Posts tagged activism
Reports from a Strange Democracy: Guillermo Gómez-Peña by Audrey Chan
Guillermo Gómez-Peña's performances—audacious spectacles inspired by religious ritual, S&M culture, experimental theater, and pop culture—release buried racist thoughts and investigate psychic wounds. In a career that has spanned NAFTA, 9/11, and the emergence of post-9/11 America, he continues to steadfastly mine the incendiary arena of confrontation and catharsis.
Make Art Not War: Watts and the Junk Art Conversation by Cameron Shaw
Only months after publishing The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon wrote an account of life in Watts for the New York Times Magazine. On May 7, 1966, a Los Angeles police officer had shot and killed Leonard Deadwyler, a black man whose name could easily have been plucked from Pynchon’s novel. Ruled an “accident,” Deadwyler’s death was salt in the wound of a neighborhood still smarting from its last fight with the cops. The author spoke, as he expressed in The Crying of Lot 49, of a fundamental inability to communicate—this time between black and white cultures. If, as Pynchon—an outsider himself, albeit a highly critical one—noted, “white values [were] displayed without let-up on black people’s TV screens,” what were the available tools for blacks to communicate the realities of their existence? For local black activists and educators, including Noah Purifoy and Judson Powell, the answer to Pynchon’s conundrum was art.
Your Art Disgusts Me: Early Asco 1971-75 by Chon Noriega
"What does the avant-garde look and sound like when it blooms outside the hothouse of the bourgeoisie?" When Asco, the self-named Chicano art collective, first collapsed the space between graffiti and conceptual art, their streetwise institutional critique started delivering an abundance of unforgettable answers.