Monday, August 4, 2008

Art as Protest

"[Merz] is an idea about how the artist takes the deconstructed world--the world that has been emptied of all meaning by commercialization--and makes something of the rubble."
Bill T. Jones in
Plazm 14, 1996

my lai

This 1970 image from the Art Workers Coalition begs the 2008 question, What would we see now?


During the first intifada, images of Palestinian children throwing rocks at Israeli tanks struck me like nothing else I'd ever seen. The indecency of the bullets fired upon those kids and the US funding for those tanks drove home the gross inequity of militarism and state power.


ACT UP's early campaigns--mass 'die-in' demonstrations, bloody handprints on the headquarters of big pharma--were both visually arresting and inspiring.


Robbie Conal's "Contra Cocaine" posters appeared all over greater LA the summer of the Ollie North hearings and seemed like one a logical extension of the agit-prop collages of Winston Smith and Gee Vaucher.

Tiananmen Tanks

Finally, the photo China doesn't want you to see. With the start of this year's Olympics in Beijing, I can think of no greater way to celebrate the spirit of resistance than to reproduce this image.

(All images culled from the net.)

No comments: