January 31, 2012

Instant nostalgia/protest art/fundraising for the Walker recall.

It's "Inside, at Night — Origins of an Uprising," a photo exhibit at the Tamarack Studio and Gallery here in Madison.
Produced with the help of $9,1700 in donations from a campaign on kickstarter.com, the show has a distinct political element: More than half the profits from the sale of photos and books, plus donations at the door, will be given to the gubernatorial recall campaign. Photos will be sold at a two-tier price, "so that everyone regardless of means can take home an image or three," [said John Riggs, the gallery owner]....

The photos in "Inside, at Night" are mounted to Tamarack Gallery's walls with blue tape reminiscent of the tape used to hang protest posters inside the Capitol....

Organized thematically rather than chronologically, the photos are accompanied by blocks of text written by protesters in the thick of things, excerpts from blog posts, emails, journal entries and Twitter feeds that create a real-time narrative. The exhibited photos themselves will be numbered, but photographers won't be individually credited for their work.

"The story isn't about who did it — the story is what's on the wall," said Riggs, who himself took a quarter of the pictures in the show.
The story isn't about who did it — the story is what's on the wall. Oh, the collective! Let's merge the individual into the whole. The wall. All in all you're just another brick in the wall. Says the owner, who is named and who claims virtue in not naming the other photographers.

AND: Much as I loathe the collectivist politics and the submerging of individual achievement, I salute Riggs as a businessman. It's a great idea to transform his gallery into a protest art business. You should see all the shops that sell "Wisconsin" T-shirts to Madison tourists. If people come to Madison to check out the protest vibe (or if they live in Madison because they love the cozy comfort of the left-wing cocoon), give them something relevant to buy. I know there are relevant T-shirts. But there's plenty of room in this market for a higher level of protest memorabilia in the fine art category.

49 comments:

Sofa King said...

I'll bet those photos will look great on the wall of the GAB office.

traditionalguy said...

The People need an enemy to rebel against, ridicule and smash.

Any volunteers out there?

Carol_Herman said...

Walker's recall is not going anywhere, because Walker is not making any leadership mistakes.

Other than the money spent, there's no candidate willing to run against Walker. Why is that?

Or? Maybe, Hillary will fly in. She's free, now.

And, while everybody thinks we're sitting in a restaurant with a menu, the truth is that we're not. We're all at home. And, lots of people aren't picking up on the media brawls.

Walker's a good man.

And, if you need to be reminded, David Prosser WON! And, the campaign against him was viscous.

(PS: I think Hillary's exiting Obama's camp, doesn't mean she's going home to rest. Or play with Bill.) She'll come out of the woodwork, too, if Obama falters.

ex-madtown girl said...

Photos will be sold at a two-tier price, "so that everyone regardless of means can take home an image or three," [said John Riggs, the gallery owner]....

And once they are home they can sniff their farts out of wine glasses while they hang them.

DADvocate said...

We've discovered a new phenomena. Instead of mass hysteria, we now have mass conceit (plus the delusional thinking).

Tim said...

Pink Floyd rocks.

How anyone can listen to "The Wall" and still vote Democrat for big government is beyond reason.

When the Democrat comes asking for votes, smart people run like hell.

EDH said...

"The story isn't about who did it — the story is what's on the wall."

And for the rest of us?

Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers (often referred to as simply "the Motherfuckers", or UAW/MF) was an anarchist affinity group based in New York City. This "street gang with analysis" was famous for its Lower East Side direct action and is said to have inspired members of the Weather Underground and the Yippies.

The Motherfuckers grew out of a Dada-influenced art group called Black Mask with some additional people involved with the anti-Vietnam War Angry Arts week, held in January 1967. Formed in 1966 by painter Ben Morea and the poet Dan Georgakas, Black Mask produced a broadside of the same name and declared that revolutionary art should be "an integral part of life, as in primitive society, and not an appendage to wealth." In May 1968, Black Mask changed its name and went underground. Their new name, Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers, came from a poem by Amiri Baraka. Baraka's original poem goes:

"You can't steal nothing from a white man, he's already stole it he owes you everything you want, even his life. All the stores will open if you say the magic words. The magic words are: Up against the wall motherfucker! this is a stick up... We must make our own world, man, our own world, and we can not do this unless the white man is dead. Let's get together and kill him my man."

