Unintended Art: Self-Portrait With a Commode

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Searching for furniture on Yad2, Israel’s leading classified ads website, I stumbled upon this photo: A young woman can be seen standing in front of the mirror, trying to capture a good angle of this nice three drawer commode – but unbeknownst to her, she actually captured what seems to be an authentic moment in time, a quasi-voyeuristic look of this ordinary looking family.
The younger woman, a tech-savvy daughter maybe, is so focused at the task at hand, she probably doesn’t notice the older woman, her mother probably, sitting in her nightgown on the bed.
Was mom aware of her role in this classified ad? Has she given permission for anyone and everyone to gaze at her in her unmentionables? Removed from the Yad2 website, this photo looks more and more like a self-portrait, or a family portrait, and I would not hesitate to say, a good one at that.

Hagigit Artist Collective Launches a New Art Magazine

The artist collective I am part of has kept me pretty busy during the last couple of weeks. We cooperated with Jerusalem’s Train Theatre, donated our time for a charity in Jerusalem’s first Cooking Pot Festival, and in between managed to launch the first issue of our art magazine.
The issue, titled ‘No one will admit to it‘ is a mixture of our art works, including poems, short stories, paintings, drawings, photographs and digital art. It features a number of my photo collages and a few Hebrew poems I wrote this year.

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At this time you can purchase a copy wherever we perform, but we are working on additional ways of distribution including selected Jerusalem bookshops and making online purchasing available both for hard copies and soft copies.

Upcoming events of Hagigit are posted on its Facebook page and on its website.

Andrea Gibson – For Eli

Andrea Gibson        is a spoken word artist and activist, living in Colorado, USA. Have a listen to her poem titled ‘For Eli’.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwh23QSrwKw

Andrea Gibson – For Eli

Buy this MP3 track or buy the entire album.

Eli came back from Iraq
and tattooed a teddy bear onto the inside of his wrist
above that a medic with an IV bag
above that an angel
but Eli says the teddy bear won’t live
and I know I don’t know but I say, “I know”
cause Eli’s only twenty-four and I’ve never seen eyes
further away from childhood than his
eyes old with a wisdom
he knows I’d rather not have
Eli’s mother traces a teddy bear onto the inside of my arm
and says, “not all casualties come home in body bags”
and I swear
I’d spend the rest of my life writing nothing
but the word light at the end of this tunnel
if I could find the fucking tunnel
I’d write nothing but white flags
somebody pray for the soldiers
somebody pray for what’s lost
somebody pray for the mailbox
that holds the official letters
to the mothers,
————–fathers,
——————–sisters,
and little brothers
of Micheal 19… Steven 21… John 33
how ironic that their deaths sound like bible verses
the hearse is parked in the halls of the high school
recruiting black, brown and poor
while anti-war activists
outside walter reed army hospital scream
100, 000 slain
as an amputee on the third floor
breathes forget-me-nots onto the window pain
but how can we forget what we never knew
our sky is so perfectly blue it’s repulsive
somebody tell me where god lives
cause if god is truth god doesn’t live here
our lies have seared the sun too hot to live by
there are ghosts of kids who are still alive
touting M16s with trembling hands
while we dream ourselves stars on Survivor
another missile sets fire to the face in the locket
of a mother who’s son needed money for college
and she swears she can feel his photograph burn
how many wars will it take us to learn
that only the dead return
the rest remain forever caught between worlds of
shrapnel shatters body of three year old girl
to
welcome to McDonalds can I take your order?
the mortar of sanity crumbling
stumbling back home to a home that will never be home again
Eli doesn’t know if he can ever write a poem again
one third of the homeless men in this country are veterans
and we have the nerve to Support Our Troops
with pretty yellow ribbons
while giving nothing but dirty looks to their outstretched hands
tell me what land of the free
sets free its eighteen-year-old kids into greedy war zones
hones them like missiles
then returns their bones in the middle of the night
so no one can see
each death swept beneath the carpet and hidden like dirt
each life a promise we never kept
Jeff Lucey came back from Iraq
and hung himself in his parents basement with a garden hose
the night before he died he spent forty five minutes on his fathers lap
rocking like a baby
rocking like daddy, save me
and don’t think for a minute he too isn’t collateral damage
in the mansions of washington they are watching them burn
and hoarding the water
no senators’ sons are being sent out to slaughter
no presidents’ daughters are licking ashes from their lips
or dreaming up ropes to wrap around their necks
in case they ever make it home alive
our eyes are closed
america
there are souls in
the boots of the soldiers
america
fuck your yellow ribbon
you wanna support our troops
bring them home
and hold them tight when they get here

