Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
So why has he not found a sponsor, someone to finish paying for its construction and a place for it to rest? It is not because of the lack of publicity- it has been featured in Life Magazine, Southern Living, and National Geographic. Not for the want of a good place to put it, it was on display for a time at the 82nd Airborne Museum in Fayetteville, NC. Not for it’s artistic merit. Many an aesthetically dead memorial exists around the country- most are poorly designed stone monoliths with little more attention paid to design than the font of the lettering. I think the reason why Jim has not found a home for his work lies in why we make memorials the way we do-even the bad ones- and how Jim’s does not fit into that mold.
The Greek temple works because it makes our own the Greeks’ desire to find order in a world filled with chaos. In comparison, Jim’s memorial freezes the act of destruction, of chaos. This is not a criticism. I am only pointing out a difference in his work vs. the many other memorials we create. Look at the other memorials in Washington; the Vietnam Memorial (Maya Lin’s), the WWII memorial, the Koran Memorial, even JFK’s eternal flame. All of them erase the chaos and add in its place order. Maybe we need this in our memorials. Maybe we need to feel a sense of nobility, peace, and order in these holy places. But there is the rub; war and conflict are not noble, peaceful, or ordered. Just ask any veteran. Beneath my sense of awe when in these places sits a critic with an ironic smile. It asks “Why do we build memorials filled with our highest ideals to events that represent the worst in human nature?” Does creating such moments insure that the horror of the act will be forgotten and more easily repeated?
Jim Gallucci’s memorial challenges these conventions. It puts the chaos in our face. It quotes the broken hearts of all of us who lost so much on that fateful day. It includes a relic from the battle field. It captures the moment of collapse. This makes Jim’s sculpture good, even profound, art in my book- but maybe not the best memorial.
Maybe we all need to follow Jim’s lead and leap over the concept of the standard memorial to human conflict, making them artistic reminders of the chaos they really are- would we then work harder to make our highest ideals real and lasting?
Friday, November 23, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
This video is a real whopper too. One judge I use to decide to share something on this blog is whether it breaks my heart or lifts it up. Kris Kristofferson's song "In the News" does both. The images and words are a heart breaker. The song is mostly about the war. But there is something in his voice that lifts my heart. Maybe it is the age in it, maybe it is the restrained power and conviction or the wise lyrics. If God is a man, he sounds like this right now- old as the hills, and tired, so tired at our deadly games.
I write this just after having walked outside on a beautiful fall afternoon. God is out there too, smiling in the sunlight, giving us all a second chance. Watch the video, then take a walk outdoors- I hope that helps strike a balance.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Weary and sickened by the growing anti-immigrant hysteria and the multiplying of cases of violance and abuses levied against undocumented immigrants, a grass-roots protest has been launched to spread the word that many American Citizens are against the current unfocused, mean-spirited, attempt to address our broken national immigration policy. By placing one electric candle in their window (or a digital one on their website or blogs) this holiday season, participants will signal to others that they are taking a stand against the hate and xenophobia growing in the nation.
A blog site http://thecandleproject.blogspot.com has been set up to gather evidense of participation (photos and statements of participants) , to share evidence of abuse against undocumented immigrants, and spotlight other ways to take action.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Untitled, Charcoal, 1996
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Liisa Ogburn has crafted a simple but profound documentary video of 1st graders answering the question "If you had one wish for yourself, your family, or the world, what would it be?" The results reminds us all that we all too quickly dismiss the wisdom found in innocence. You will see your own dreams here, ones that may have been packed away, others that you wake daily trying to reach. Take a moment out from your busy day and listen to accompanying music and watch the words and the faces of these children. Only the most jaded will leave with dry eyes. Thanks Liisa for reminding many of us why children are so priceless, why they are the gift that front end loads this life we live and become so accustomed to- slowly forgetting the wonder that should be found in each day, first to last.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Giving voice to the often unheard or overlooked is one of the themes that artists Todd Drake and Cathy McLaurin regularly explore in their community involving art projects. Cathy and Todd have a new project in the works that seeks to give voice to the children of US Military personel currently deployed in areas of conflict. They are in the final stages of firming up their proposal and are seeking feedback from others; art therapists, military personal, mental health professionals serving this community, other artists, and others.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Why do we spend millions to see fake horror and wear scary costumes? I do not get the appeal of slasher flicks and always got sick from trick or treating. The film "The Devil Came on Horseback" looks truly horrifying and should make all of us sick at our stomachs when we admit this has happened on our watch. We can blame the Holocaust on others, but we cannot say "never again" without being hypocrites. Marine Captain Brian Steidle traveled to Darfur, Sudan, and in this documentary we hear his first hand accounts and see the damning photos that helped alert the work to the human tragedy unfolding there. I am not sure when the film will be out for general viewing, but you can watch the trailer for now.
Enjoy Halloween, but when you are out walking in the dark do not be afraid, the devil has found a place to ride in broad daylight, with our permission, and it's called Darfur. How clever.