Abbie Hoffman characterized them as "the middle-class nightmare... an anti-media media phenomenon simply because their name could not be printed."

Early Motherfuckers included Tom Neumann, the stepson of Herbert Marcuse, John Sundstrom, Alan Hoffman and Alan Phillips.

The Motherfuckers contributed to New York City's counterculture by setting up crash pads, serving free food, starting a free store, and helping radicals connect with doctors and lawyers. They were opposed to and resisted on principle any attempt to impose order on the political demonstrations they participated in. Among other things, the Motherfuckers instigated brawls with Maoist groups such as the Progressive Labor Party. They were the first to use the term "affinity group", the term having been coined by Ben Morea.

traditionalguy said...

The Wisconsin traditions of holding annual recall elections and occupying the state capitol at will seem to be revolution friendly.

Secession would be the next step. Or is that just for the People's Republic of Madison?

PaulV said...

Greedy Capitalist taking money from nitwit Walker haters. Good idea.
Friedman on Greed and why it is good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xzej7TRfU9w&feature=player_embedded

Maguro said...

How anyone can listen to "The Wall" and still vote Democrat for big government is beyond reason.

When the Democrat comes asking for votes, smart people run like hell.


Isn't Roger Waters himself a big leftist? Never understimate the power of cognitive dissonance.

Henry said...

The story isn't about who did it — the story is what's on the wall.

Seems to me to be a perfectly normal self-deprecating response for a documentary photographer to make.

From the article:

[Riggs]He sought out other people who took interior photos "with more than cellphones," he said. The outpouring of images — one contributor had taken 7,000 photos, another shot 9,000 — resulted in a show featuring 161 pictures.

"Usually a photography show in Madison consists of 20 to 30 images," said Riggs, who painstakingly printed most of the photos for "Inside, at Night" in his own studio.


Riggs took the trouble to show up and take pictures. He took the trouble to hunt down other photographers (I like the detail about "other than cellphones"), he curated and printed the photos. Whatever his politics, he's done a lot of work.

Althouse/Meade -- did he contact you for your photos?

gerry said...

But there's plenty of room in this market for a higher level of protest memorabilia in the fine art category.

A Woody Allen script in the making!

edutcher said...

Good point, Henry.

I was thinking the same thing while the article droned on about "difficult" conditions.

Bet the capitol cops and the union slugs never got in Riggs' face

The other people (who were they now?) even did videos - a fetching waif doing her Brando, "I wonda who won, duh, in da rotunda...".

Funny how those aren't there.

Michael said...

Thank God these heroes were captured on timeless film bringing truth to power, risking all for the cause. It was art itself and darn near bloody what with the evil Kochs lurking everywhere with their goons. Wisconsin unites against having to pay a share of health premiums!! Wisconsin unites against the individual having to negotiate her own pay package! Wisconsin rides a pogo stick! Ah, and the artful dressing. The songs. Glorious.

MadisonMan said...

Thank God these heroes were captured on timeless film

Come into the 21st century.

'Film' indeed.

Chuck66 said...

What a bizzare obsession. To set up your whole life around your hatred of someone.

Pogo said...

I hope someone is photographing the photo exhibit as part of the protest, completing the circle jerk.

Ann Althouse said...

""[Riggs]He sought out other people who took interior photos "with more than cellphones," he said. The outpouring of images — one contributor had taken 7,000 photos, another shot 9,000 — resulted in a show featuring 161 pictures. "Usually a photography show in Madison consists of 20 to 30 images," said Riggs, who painstakingly printed most of the photos for "Inside, at Night" in his own studio."

I won't agree that a show of 161 photographs is harder to put together than a show of 20. The 20 would be held to a much higher standard. 161 creates an all-over effect or mosaic. The individual images can be much lower quality and still produce a great effect. (It's also a reason why the person who taped up the montage deserves special credit even if he appropriates the original photographers' work.)

