leaflet mimicking a standard dictionary, Street Talk - a Dictionary in Progress, which provided a glossary of slang words, phonetic pronunciations and definitions.

Image: Two teenagers explaining the meaning of 'gublash' in the film Ya Get Me?, 2003

Video: Ya Get Me?

14 minutes 25 seconds
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Video: Ya Get Me?

Ya Get Me? was one of the outcomes of Backslang, made by the young people from The Avenues under Blandy's direction. It featured performances by Frederick Assinor, Dizzy, Issac aka Ice Man, Kwesi, Daddy Pickins and Rugrat with Carl Dwyer providing the freestyle singing for the soundtrack.

Ya Get Me? was first screened at the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill, and later along with BB in 2003 as part of a programme of films and events surrounding Artangel's commissioning of two new films by Cameron Jamie - Kranky Klaus & Spook House.

This video is also available to watch on Vimeo and YouTube.

Image: Still of two young men explaining the meaning of 'wa gwan' as captioned on screen, taken from David Blandy's 'Ya Get Me?', 2003

Street Talk: A Dictionary In Progress

Printed manuscript produced as part of the project
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blood (-ŭd) n. & int. 1. n. friend or kin. 2. n. person. 3. int. emphatic reinforcement, ex. Ya get me, blood?

Street Talk: A Dictionary In Progress

As part of the Backslang, Blandy produced a printed manuscript which was compiled and edited with the young people he was working with at The Avenues Youth Project. Street Talk can be seen as the beginning of a constantly mutating document, capturing the ever-changing slang used by young people.

Compiled and edited by
David Blandy
Wayne Louis
Kusu Biti
Shauna Davis
Leon Emmanuel
Peter Emmanuel
Linda Ibrahim
Kamara Lionel
Daniel Registe

Continue to view the full manuscript 

Street Talk: A Dictionary in Progress is also available as a download below.

About David Blandy

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David Blandy

British artist David Blandy first worked with Artangel on Backslang in 2003, followed by Radio Nights in 2005. In 2013 he made the Open Longlist. 

David Blandy (b. 1976) uses video, performance and comics to address identity formation and its relationship to popular culture. Blandy studied Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art (1995-98) then the Slade School of Fine Art (2001-3). He has exhibited at venues nationally and worldwide such as Bloomberg Space, London, UK; The Exchange, Newlyn Art Gallery, UK; Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland; The Baltic, Gateshead; Turner Contemporary, Margate; Spike Island, Bristol; Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Germany; MoMA PS1, New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China. 

He is represented by Seventeen Gallery and his films are distributed by LUX


Images: (above) David Blandy at Iaspis; (left) David Blandy at BBC Radio 1Xtra. 


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Who made this possible?


Backslang was made in collaboration with the Avenues Youth Project in Queens Park, London. 

Artangel is generously supported by Arts Council England and the private patronage of The Artangel International CircleSpecial AngelsGuardian Angels and The Company of Angels