Friday, June 6, 2008
The Man Behind the Madness
Early this morning word broke out about a controversial art exhibit entitled "The Assassination of Barack Obama." Here is text from the news story:
A controversial art exhibit was raided and shut down before it could be viewed in NYC yesterday.
According to the NY Times blog: Cityroom, Boston-born performance artist, Yazmany Arboleda, tried to set up a provocative art exhibition in a vacant storefront on West 40th Street in Midtown Manhattan with the title, "The Assassination of Hillary Clinton/The Assassination of Barack Obama".
The artist thought his racist views were protected under the Constitution because he was expressing himself through his art. Wrong.
Not 30 minutes after Arboleda set up the gallery across the street from the New York Times building, police, feds and secret service swooped in to shut the art exhibit down. While police covered the offensive storefront window with brown paper, Arboleda was led away in handcuffs to be "interrogated".
Arboleda, 27, learned the hard way that freedom has its limits. Later, in an interview, he said: "It's art. It's not supposed to be harmful. It's about character assassination — about how Obama and Hillary have been portrayed by the media." He added, "It's about the media."
Here some pictures from it:
Hmmmm. What do I think about this? In fairness to dude, he also had an exhibit called "The Assassination of Hilary Clinton" as well, so both of them caught it. But of course, the Obama one is gonna catch the most flack.
I mean, I'm not an artist, well, yes I am in a way. Either way, I have an appreciation of artistic expression and license. When I heard about this display, I thought I was going to be appalled. Especially judging from how people were reacting on the Warren Ballentine show and blog today. Then when I saw the pics, I wasn't as enraged as I thought I would be.
Call me crazy, but...I kinda see where buddy was trying to go with this. After all, its been the media putting the idea out there that something might happen to Obama if he's elected. Its been the media promoting the "is he black or black enough" ideologies since he declared. As far as the Black penis pictures go, I want to say that ol' boy might be trying to show that most White Americans are scared to death of the thought of a Black man running the country. Much like prejudiced whites in the past were scared to death of crazed, overtly sexual, well endowed Black men wanting their women and raping them of their "pureness."
As far as the "Nappy Headed Hoes" picture. Yeah, that's done in poor taste, he should not have used a picure of Barack's daughters for that. At the same time though, I'd like to think that the artist was trying to show that Don Imus' remarks and view of Black women is shared by many. In addition to that, "the media" which includes any company with the capital and reach to influence through mass marketing, has been very instrumental in bombarding young Black girls with derogatory images of themselves, leading many of them to think that its ok to grow up and become a "nappy headed hoe."
I've been saying for years that Character Assassination is the new assassination. I wasn't around in the 60's but, I highly doubt that the news was constantly talking about Martin Luther King being adulterous, John Kennedy banging Marylin Monroe or that Malcolm X ate pig feet and pork chops in his spare time. Back then, if you were a threat, you just got taken out.
Since people were alot more active back then, they would raise hell when shit like that happened. Fearful that the people might get a little too strong, the powers that be stopped killing leaders off. Instead they just got them strung out on dope or assassinated their character.
Think about it, if your leader was killed tomorrow, you'd be inclined to raise some hell afterwards. Now, if you find out that your leader was cheating on his wife and getting women pregnant, you're more prone to stop fucking with them altogether, giving up hope in them and their message altogether.
That's why I never feared anything happening to Obama. That's dumb nigger talk anyway. Niggas talking about "they gonna kill him" sound like scared slaves to me. But, you notice, they've thrown everything but the kitchen sink at Obama since he entered the presidential race. But what fucked them up is that he beat them to the dirt by putting most of it out himself. That's why they keep popping up with preachers and shit. If the media and powers that be can get enough people to not believe in him and question his character, their mission is accomplished.
Sorry, I'm rambling again. Anyway, how do ya'll feel about this exhibit? Do you think he had good intention at sparking dialogue and thought, but just fucked it up? Or do you think he's an idiot, racist or whatever you want to call him?
After visiting the artist's blog and seeing what talks about and does, he just strikes me as one of those middle of the road folks that accepts everything and criticizes it at the same time. You know, one of those "it is what it is" types that just presents information to make YOU think with out necessarily asking them what THEY think, because half the time they have no clue either.
But, in defense of the artist, he's been planning the shit for months and he thoroughly explained it last-October on his blog when he said:
The exhibits will be composed of imagery that speaks to how during the campaign trail for the presidency both Obama and Hillary have had their character 'assassinated.' The choice of words for the titles is absolutely intentional. It is through systematic consumerism that the American populace goes through celebrities and political leaders like they go through big Macs. It seems to me that we are amassing a history filled with corrupt leaders and dysfunctional celebrities, reflecting the fact a society that digests information and food in much the same way a microwave heats up food rather than cooks it. We are made hungry by a parade of empty calories through a socio-political system unwilling to trade in its capital for substance.
The work that will be created for these two exhibits is bold, unapologetic, and offensive. Each piece is made to make you feel uncomfortable. It is all very intentional.
Judging from the words people are using to express their disgust with the exhibit, I think alot of people are assuming that the "Boston-born artist" was a Nazi White Boy, thus making them feel like their misguided anger is justifiable. But, as you can see, he's far from it. What do ya'll think, I really want to hear ya'll on this.
Labels: True Story