"Althouse/Meade -- did he contact you for your photos?"

No, of course not. This is a show with a distinct political message at the marketing/promoting level. Even if my pics would look exactly like a left-winger's pics, there's no way I belong in this show (and I wouldn't agree to it if asked).

DADvocate said...

No, of course not. This is a show with a distinct political message at the marketing/promoting level. Even if my pics would look exactly like a left-winger's pics, there's no way I belong in this show...

So, it actually is about who did it.

Jason said...

did the death threats against you make it into the exhibit?

Michael said...

MadisonMan. Given where you reside you can be forgiven for not knowing that film, celluloid, is making a comeback in the cameras of the pros, the extra arty pros. I assumed, wrongly, that the extra arty Madison photographers who had the courage to snap these historic moments would be up to the moment in all respects. Alas, Wisconsin disappoints again.

chickenlittle said...

Michael said...
MadisonMan. Given where you reside you can be forgiven for not knowing that film, celluloid, is making a comeback in the cameras of the pros, the extra arty pros.

That's a silver lining and a bromide in one fell swoop.

Peter said...

'Michael' said: "MadisonMan. Given where you reside you can be forgiven for not knowing that film, celluloid, is making a comeback in the cameras of the pros, the extra arty pros ..."

Well, maybe. But it ain't gonna be Kodachrome.

garage mahal said...

I just went through some of the 500+ photos I took, and I had almost forgotten just how hilarious and creative Wisconsinites are. The Tractorcade may have been the zenith of homespun sign hilarity.

Meade said...

"But there's plenty of room in this market for a higher level of protest memorabilia in the fine art category."

Plenty of room, sure, but, careful, watch your fingers!

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

Something tells me Walker supporters will not gather outside the gallery to bang on bongos, blow vuvuzelas, and disrupt the experience for those who want to enjoy the event.

Henry said...

So Garage, did Riggs contact you?

Riggs should have contacted Althouse/Meade, if only to be subversive.

I did think the statement about "20" vs. "160" to be somewhat silly. But the filtering of thousands to hundreds is a lot of work, even if just to get rid of the blurry and underexposed.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Come into the 21st century.

I never could convice my mother to call her icebox a refrigerator. Some battles just can't be won.

garage mahal said...

Henry
Nope, although Riggs could have my photostream for free if he wanted it.

Reminds me of this collection of 10 slides/photos. These are the people of Wisconsin Meade and Althouse want you to hate. Why is a great question.

MadisonMan said...

is making a comeback in the cameras of the pros, the extra arty pros.

Oh. Were they here taking pictures of the Protests?

Henry said...

@Garage -- You lost me at "hate".

chickenlittle said...

Nice collection Garage. It's hard to believe such nice looking people tried to shout down Palin when she spoke there. What do they have against free speech?

That's rhetorical. No response required. I grew up there, I am familiar with the left's tactics for shouting things down.

DADvocate said...

These are the people of Wisconsin Meade and Althouse want you to hate.

I hate them already. Why doesn't matter.

Richard Dolan said...

"Something tells me Walker supporters will not gather outside the gallery to bang on bongos, blow vuvuzelas, and disrupt the experience for those who want to enjoy the event."

Walker supporters should do everything they can to make it a success. It's in Walker's personal and political interest to make the recall election the biggest political event in 2012 at the state level. Winning the recall (which he seems quite likely to do) and, by doing so, making his reforms of gov't-unionism stick in a place like Wisconsin will do more to propel Walker onto the national stage than anything he has accomplished so far (and that seems to be quite a bit).

Meade said...

Henry said...
@Garage -- You lost me at "hate".

Me too.

Meade said...

And Richard Dolan ↑ has it exactly right.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
Reminds me of this collection of 10 slides/photos. These are the people of Wisconsin Meade and Althouse want you to hate. Why is a great question."

As has been posted, "hate" is not what has been asked for, nor wanted. Anger and hate are the ownership of those in the picture.

