Phil Simkin, Move It or Lose It

posted in: Timeline
Phil Simkin
The Print Center Scrapbook, 1975

In 1975, as part of The Print Center’s 60th Anniversary, the Philadelphia artist Phil Simkin (1944 -2013) created a performative spectacle that generated so much attention and controversy that people are still talking about it. For Move It or Lose It, Simkin created a 60-foot moving clothesline on Latimer Street in front of The Print Center, with dozens of prints donated by artists attached. As prints progressed down the line, Simkin announced each print, named the artist and the asking price. If the print reached the end of the line without being sold, an “executioner” put it into a paper shredder. “The fate of each piece is completely in the hands of the public,” Simkin said. In the end, most works sold, but several were shredded with the paper shreds bagged up and sold at a low price to attendees.