Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Emotionally Loaded Words...Art Thingy
Top Photo, Fox 9, "Fair Comment And Criticism"
Bottom 3 Photos by John Hoff
At least twice a day I search Google news and Google blogs for anything involving "North Minneapolis." That was how I found out about a story on Fox 9 called "Artwork Or Hate Crime? N. Minneapolis Residents in uproar....
The story goes on to explain that some residents feel the signs have words full of "racially and politically infused issues."
However, something really interesting happened with the photo selection that went with the Fox 9 story. The one illustration to go with the story had the word "Responsibility" visible, and also the word "Exodus" and "Power" and "Coming" may be, arguably, decipherable. (See top photo, used under "fair comment and criticism."
So the reader of the FOX 9 story is left to conclude "Huh. Some residents of North Minneapolis are upset about words like RESPONSIBILITY?"
Well, compare the top photo to a few photos I took night before last. Many of the signs are knocked down, however, the paper placards are quite flimsy and flap forcefully in a stiff breeze, so I doubt anybody knocked down the signs in protest.
It's pretty easy to see the signs do indeed contain emotional and racially loaded terms, and this "art" just appeared without any explanation or placard to explain the intent. That's fine with visual art, I suppose...but if the art is composed of words, it begs for some explanation. Furthermore, I was there taking pictures and I'll say this: composing the picture used for the Fox 9 story would have taken CONSIDERABLE effort and thought, to get a photo with a bunch of phrases that were NOT as emotionally loaded and offensive as--I would have to say--the VAST MAJORITY of the placards.
That photo didn't happen by accident.
I give this alleged "art" a C minus. My 11-year-old could do better. No, wait...my 11-year-old is in the gifted and talented program at his school. So I'll say...my 11-year-old could have done better...five years ago.
P.S. If you don't know what "Mandingo" is, I urge you to look it up. Also, a picture I took of the word "Nigress" did not reproduce well, so I didn't use it.