Wednesday, May 21, 2008

proxy


here is a new piece i did via proxy, it is titled
"Untitled (Palestinian wall, east Jerusalem)" 2008
Self portrait as an artist series


i discovered an online service that, for a fee, will spraypaint your message on the palestinian wall (palestine side)....it is a peace-activism organization based in the netherlands...they send you three pix...the one above is the one i liked, the one below is an 'action' shot, nice to see it actually being placed on the wall


and here is a detail shot of the piece


after much thinking about what to do, i had many bad ideas in my brainstorming phase, i came up with this text. many other ideas seemed didactic, too clumsily political, too simple. this text, although also simple, it is about the notion of empathy, about emotional participation in a complex issue, and this strategy seemed appropriately modest, personal, and sincere. how do we participate in this debate? environmentalism is nice because, if everyone acts local, the global effect can become a critical mass...it's also quantitative, measurable, improvements can be tracked. when there's centuries of history that can be presented within group A's agenda, or group B's agenda, and undending cyclical violence, how does one, from chicago, wrap their head around a wall that represents so much more that an already impending political and social barrier??? how does one act local?

one answer to that question was ironically addressed in an audio documentary i listened to at the spertus institute in chicago at the third coast audio festival a couple days ago. they played 'the lemon tree', the story of a jewish woman and a palestinian man who at different times lived in the same house and came to know each other years after the palestinian and his family were kicked out of their house. the story is more complicated, but in the end, many years later, the woman ends up giving the house up in his honor (it is illegal for her to give it to him) and the house becomes a daycare for refugee arab children living in israel. she said there are 3 A's: acceptance, apology, amends. importantly, the lesson here is that these are her rules, so she endeavored a single act to affect a small amount of people and make peace with her relationship to this man. this was her inroad to the large, complex issue of israeli-palestinian issues.

a book just came out where the whole story is fleshed out into book form, "The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East" by Sandy Tolan.

it's on amazon!

oh no, now i am trapped in this bigger font! till next post...

2 Comments:

Blogger Scottie Cowan said...

have you read any of william faulkner's books or saul bellow's? or the woody guthrie autobiography? OR even nausea by sartre? i think you would really like them. but... i also bet you have.

i think they seem like your pictures.

12:16 AM  
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11:55 AM  

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