Hagigit Ends the Summer with A Blast at the Jerusalem Theatre

[singlepic id=95 w=300 h=400 float=right]Hagigit, the artists collective I co-founded, was invited to participate in the End of Summer events by the Jerusalem Theatre. We spent the last few weeks in preparation for the three day event, our biggest event to date both logistically and in terms of crowd participation. We set up our famous outdoors studio, packed it with theatre-related props, set up a work station consisting of 6 laptop computers, 2 photo printers, a wireless router, and one strategically placed electric fan.

The whole shebang worked like so: people could play dress up and don outrageous costumes, three Hagigit members staged the studio scenes and photographed them, another member was in charge of downloading the photos and distributing them using our wireless network. Most of the photos were instantly printed by another member, and a few were manipulated using Photoshop by two other Hagigit members.
Myself? I was in charge of hooking up to the jumbotron, displaying the photos taken and playing the Photoshop screen-captures, to the amusement of the crowd.

Here is a short movie consisting of photos taken at the studio:

And here is an example of the sort of Photoshop work that was done in real time, played here at 8 times the original speed:

…oh, and we got mentioned here and here.

Renditions: Saigon Execution – Eddie Adams, Vietnam, 1968

[singlepic id=181 w=525 h=525 float=center]Eddie Adams – Saigon Executionphotograph – 1968 – Vietnam

[singlepic id=85 w=525 h=525 float=center]Henry VIII’s WivesIconic Moments of the 20th Centuryphotograph – 2007 – UK

[singlepic id=80 w=525 h=525 float=center]Mark DaughheteeHosedphotograph – 2004 – USA

[singlepic id=81 w=525 h=525 float=center]Borf BrigadeThe Consolation of Ruin – 2007 – USA

[singlepic id=79 w=525 h=525 float=center]Mike Stimpsonphotograph – 2007 – UK

[singlepic id=77 w=525 h=525 float=center]Xiang Jing – Bang!sculpture – 2002 – China

[singlepic id=82 w=525 h=525 float=center]Amnesty International – print – 2005 – New Zealand

[singlepic id=83 w=525 h=525 float=center]Dolk Lundgren – Weed Killergraffiti – 2008 – Norway

[singlepic id=84 w=525 h=525 float=center]Franck Réthorépainting – 2007 – France

[singlepic id=100 w=525 h=525 float=center]Kenyon BajusExecutionprint – 2004 – USA

[singlepic id=87 w=525 h=525 float=center]Krista WortendykeIconic Recallprint – USA

Notes:

  • The original photo received the Pulitzer Prize for ‘Spot News Photography’ in 1969 under the name ‘Saigon Execution’. Nowadays it is often captioned as ‘General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon’.
  • For such an iconic photo and a well documented event, it is surprising that so many people cannot eloquently explain the context of this image, summarizing it to ‘a bad guy killing a good guy’. Please take a moment to learn more about the incident by clicking here and here.
  • If you are aware of additional artworks derived from the original photo, please send details and links by leaving a comment or sending an email.
  • If you enjoyed this post, please make sure you check back in a month or so, as additional artworks will be added.

The following was added after this post was first published.

[singlepic id=168 w=525 h=525 float=center]miniplimanprint – 2009 – Germany

[singlepic id=244 w=525 h=621 float=center]Liu JinNews – Wangfujingphotograph – 2001 – China

[singlepic id=292 w=525 h=525 float=center]Olivier BlanckartThe Remix Saigon (After Eddie Adams)sculpture – 1997 – France

[singlepic id=298 w=525 h=525 float=center]LocustMural For Clarion Alleymural – 2011 – USA

[singlepic id=302 w=525 h=525 float=center]Yasumasa MorimuraA Requiem: Vietnam War, 1968-1991photograph – 1991 – Japan

[singlepic id=301 w=525 h=525 float=center]Manit SriwanichpoomThis Bloodless War No. 2photograph – 1997 – Thailand

[singlepic id=303 w=525 h=525 float=center]Kevin Hagedorn and Amro JayousiObama’s War is a Crimeperformance art – 2010 – USA

