(And though much gentler, I would put Soldier’s Rd Portraits in this category, in the sense of reclaiming and making statements about identity and heritage and colonisation…)
So, yesterday was a bit rambly and probably a lot off topic, eh?. Truth is, I had two other rambly posts along the same lines lined up ready to publish, but it’s probably not a good idea to publish them, in the way that sending a drunk text to an old boyfriend is not a good idea – too much emotion and very little perspective to whatever message is fired out. I’m still really pissed at The State of Everything (Me: I want to shout at the internet! My son: And what do you want to shout at the internet for today, specifically…?) And I still like a lot of what I wrote, but I’m also probably mostly just pissed off that a bully gets to lead such an economically powerful nation.
As a lot of indigenous and women of colour were pissed that it wasn’t until their own sense of security was threatened for their white sisters to get out and march. And then being yelled at for it. ( Women of color are being blamed for dividing the Women’s March, and it’s nothing new.)
I’ve been thinking about that a lot.
All art is political, but it’s not all activist. Words are important, and I think sometimes we shout at each other over large divides that would be smaller if we understood our words better. Like privilege and racism. Privilege is not just about wealth, though it includes wealth, and racism is not just about active hatred, though it includes active hatred. But I’m meandering off.
Shepard Fairey’s art is activist. If the style looks familiar to you, he created Barack’s “Hope” poster also. He made three posters for the Women’s March on Washington, depicting a Mexican, (Arab? Farsi?) Muslim, and African American woman respectively. (Note: it pisses me off how Native American’s are so rarely seen or heard even amongst those who should know better, and I say that as one who is very acutely aware that I live in a big fat and terribly fragile glasshouse.) I especially love the aesthetics and the message of this one, and if I had the money I would have an enormous print sent over and framed and hung in the middle of my living room. Dignity entails the whole spectrum of human rights, I think. Dignity is ultimately about respect, about anyone, about everyone, being treated in both word and deed as worthy of respect.
Still meandering off. I looked up Shepard’s website because I was interested in other work he may have done; I doubted his activism only popped up every Presidential election cycle. Indeed not, as His tagline (Manufacturing Quality Dissent Since 1989) would attest. I was interested in the OBEY sticker campaign (though Shepard? I don’t think phemonology means quite what you think it means…) and I was also interested in the idea of a project like that (Edited: notes below*). In Shepard’s words: Giant stickers are both embraced and rejected, the reason behind which, upon examination, reflects the psyche of the viewer.
Which, yes, is in a sense reflexivity 101; nevertheless. The concept of a deliberate art project provoking the psyche is something that in these dark political times I would very much like to (somehow) adopt and adapt to the PhD project.
The trick is in that somehow. I am running
so very very late and need to get *something* in for enrolment, for scholarships, even if that something is nothing resembling the PhD that will eventuate. Just reminding myself, my bewilderingly resistant and silent self.
I’ve said it before, and I just want to say it again. If I’m privileged with a voice, I really do feel that it’s incumbent on me to use that voice.
And this last sign is just for the nerdy lols. (Artist, Hayley Gilmore). God, but I do love nerdy lols.
*Some random notes and highly generic ideas:
And finally, let us not forget the pussy hats themselves…
This is Gary and Gary is quite certain that he is a very pretty seagull. One can’t really argue with the boy.
His friend Rona, on the other hand, will eat you in your sleep.
She’s training a mercenary army for the day when glory shall once more be hers, but so far they seem more interested in playing “balance on your bestie’s head” than practicing the lethal art of Muay Thai.
Though the marching drill went better in general, even if Gary did insist on singing the Hokey Pokey all the way through …
…which somehow devolved into hours of everyone playing “I am a tree”.
Rona was furious,
but Rona is patient.
Because when that great day of her rule as eternal overlord comes, she will be ready.
*I’m practising, it’s important.
So here is a collage, an attempt to combine both drawing and photography. It’s both me and absolutely nothing close to being me; fantasy with just a little dash of true.
Whatever true means;
And just like all presentations of self, I suppose.
Just be glad it wasn’t a photo of the biopsy wounds I took yesterday…
Too much planning implies you’ve got it all under control. That’s boring, unrealistic, and dangerous. – Twlya Tharp.
Because I’m not even sure I can tell my right from my left at this point. I’ve been looking at the things I need to get done this year, the things I want to get done this year, the obligations I have, and commitments I’ve made, the level of panic and overwhelm I have already, and it’s clear I’m going to have to drop some of the things I do so that I can focus enough time and energy on the other things I do.
But which things? There’s the rub. Will get back to you on that one. Perhaps too much planning is boring, unrealistic, and dangerous, as Twyla says, but a little may be a good idea. Also a good idea, hand-painted directions. Just in case.
I also decided that a new phase of my research needed a new header, and though it’s someone else’s (copyright free) photo, it was too perfect not to use. If I ever go mountain climbing with a camera and catch a flock of birds twirling through the snowy light, I’ll be sure to use that picture instead…
…it’s funny because it’ll never be true.
2017. Right. Here we go.