******* Re/Finery *******
∇ exquisite & inquisite ∇
∇ femmes & faggots ∇
∇ prints & papercuts ∇
∇ signs & symbols ∇
∇ lace & gleam ∇
April 30th through June 12th
∇ opening Tuesday April 30th, 7PM
∇ your presence in your dandiest, femmiest, and faggiest attire is encouraged.
∇ special edition prints available on the night of the opening!
The Lexington Club
3464 19th St
A few years ago, I was working on a series of typographic paintings centered on queer history and activism. The “Every Time We Fuck We Win” mirror was inspired by the Queer Nation manifesto from the early 90s. A friend participated in a bidding war to purchase the original, and, since then, I’ve had countless others inquire about when I was planning on making another/more.
So, by numerous requests:
HANDPAINTED hexagonal mirrors, 7” x 7”
Glittery gold enamel is safe to clean, though I’m not sure why you’d ever want to wash off those self-lovin’ lipstick marks.
Each one is slightly different, like you.
Get one here: etsy.me/USa3Da
“Being queer means leading a different sort of life. It’s not about the mainstream, profit-margins, patriotism, patriarchy, or being assimilated. It’s not about executive directors, privilege, and elitism. It’s about being on the margins, defining ourselves; it’s about gender-fuck and secrets, what’s beneath the belt and deep inside the heart; it’s about the night. Being queer is “grass roots” because we know that every one of us, every body, every cunt, every heart, every ass and dick is a world of pleasure waiting to be explored. Every one of us is a world of infinite possibility.
We are an army because we have to be. We are an army because we are so powerful. (We have so much to fight for; we are the most precious of endangered species.) And we are an army of lovers because it is we who know what love is. Desire and lust, too. We invented them. We come out of the closet, face the rejection of society, face firing squads, just to love each other! Every time we fuck, we win.”
Queer Nation, 1990.
Today is the #nomorecuts day of action via ArtStrike! Artists respond to the #fiscalcliff , looming budget talks, the scars of military spending, the gutting of Social Security programs, and the opportunism of the wealthy on the backs of the poor/working class, people of color, elderly, and immigrants.
The rabble rouses.
You Are Being Robbed, by Lex Non Scripta
I was invited to make a poster for the #nomorecuts #fiscalcliff campaign from Rebuild the Dream and ArtStrike in advance of the budget talks in Congress. The campaign has launched, and the day of action is Wednesday, December 19th!
From ArtStrike: “Our country isn’t broke - It’s being robbed. Stand up against cuts to vital programs and demand the wealthy pay their fair share.
You’ve probably heard about the political game called “The Fiscal Cliff.” But, it’s actually a Fiscal Bluff — a self inflicted crisis designed to create urgency to make us believe our nation is broke and that we must cut vital programs. This is false and we won’t stand for it.
Corrupt billionaires, tax-dodging corporations, and those who serve them have manufactured this crisis and are refusing to pay their fair share.
Join us in telling them:#NOMORECUTS …. ”
KNOWhomo’s Moderator (personal posts) You May Have Missed
Ruth Elizabeth’s Femme Flagging Post
Stuff We’re Curious About: ‘Femme’ Flagging with Nail Polish
(following from the fabulous Queer Fat Femme)
Identities like Femme are deeply personal and there’s no one way to be Femme. There are certainly overlapping characteristics and generalizations that exist–which is how we find each other and create community. Tenderly paw in paw we find ourselves a niche (or several) in queerdom. But it is essentialist to say “This is a trait common amongst Femmes,” because as soon as you think you’ve isolated one commonality about Femmes you’ll find a whole pile of Femmes who belie that trait. This is simultaneously awesome and complicated when you’re trying to spot a Femme in the wild.
There is a whole Tumblr dedicated to Femme Flagging, with a forum for fleshing out new additions to the hanky code. Lots of folks have been doing one finger on one hand for the flag, but others have been doing two (or three) “(-) fingers” as the flag.
CENTRAL is the project of artist and creative researcher Chloé Dietz. Chloé is based bi-coastally in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York and her current residence in Portland, Oregon, where she is completing her thesis on geographical practice at the Pacific Northwest College of Art.
CENTRAL is a geographical research initiative, contemporary art practice, and interview series from and about the landscape of the United States of America. Through its threefold practice of interviews, multimedia recordings, and interpretive commentary, CENTRAL continually collects and expands its public reservoir of research materials from and about place in the USA.
CENTRAL will begin its kickoff tour in January 2013 by establishing a mobile research station along the passenger railway system of the United States. From New York to Chicago, Detroit, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay area to Portland Oregon, the project will generate a wealth of research materials from and about place in the USA.
