WARNING! Exhibition: Artist's Statement
|The content of this show, this WAR!, using imagery, text, photography and video, captures four years of the Bush Administration and the disastrous and irreparable harm it was able to inflict under the guise of an archaic good versus evil paradigm. From Rumsfeld to Rice, from Powell to Ridge, from Fleischer to McClellan, from Wolfowitz to Ashcroft, players in the theater of the Absurd, the spiral into chaos and confusion is as horrifying as it is dangerous.
While the imagery and related content is difficult and sometimes deliberately offensive and hard-hitting, it is also infused with traces of humor and irony. The work is designed to communicate how declarations of war, political rhetoric on all sides and a sweeping tide of emotion and patriotism, unchecked and unbalanced, facilitated the most dangerous and damaging erosion of civil liberties in America’s short history than anything else ever.
How the threat posed by our willingness to blindly trade our freedom for a heightened perception of security was underestimated and has come to fruition in ways most people still do not understand. How artists are being censored, library books subpoenaed, journalists fired, teachers dismissed, lawyers indicted, families destroyed and students arrested while our airports and transportation systems remain as vulnerable as they ever were.
How a power grab seeped in dishonesty, greed, war-profiteering and arrogance, neatly framed as a commitment to a War on Terror, indefinite, brutal and not winnable, led from the ashes of Ground Zero to the torture chambers of Abu Ghraib, Iraq.
If the imagery and content of this exhibition appears harsh and shocking it’s only because it stands in stark contrast to the sappy, obsequious corporate-controlled media alternatives, instilling over-produced, high-tech fear into us by simply regurgitating the government's outdated, inadequately planned, morale destroying, intelligence-compromised war strategies. Delivered by mindless, cosmetically enhanced automatons “embedded” and in bed with the military they’re supposed to be holding accountable, ensuring the manufacturing, packaging and distribution of a sugar-coated, distorted reality -- anything and everything but the truth -- in five second sound bytes between American Idol and The Apprentice.
This exhibition, on the eve of a pivotal election, is a wake up call and a reminder; a protest and a proposal; a presentation of despair and a challenge. A challenge to shift the path we’re being taken down and reclaim some of what’s already been stolen. But above all, it is a WARNING! And a dire warning at that, because this exhibition represents only four years.
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