For readers living in major US cities, also check out : http://www.darfurdarfur.org/main/ Wish these type shows came to smaller venues!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Yann Arthus-Bertrand has created a profoundly impactful yet simple project, called 6 Billion Others, that challenges us to see "the other", our fellow human kind, in an apolitical, non-religious, non-terrorist, way. He simply asked people world-wide elegantly humane questions; What is Love? What did your parents teach you? Who are you? What is happiness? That's it. But watching the flash video for the first time filled me with awe, then looking at the close ups of those interviewed, listening to their voices, reading the translations of their statements, filled my face with a smile that I think challenged the small but growing deep-seated heartache brought on by the thought that living in a humane world is somehow slipping outside our reach. Thank you Liisa Ogburn for sending this site my way.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
"We consider interaction to be a form of artistic expression. We base our work in the philosophy that art, as a creative experience, has enormous potential as a communication vehicle among people. We work exclusively through interactive processes in which the representation of themes and issues directly involves concerned people or groups. Our work is not necessarily designed as community-oriented projects but as art realized with communities as part of the larger society, delving into the relationship between these communities and society.
More important than knowing or stating is asking. By exposing fragility or even ignorance we have a possibility of establishing contact with groups of people to which we ourselves do not belong....For us, art (especially contemporary art)...is the best tool for achieving communication and establishing interaction between disconnected territories in society. We work mostly with social groups that are left out of the art world; in this, we have a special interest in youth. Thus, we seek to reaffirm art as a necessary experience outside of the political and cultural definitions of society - art as a subversion of culture and politics."
-Mauricio Dias and Walter Riedweg
Monday, October 8, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
In an ongoing effort to help preserve African-American culture and to support the African-American community, AT&T has partnered with Winston-Salem State University's Diggs Gallery to bring the Quiltmakers of Gee's Bend to WSSU's campus as part of a multi-city college tour on Thursday, Oct. 11, in Dillard Auditorium of the Albert H. Anderson Center at 7 p.m.
Widely known for their spoken word and a capella performances. "The women of Gee's Bend have been recognized by everyone from New York's Whitney Museum to the U.S. Postal Service, and AT&T wants to help deliver the women's inspirational story and ensure it is preserved" said Tracy Brown, AT&T multicultural marketing manager. The event, which is free and open to the public, includes performances by five women from the Gee's Bend quilting collective.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
Watching the spirit of M.C. Richards unfold like a flower in this video was inspirational beyond words. I found my muse for growing old without artistic diminishment in her. M.C. was a Black Mountain College faculty member who went on to make pottery, create poetry, and pen the book "Centering" after BMC closed. (She participated in the first ever "happening" at BMC.) In this video we see her discussing the joys of living a creative centered life and gain insight into her life's work from friends and colleagues . My favorite segments include her interaction with her mentally handicapped students and her dancing in the kitchen while patting her bottom and singing about God having a sense of humor. M.C. inspired hundreds if not thousands of artists in her lifetime. This documentary keeps the momentum alive. You can order the documentary at http://www.kanelewis.com/mc/
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Once, when I was a child my mother and I stumbled upon a gathering of the Klan burning a cross. All I remember was the worried look on my mother's face, the golden flickering light, and cars parked all along the road. This was in the early 1970's in rural North Carolina. Looking at Susan Harbage Page's photos of self-made Klan Hoods brings back those memories and must unfortunately compete in my mind with the recent spat of hangman nooses that have re-spread like a virus out of Jena. They have appeared in high schools in my community as copy cats and were mis-used at a local college in protest. These symbols are powerful and often over arch their intended meaning when used by good intentioned persons. When asked about this Susan responded that she has only positive feed back from viewers of her Post Cards from Home series. The title of the series reminds me of the awful photos of Southern lynchings I have seen made into postcards. Susan has super imposed onto the pattern of the hood contemporary versions of racism, from Wal-mart bags to professor's tweed, to Oriental designs. I believe Susan is pointing head on at an ever living problem by pointing at the varied masks of racism that all of us wear. Susan's Post Cards from Home Series can be seen at Sumter County Gallery of Art in South Carolina.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Check out graffiti in Iran at http://irangraffiti.blogspot.com/
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Elin O'Hara Slavick, artist and art professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, has created a body of work that is worth a close look and a deep consideration. How is it that few of us really knows and understands the extent of our military escapades overseas? Elin draws attention to the sadly long list of countries we have chosen to bomb that can be seen in book format now in Bomb after Bomb. Go to http://www.artbook.com/8881586339.html Some of these works can be seen in the faculty show at Akland Museum through October 2007. I enjoyed seeing these paintings in person. Like much contemporary art they work equally well on the printed page. Elin's use of bleeding spots of paint, often red, may seem overwrought but they are one of the lasting elements that stays within the viewer's psyche. That and the long list of bomb sites listed on her website page for this project. Go to http://www.unc.edu/~eoslavic to see this work and other projects of Elin's. Worth mentioning is her Day laborers dreaming set of photographs, recently displayed in the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. Elin has paid a price for her activism, receiving death threats for a teach- in she organized post 9/11. Keep up the good work Elin and keep the faith. Your efforts give others courage and hope.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
If you live in the Boston area be sure to catch her current show, Swaddled Babies and Dead AnimalsSeptember 15 – October 12, 2007, Opening Reception: Saturday September 15, 3-6pm
250 Canal Street, Lawrence, MALocated in Washington Mills, 4th floor Gallery hours: Fridays September 21–October 12 10-3Additional hours by appointment: 978-387-2947