Public Artwork

Loose Lips Series

Adrian Göllner, Loose Lips Series, 2000
Adrian Göllner, Loose Lips Series, 2000
Adrian Göllner, Loose Lips Series, 2000
Diefenbunker, Carp, ON, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Göllner, Adrian
Text author(s): 
Göllner, Adrian
Installation year: 
Remarks on location: 

Rooms (402 A), (161 A), Engine Room / Machine room, medical clinic


Backlit posters with messages of warning and safety instructions.

Text of the artwork: 

[Poster 1: Bunkroom, Level 4]

Close ranks on communist infiltrators.

[Poster 2: medical clinic / medical center, level 4]

They walk among us.
The communist threat is real.

[Poster 3: Machine Hall machine room, Level 1]

Them in Europe. Us in Europe.
Tactical nuclear weapons keep Europe free.

Artwork theme: 
Cold war

AxeNeo7, an artist-run centre in Hull, Québec, presents the work of thirteen artists in the bunker as a way of exploring the perceptions of the Cold War and the Diefenbunker itself. Singular:Fissions ran from July 15 until October 31, 2000. Located twenty minutes East of Ottawa in the town of Carp is the Diefenbunker. Built in the late fifties and early sixties admidst Cold War tensions, this four-storey bunker would have housed senior government and military officials in the case of nuclear war. Now decomissioned, the bunker is the home of Canada's Cold War Museum and a popular tourist destination.

Event date(s): 



I created three different series for the exhibition: the Loose Lips Series, the Hygiene Series and the Civil Defence Series.


The Loose Lips Series is the first of three series I created for Singular:Fissions, an exhibition in a decommissioned Cold War bunker outside of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on the theme of fear and the Cold War. The series employs 1960's style hard-edge graphics in the creation of faux anti-communist propaganda. Placed at crucial junctures in the bunker, the back-lit posters cautioned bunker personnel that enemy spies are lurking. Most visitors took them to be original to the facility.


My artworks address particular contexts. Given a billboard on which to work, I designed mock advertisements; allowed to work in a military bunker, I made some propaganda. When faced with a conventional gallery space, I am inclined to play off the stylings of contemporary art. Within the above however, there are constants. I have an abiding interest in abstraction and the history of the last century. Of specific interest are those points where design and art cross, i.e.: the Bauhaus, the Soviet Avant-garde, and American industrial design of the 1930s. Stylistic references to these movements are referred to, coyly, to enhance my investigations into the Cold War, architecture and our consumer society. My intent is to satirize, but I hope I do so with a degree of subtlety. By closely emulating graphic styles and employing commercial production techniques, I am able to hide my own hand and create images that defy easy interpretation as art. The results are mildly subversive.

Adrian Göllner (2008). Adrian Göllner: Loose Lips Series.


Adrian Göllner : War & Peace : the Ottawa Artist Remembers the Cold War

Scott, Melanie (2003).  Adrian Göllner : War & Peace : the Ottawa Artist Remembers the Cold War. Canadian Art. vol. 20, no. 1 (Spring ) , p. 44

Singular Fission/ Fissions singulières

Doyon, Jacques, Richard Gagnier (2000).  Singular Fission/ Fissions singulières. Hull : Axe Néo-7, p. 31

Art et guerre froide

Lamarche, Bernard (2000).  Art et guerre froide. Le Devoir. (7-8 octobre), p. D10

Art Goes Underground

Scott, Melanie (2000).  Art Goes Underground. Where Ottawa. (September), p. 20-21

Escape Fantasies. Survival in the Diefenbunker

Irvin, Sherri, Cathy Busby (2000).  Escape Fantasies. Survival in the Diefenbunker. C Magazine. , p. 24-33

The Show That Came in From the Cold

Shinhat, Molly Amoli K. (2000).  The Show That Came in From the Cold. Ottawa X-Press. (October 12)