But odd that that you chose the chant "We are Wisconsin" when "Whose house? Our House" and "Solidarity Forever" where more common themes, and certainly more truthful. When you strip away all the varnish this is about a select group of people selfishly wanting the lavish benefits they have be paid for by someone else. There is no "we" in that.

Chuck66 said...

To be true multi-media art, they should have something there, where you press a button and you hear a male Democrat legislator scream "YOU'RE FUCKING DEAD" to a female lawmaker. The would be so progressive and edgy.

Michael said...

Chuck66: Brilliant!! And I think the sound system should play, at full volume, the chant "shameshameshame" interrupted only by drumming.

garage mahal said...

@Garage -- You lost me at "hate".

They want people to "dismiss" them. Better?

Meade said...

garage mahal said...
@Garage -- You lost me at "hate".

They want people to "dismiss" them. Better?


Weak and no, not better. The truth is just the contrary. I don't want people to dismiss the Wisconsin Capitol Protesters. I want people to take a closer look... at themselves.

ps: garage, thanks for the link.

LordSomber said...

There are empty theatrics. And then there are pictures of empty theatrics.

Taking a picture of it doesn't necessarily add meaning. Probably not value either.
Am sure there will be buyers though.

garage mahal said...

No idea what you're getting at Meade.

Rusty said...

eak and no, not better. The truth is just the contrary. I don't want people to dismiss the Wisconsin Capitol Protesters. I want people to take a closer look... at themselves.

ps: garage, thanks for the link.




No shit, dude. That's a lot of people lookin' for free shit.

Meade said...

"No idea what you're getting at Meade."

What a surprise.

Blue@9 said...

Make sure to remind everyone there that the photog's taxes go the Obama War Machine, just like everyone else's.

Chip Ahoy said...

The blue tape is a very good touch. See? Now that is a designer right there.

But to cash in he must have merchandise that people find worth having. I am always a little disappointed in the merchandising. Even with a thing like King Tut, but apparently people find such things worth having.

Books sell well. There must be a book summing up the protests from a heroic point of view. A nice big coffee table picture book. The book can include personal profiles of movement heroes; vuvuleza blowers, poo wagon draggers, the like.

The next thing down is post cards and post card sets.

Coffee mugs. Why? I don't know why.

T-shirts. Duh.

Lenticular printing of photographs of particularly poignant moments. Lenticular, it's a word.

Blue fist jewelry.

Blue fist stationary items, paper, pens, pencils, etc.

Things for the kids. Activity sets, masks, costumes, erasers, cards, games. Kites with blue fists on them.

Scott Walker toilet tissue dispenser. Other common household items associated with unpleasant tasks reconfigured to associate with Scott Walker like toilet bowl brush and Scott Walker pooper scooper.

The Scott Walker walker. That's where Walker's head is painted on the two tennis ball on Nana's walker.

There really should be a Wisconsin blue fist cheese by now.

Blue fist beer, Blue fist chips, Blue fist cheese curd.

Clothing items, blue fist headbands, wrist bands, socks, knitted hats, knitted hats with ear flaps. knitted hats with ear flaps and puff balls on top and on the tie-strings.

Blue fist ties. Blue fist string.

etcetera.

Jess said...

@Chip Ahoy:
Books sell well. There must be a book summing up the protests from a heroic point of view. A nice big coffee table picture book. The book can include personal profiles of movement heroes; vuvuleza blowers, poo wagon draggers, the like.

Actually, there is a book, since this whole thing was foreseen more than a thousand years ago. It is kind of an allegory, you may have heard of it.

Beowulf.

The lead character, Beowulf, is sort of a standin for everyman, or at least everyman as instantiated in SEIU and AFSCME members. And the antagonist, Grendel, is almost molecule-for-molecule an exact duplicate of Scott Walker.

And it's even been made into a movie, so you get some some nice stills to illustrate the coffee-table edition. I understand that there are some really nice pix of Grendel's mum.

...There really should be a Wisconsin blue fist cheese by now.
Ah yes, Wisconsin, land of the Fisters!

Alex said...

I can't believe it, but I'm actually shedding a tear in nostalgia for last spring's protests! Then again I cry at just about anything.