The death of Terri Schiavo last Thursday left some extraordinarily deep rifts in its wake, not the least of which was exposure to a growing religious fervor that is bringing America ever closer to a dangerous kind of theocracy. Not to be outdone, the Pope clung to life for two days while overeager news channels, like Fox, reported that he was dead before he actually died. But America's "culture of life" is admirable if you ignore the hundred thousand or so Iraqis killed so far, the more than 1,500 American servicemembers or the 152 people Mr. Bush executed as governor of Texas (mocking Karla Faye Tucker's plea to have her life spared). Abstinence only approaches to reproductive education and the havoc such a policy wreaks globally on fighting AIDS is not even worth mentioning at this point. (And you thought Mr. Mbeki's policies were problematic). With America's renewed commitment to rid the world of dictators, rather than praying for the Pope, consider praying that Zimbabwe either strikes oil or opens their reclaimed land to U.S. military bases. Oh, and a belated Happy Easter and Passover as we celebrate even more death in the name of religion. Till next time, enjoy the show.
News and Stuff...
First Amendment Project
This is indeed the first time I am making a request for those who are in a position to help. I was recently elected to serve as the President of the Board of First Amendment Project, a non-profit organization that offers legal services and support to artists, journalists and activists whose work runs afoul of First Amendment protection. They are a critically important organization and have done an incredible job. To learn more about the cases they have represented and work they continue to do, visit their new web site, www.thefirstamendment.org. They are struggling financially and could really benefit from a cash infusion. Donations are tax deductible in the United States, and can be made by going here!
>>First Amendment Project
|Art of Engagement
I mentioned previously that one of my pieces destroyed by the Palo Alto printer, Who Would Jesus Torture? was going to be published. I can elaborate finally. The image will be published in Prof. Peter Selz' book "Art of Engagement: Visual Politics in California and Beyond" to be published by the University of California Press in Fall 2005. Noted art historian, Peter Selz, is Professor Emeritus of Art History at UC Berkeley. After receiving his PhD from the University of Chicago and teaching at the Institute of Design, he was appointed Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at NY Museum of Modern Art. Later, he became Founding Director of the Berkeley Art Museum. Prof. Selz has authored many reviews and articles including 15 books on 20th Century Art, from
"German Expressionist Painting (1957) to "The Art of Engagement" (2005). It is quite an honor to be included in his book, especially since he had already gone to press when he first saw my image.
>>Books by Peter Selz.
|Uncovered at Upfront
My show at Upfront Gallery in Ventura County turned out to be very well received, despite the fact that Ventura is relatively conservative and houses a military base. The show, which was extended, was well covered by the local media and Los Angeles Times. I also met some great people, and was made to feel very welcome. It's definitely more than just a place to stop for gas on the way to Santa Barbra.
Some coverage: (Only one online so far)
Provocation via the Political
By Josef Woodard, The Los Angeles Times
March 3, 2005
Clinton Fein at Upfront Gallery
By Esther Easly, Coagula Art Journal
By Molly Freedenberg, Ventura County Reporter
February 12, 2005
Imprints at Axis
I am also currently in a group exhibition at Axis Gallery in New York, titled "Imprints: Works on Paper" and which includes such artists as William Kentridge, Kim Berman, Linga Diko, Stephan Erasmus, Clinton Fein, David Goldblatt, Robert Hodgins, David Koloane, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Brett Murray, Sam Nhlengethwa, Diana Page, Tracey Rose, Nyanda Tom, Hentie van der Merwe, and Graeme Williams. The show has been well received with a little bit of help from both the South African Consulate and the New York Times.
>> See the whole show at Axis Gallery.
Imus and the Flies
Don Imus peaked sometime in the sixties, and looks a lot older than he is. Kind of like an aging bull-dyke with anorexia and a penis. He epitomizes everything that every minority in America despises about the dominance of a White heterosexist patriarchy. He is foul-mouthed, blowhard with a chip on his shoulder deeper than the Grand Canyon and an axe to grind with almost every politician or public figure of any stripe or affiliation.
It's not his over-the-top, homophobic, racist, misogynist, jingoist, geocentric commentary and the political incorrectness of his show that's at issue. Nor the boring Kathy Lee Gifford meanderings about his annoying son, Wyatt, nor the one-act, one-joke retards and morons he employs. It's his guests.
He has smartly interwoven faux beltway sophistication with faux cowboy country rustic with a blend of unmistakable trailer trash tawdry that somehow commands the attention of every columnist vying enviously to get onto his show, and politicians -- both locally in New York and nationally --know that passing the Imus test can have more impact on a race than most would like to admit.
>>Imus and the Flies: Full Editorial.
Don't Feed Me, I'm Fat
As politicians and pontiffs butted into a personal family drama, and everyone claimed to speak for Terri Schiavo, no one stopped to genuinely consider what Ms. Schiavo would have wanted. While it would be easy to go into a lengthy diatribe about women's body perceptions and the culture that shapes them, suffice to say that Terri Schiavo was in her predicament as a result of a self-induced eating disorder. For better or worse, the last thing any anorexic or bulimic would want is to be nationally televised looking overweight and force-fed through a feeding tube. If Ms. Schaivo was not in a "persistent vegetative state," she probably would have been glaring at the cameras or pleading to have someone induce vomiting. Unless, by some miracle, her collapse due to a potassium deficiency somehow instantly transformed her self image.
>>Don't Feed Me, I'm Fat: Full Coverage.
The Eternal Challenge
Little Eichmans, Little Wards
Neocons deserve Rewards
Condi's Coup de Grace is Karen
Paulie's choice of gas is serin
Put the Bullish Hawk at head of the Bank
Put the Madman at the wheel of the tank
Put the coke whore in charge of the lines
Put the Drunk in the cellar with the wines
Put the Powder Keg in charge of the guns
Put the Child Molester with the Little Ones
Put the Lobotomized Mob at the center of the brain
Let the Drunken Drivers Let Freedom Reign
>>The Eternal Challenge: Full Coverage.
A Midwinter Night's Scream
while everyone is celebrating demockracy in Iraq, I've been trying to refresh my memory regarding the definition of martial law. Last time I checked, curfews, restriction of movement and other such control mechanisms were more appropriately applied to States of Emergency and dictatorships, but what are semantics among sovereigns? I don't think this democracy is a such a blast when we obliterate in excess of 100 000 people; destroy ancient art, treasure and history; level cities; torture detainees; disparage as treasonous anyone who voices disapproval over the methodology and blow in excess of 200 billion dollars to achieve it. While there is no denying America is one of the few countries where one can express oneself freely for the most part, the fact that I have seen my own art destroyed by both a public printing service and an anonymous vandal within the space of a few weeks, reminds me that destruction of ideas is not always at the hand of the government. And finally, while there are far more important issues than fashion, (like say, malaria) the apologists for Dick Cheney, who defended his recent parka and ski-cap fashion faux pas at an Auschwitz memorial by virtue of the cold weather, ought to consider whether we would excuse Australia's Prime Minister, John Howard, appearing at a September 11th anniversary in a Speedo because it happened to be hot. Or ever forgive me for thrusting upon you such a horrific visual!