June 4, 2008

"The exhibition is supposed to be about character assassination. It's philosophical and metaphorical."

Performance artist Yazmany Arboleda set up a show called "The Assassination of Hillary Clinton/The Assassination of Barack Obama" in the storefront across the street from the NYT offices. Police and the Secret Service shut it down.

Elsewhere in performance art:
A Buffalo artist cleared of fraud charges after a four-year battle with the government is planning a new exhibit based on works and items removed from his home by law enforcement agents....

[Steven] Kurtz was charged in 2004 with federal mail and wire fraud charges after being accused of illegally obtaining bacteria for an art project intended to address issues surrounding germ warfare. A judge threw out the indictment in April.

SEIZED will not only display Kurtz's art, but trash left at his home by investigators who converged there amid worries the bacteria represented a bioterror threat.

22 comments:

gregorya57 said...

Is there any way we can force them to put "artist" in quotes? These crackers are in no way, shape or form real artists.

Trooper York said...

Narrator: He was ashamed of his persiflage, his boasting, his pretensions of courage and ruthlessness; he was sorry about his cold-bloodedness, his dispassion, his inability to express what he now believed was the case- that he truly regretted killing Jesse, that he missed the man as much as anybody and wished his murder hadn't been necessary. Even as he circulated his saloon he knew that the smiles disappeared when he passed by. He received so many menacing letters that he could read them without any reaction except curiosity. He kept to his apartment all day, flipping over playing cards, looking at his destiny in every King and Jack. Edward O'Kelly came up from Bachelor at one P.M. on the 8th. He had no grand scheme. No strategy. No agreement with higher authorities. Nothing but a vague longing for glory, and a generalized wish for revenge against Robert Ford. Edward O'Kelly would be ordered to serve a life sentence in the Colorado Penitentiary for second degree murder. Over seven thousand signatures would eventually be gathered in a petition asking for O'Kelly's release, and in 1902, Governor James B. Ullman would pardon the man. There would be no eulogies for Bob, no photographs of his body would be sold in sundries stores, no people would crowd the streets in the rain to see his funeral cortege, no biographies would be written about him, no children named after him, no one would ever pay twenty-five cents to stand in the rooms he grew up in. The shotgun would ignite, and Ella Mae would scream, but Robert Ford would only lay on the floor and look at the ceiling, the light going out of his eyes before he could find the right words.
(The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford 2007)

Pogo said...

Come see my new permanent installation art piece, called "TRASHED: The American consumer is consumed"!

It's just my neighbor's garbage house, one of those that you can barely walk through. But I'm working on a grant.

rhhardin said...

Without misunderstanding, we would never agree on anything.

George said...

Made me think of the demented Chris Burden, the performance artist who committed acts of violence against himself, and the mad Kaczynski who lovingly crafted the wooden boxes that contained his 'messages.'

And if some in the West think a nude dancer is engaging in speech, then how odd is it for someone in the East to regard suicide bombing as a form of religious speech? A strange world. We ourselves are not so far removed from the world of John Brown, who was viewed as Christ-like for hacking slavery supporters to death and taking hostages.

The Drill SGT said...

I don't like any of this assassination art, but I find it interesting that the art world and the book world has no problem with Bush assassination art.

knoxwhirled said...

Lazy, lazy, lazy

Titusastarisborn said...

I consider myself a performance artist.

I am art hear me roar. Growl.

My art is difficult to define.

My art is my life.

Art is life.

Thank you.

vbspurs said...

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly [...] “He put up signs indicating the assassination of Senator Clinton and Barack Obama. And we notified the Secret Service. This individual is being spoken to. He apparently made statements that had to with their reputation. This is all under investigation.”

Where was Commissioner Kelly or anyone else when a Channel 4 mockumentary called "Death of a President" showed the 'assassination' of President Bush?

I guess when one little runty artist uses Barack or Hillary as his artistic fulcrum, that warrants shutting him down.

But when it's Bush shown being killed, not only does the Toronto Film Festival gives you the International Critics Award -- but it's peachy king.

Hypocrites.

Cheers,
Victoria

LutherM said...

These are not examples of someone buying fertilizer, or some ex-marine buying a rifle through the mail, but they may be compared to some person exhibiting a statue in a container filled with urine.
In both of these cases, the "officials" didn't like what they saw, so they shut it down. In one instance, a court has decided the government was wrong - in the latest example, it's clear in the news article that there was no advocacy of anything wrong.
When the government, through prior restraint of an unpopular or nonsensical expression of opinion, becomes itself an example of a substantive evil, then all people are in a clear and present danger of losing the protections of the Bill of Rights.

Kirby Olson said...

You're not supposed to even mention assassinating the president or else the Secret Service takes it very seriously, as they should.

Maybe they should even go overboard and dispense with any kind of metaphorical level and take any reference to assassination on a simple literal level.

We wouldn't want anyone to stop The Obama Nation, anyhoo. It's too fun to think that the Democrats will get exactly what they've always wanted: a completely crazy liberal who will spend his years in the White House making sure nobody has to work, but everybody is fed. Let's just see how that goes.

The Obama Nation. Woo hoo!

Revenant said...

I used to think all performance art was worthless, but Blue Man Group is actually very entertaining.

I'm sure there are a lot of artists who would sneer at such relatively mainstream performance art, but that's one of the many reasons why I ignore the opinions of artists and art experts.

vbspurs said...

The Obama Nation. Woo hoo!

Our country is too special for this godawful tinkering. Americans, thankfully, understand it most elections.

If not, we just breathe under our breath -- Carter, Carter, Carter...

George said...

Clearly, Clinton and Obama aren't covered here and there was no mailing involved...

Nonetheless!

Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-elect, the Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President of the United States, or the Vice President-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against the President, President-elect, Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President, or Vice President-elect, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

18 USC Sec. 871

Michael_H said...

+1 Victoria!

UWS guy said...

Gregorya57: It's not art if you don't like it...Hows your Doctoral Thesis on Western Art coming along?...oh wait...

Tell me, what are your expert thoughts on Beethoven's 6th symphony? Not fair? Beethoven is art you say? Based on what? Please do not use your personal taste as the arbiter...aim for something more platonic.
---

George: Do you see no difference between these two sentences--

1) I wish to...
2) What would happen if...

Follow-up: Which of those two sentences, if completed would not be unconstitutional if uttered, or written?

Titusastarisborn said...

Blue Man Group-OMG Revenant how pedestrian.

What about Stomp?

How sad.

somefeller said...

The Kurtz case is actually rather disturbing (there's more to it than what's listed in the linked article) and it looks like it was a case of overreach on the part of law enforcement. The assassination exhibit, not so much. It's well known that there are some things one cannot even joke about without bringing law enforcement down upon oneself, and the topic of this exhibit (and I'll leave it to others to determine whether it was an art exhibit or just an attempt at exhibitionism) is one of them. My civil libertarian feathers aren't ruffled by Arboleda's show being shut down.

vbspurs said...

Thanks, Michael! Not sure for which comment, but I'm not complainin'.

Revenant said...

OMG Revenant how pedestrian.

I have pedestrian tastes. :)

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