CENTRAL has scheduled interviews with artists, educators, urban planners and farmers to widen its field of inquiry through conversation. How do issues of representation, urban revitalization, the production of neighborhood foodsheds, and the discourse of the geographic discipline all come together in the creation and re-creation of the landscape of the United States? Alongside its core interview project, CENTRAL will also generate photography, video, sound, and textual commentary, as well as a series of geographical writings, all published on its project website.
SING IT. I have innumerable issues with Shepard Fairey; here are just a few…
Shepard Fairey: “disconnecting images of important struggles from their roots” since 1989.
hey, do you need a reminder of how disgusting Shepard Fairey’s career is?
here are two images, one produced by Felix Beltrán in 1971 to raise awareness about the political imprisonment of Angela Davis, and one “made” by Fairey in 2003 to advance his art career and work toward his lifelong goal of stealing, sterilizing, and rebranding once-subversive images and symbols, in order to protect those in power. this is just one example among many where Fairey copied directly from images produced by and for liberation movements of the 1960’s and 70’s, removed all historical and political context and any credit to the original artist, and reproduced new versions of these images, often on a huge scale in the form of mass-produced t-shirts and posters. each image is emptied of any political significance, disconnected from a specific social movement or moment in time, and left as an abstract symbol of the possibility of rebellion— and that rebellion, Fairey tells us later, really is best expressed by talking about peace and voting for the democratic party.
this is basically a perfect example of what the situationists called recuperation:
the process by which politically radical ideas and images are twisted, co-opted, absorbed, defused, incorporated, annexed and commodified within media culture and bourgeois society, and thus become interpreted through a neutralized, innocuous or more socially conventional perspective.
Favianna Rodriguez explains: [and this whole article is worth reading]
Fairey loves to rip off the art of people who are part of the counter culture, many times they are people of color, or groups who have fought for social justice, or radicals who have fought against their own countries. In my opinion, this is commodification. The fact that he feels entitled to do this points at his white privilege and white entitlement. When you rip off Cuban artists, Chicano artists, even groups like the Black Panthers - and you fail to give credit - that to me is an excercise of white privilege.
The People’s History posters are not about taking graphics from history, but producing new graphics about that history, and encouraging people to learn, to pique their interest. In some ways, Shepard’s project is the complete inverse of that. His is about stripping the historical context from actual graphics and using them to make money because they imply some sense of authenticity. …
What is important to me is how Fairey exemplifies in many ways the operational model of capitalism. He extracts resources largely from political struggles of Third World and working class people, and then simultaneously sells a slightly processed version of the resources to both wealthy elites in the North, but also cheaper mass-commodity versions to the very same people he is stealing from!
but, of course, it’s complicated. some guy who created FUCT, a clothing brand that claims to be the “synonym of anti-consumerism and progressive thinking by leading the path of decadent and counter-culture aesthetics” [wut!?!], says he was the first person to steal this picture of Angela Davis (and deprive it of context, and fail to credit the original artist) for advertisements and t-shirts, and Fairey just stole from him. so who’s really to blame? (another complication: as Rodriguez points out, “copyright laws work in the favor of the corporate elite” and are usually used by states & corporations to punish and censor artists. then again, she adds, Fairey is pretty much part of the corporate elite at this point.)
it would be easy here to say “blah all art involves using & building off of other people’s ideas, forms, and techniques, [anarchists may add: ‘and copyright is a crock of statist shit’] so it doesn’t really matter”, but i think that’s a fallacy, just like saying “blah all the stores at the mall exploit their workers, from poor women of color in maquilas all the way up to folks working in retail, so it doesn’t really matter which one i shop at” [which, by the way, is a thing that most of us believe]. ultimately, even though i don’t give a fuck about copyright & the legal system it’s a part of, i still think it’s mega shitty to steal, recuperate, and profit from imagery like this.
what can be done? i don’t know. Fairey’s getting tarnished a little in the mainstream media, and facing legal repercussions, for “destroying documents, manufacturing evidence and other misconduct” while being sued for using an AP image in his Obama “HOPE” poster, but that may just make his claim to be representing ‘authentic’ dissent or rebellion stronger. situationists tell us that detournement, the opposite of recuperation, is a strategy, but it’s hard to imagine even the most successful mass-media ‘culture jamming’ giving Fairey the comeuppance he deserves. should we deface all his public art? yes. should we try to educate everyone wearing an “obey” hat or t-shirt? sure. should we consider some method of derailing the retail operation around “obey” products? probably. should
wesomeone beat him up again? sure, why the hell not.
in sum, FUCK CAPITALISM and its flunkies!
thanks for reading.
*the “disconnecting images…” quote at the top is by Favianna Rodriguez, interviewed in this article.
shepard fairey i hope you fall from a rooftop during a “subversive art installation” and break every bone in both of your arms