I'm glad there are artists commenting with surveillance works and the like, but I still feel like no one's really paying attention to the direction our society is going and I'm not sure what would change that. It's not really the cameras and police that bother me on their own...it's the much bigger problem of the apathy that is allowing those in power to do whatever they want without us noticing or caring. It's things like Bush claiming that waterboarding is not actually torture and no one protesting the ridiculousness of his statement that really gets to me.
How does this relate to art or my MFA? Political artwork used to have a lot of power, but now it seems run of the mill -- we smile and agree that our country is not being run very well and then continue on our way to get a cup of coffee at Starbucks. And now there's this trend of candy-coated, nostalgic work that looks no deeper than the cartoons that were on when we were little -- and it's fun and nice to look at -- but there's this idea that part of the reason it's acceptable for the work to be so insubstantial is that we don't have anything to fight against like the generations before us. So, alright, we don't have WWII, but we are in a war that we didn't agree to led by a president who is getting away with making and breaking rules whenever it pleases him. I don't know if art is part of the solution and I don't know if I'm ready to address any of this in my own work yet, but I think it's something important to consider.
thinking about wite-out reminded me of documents with redacted text. i suppose these blacked-out areas are the opposite of wite-out, but really it seems like it's all the same thing. perhaps the difference lies in the size of the mistakes or flaws. if it's a grammatical error, then we white it out. if it's a crime, we black it out. i guess this makes sense, but it comes down to the same thing: there's no room for error. we should all live flawless lives and be flawless people. hence botox and my job as a digital retoucher. we are a puritanical society that never really grasped the idea behind the scarlet letter. while i can understand the desire to try to make things better, i can't quite figure out why we'd want to become just like a machine.
below i've copied an announcement from his gallery - Rake - about a benefit to help him rebuild. it's good to know that there are people to rally around us when we have nothing.
photos (from top to bottom): Michael in his living room sorting through the remains of hundreds upon hundreds of slides that were burnt; a view of his art studio -- paint leaking down the back of the cabinet and light streaming in through the skeleton that remained of his ceiling and walls; a view from one side of apartment to the other and through to outside
Benefit luncheon for Michael L. Wilson, whose home burnt down.
You may have heard by now that artist Mr. Wilson lost everything he owned in a house fire last Sunday the 23rd. For those of you who would like to help Michael, there is a rebuilding fund being set up by RACC. Go to racc.org and look for the Mr. Wilson rebuilding Fund.
One thing Michael Wilson has requested is help excavating his place to clear it out. He hopes to rebuild the home, as he is a carpenter by trade. He could use volunteers and shovels. Please contact the Gallery and we will put you in touch with him.
Rake Art Gallery is holding a benefit luncheon Sunday October 14 at 2 pm in the Gallery. We are located at 325 NW 6th Ave. We will be serving a Cajun menu at $25.00 a plate, their will also be shirts designed by Kevin Darras available. All proceeds go to help Mr. Wilson rebuild his life.
Thank You Rake Art Gallery
"Caustic: 3rd definition"
Acrylic paintings by Michael L. Wilson
Mixed media works by Ilan Laks
With Special Guest
Presenting "IV.VII. XX" an experimental architectural installation