[singlepic id=305 w=525 h=525 float=center]Vik MunizMemory Rendering of Saigon Executionphotograph – 1990 – USA

[singlepic id=306 w=525 h=525 float=center]Mark YoungDave Stewart’s Vietnam Execution Tributephotograph – USA

[singlepic id=307 w=525 h=525 float=center]Johnny de BrestVladraculphotograph – 1995 – Germany

[singlepic id=308 w=525 h=525 float=center]Carlos LatuffThe Coca-Cola Seriesphotograph – 2003 – Brazil

[singlepic id=309 w=525 h=525 float=center]Dinh Q. LêUntitled (Metro Goldwyn Mayer) from ‘From Vietnam to Hollywood’ – tapestry – 2003 – USA

[singlepic id=310 w=525 h=525 float=center]Karen OstromThe Execution from The Gun Series – photograph – 2005 – USA

[singlepic id=328 w=525 h=525 float=center]Pavel Maria Smejkal – from the Fatescapes series – print – 2009 – Slovakia

[singlepic id=311 w=525 h=525 float=center]Sanna DullawayPast in Colourprint – 2011 – Sweden

Billy Joel - We Didn't Start The Fire - 1989 - USABilly JoelWe Didn’t Start The Firemusic video – 1989 – USA

The following work precedes Adams’ photo:

[singlepic id=304 w=525 h=525 float=center]Esther BubleySmall Boys Watching the Woodrow Wilson High School Cadetsphotograph – 1943 – USA

Love In The Tub: Jerusalemite.net Discusses Hagigit


Jerusalemite.net

Hagigit, the Jerusalem artists’ cooperative I co-founded, got some attention today in the form of an interview:
Jerusalemite.net, the self-proclaimed ‘definitive English-language culture guide to the center of the world’ published today an interview with Guy Yitzhaki, a fellow co-founder of our little art group. In the interview Guy discusses the goals of our group and elaborates on our most recent activity. Check it out!

These Are Your Citizens – Tell Them Thank You for Coming to My Birthday Party

Barbecuing in a nature reserve is generally considered Israel’s national pastime, and from the look of it, the secret ingredient is placing the grill near thousands of your fellow Israelis. The more crowded the place, the tenderer the meat gets. Sacher Park in Jerusalem is just a big patch of grass within the capital city, but nevertheless thousands of Israelis choose to celebrate holidays by having a picnic there.

Hagigit  , the Jerusalem artists’ cooperative I co-founded, erected its second outdoors photo studio in Sacher Park on Israel’s 60th anniversary, for that very reason. It was an opportunity to document a cross section of the people of Israel, and we had a lot of fun doing it. Here is a sample of the photos we took. Clicking a photo will open a larger version:

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Hagigit group was founded by eight graduates of the Musrara photography school in Jerusalem. The group’s main goal is to create and encourage interdisciplinary art activities in Jerusalem, including exhibitions, street performances and cooperation with artists in different mediums and with the local community under the belief that art should not be confined to a small section of the public.

I Was a Cliché at Age 14

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The image above (click it for a larger size) is an advanced draft of a new artwork of mine. I will be presenting it in a collective work of Israeli portraits by Ehrlich Contemporary Art Gallery in the Florentin Biennale in Tel-Aviv, this coming May.

Format: Digital print
Dimensions: 210mm x 297mm
Name: Undetermined as of now. Possible names in descending order of probability include

  • I Was a (Already?) Cliché at Age 14
  • cliche93
  • Xerox-uality

Technique: The work is made out entirely out of digital-age found objects, that is, readymade images that were found on the Internet and were not photographed by me. The 12 images are all self portraits of 14 year old Israeli girls, each one published at Bona.co.il (now defunct), an Israeli social networking website for high school students. The text below each image is the stats that appear in each of the online profiles correspondingly (stats were accurate when gathered, but may have changed since).
Theme: While the complete artwork stands by itself, it is the first of a series of planned works, all of which present my commentary on the role and image of contemporary women as reflected by the online presence of the next emerging crop.

Feel free to check out the online profiles, by clicking the link that corresponds with each photo’s location.

x x x x
x x x x
x x x x

As always, I welcome your comments and observations. Oh, I forgot to mention I am toying with the idea of sending a personal invitation to the exhibit to each of the girls.