I’ve been thinking a lot about censorship, free speech, language equality and political correctness. I wonder does free speech still exist? Is censorship and political correctness good? What is kindness? What is respect? What does it mean to love our fellow humans?
The end of language: exploring through art how meaningful discourse has changed in the new millennium as freedom of speech is denied and words appropriated/owned to provide a new backdrop of racism, sexism, ageism and control, ultimately demeaning the existence of an individual.
This series of images/ideas will number more than a dozen but here are the ones I’ve created so far. Image print size is fairly consistent at 20in X 30in. Also below are some gallery installation ideas – if anyone is interested.
The images are created by a digital process I call “visual glossolalia” – Using photoshop I use photographs I’ve taken (and posted on this blog) then “chop them up”, manipulate, shape and color using layers and layers and layers. This process ensures the original photograph becomes completely unrecognizable, creating new abstract backgrounds for my ideas and thoughts.
Installation idea #1: An open coffin which people file past respectfully. The coffin will have dictionaries open to various telling words and will also have copies of the first amendment of the constitution of the united states.
Installation idea #2: The sound of birds tweeting with various twitter-like icons all over the room. Possibly icons cut out by children and hung in a moving mobile.
Installation idea #3: A body (generic – not racially identifiable) impaled on a large pitchfork with the pitchfork handle labeled HATE and each of the prongs labeled DIVISION, DEMONIZATION and DE-HUMANIZATION.
Installation idea #4: Have a large paper hung over a wall. Have markers available and a sign advising people to write down words or ideas that offend them. On the last day of the exhibition this paper will be taken down embraced by all in attendance and will be ritually burned outside. As a symbol of embracing the things that offend us with kindness will reduce them to ashes to the tune of amazing grace.
Performance idea: I stand in a corner with scattered rocks at my feet. I am shirtless and barefoot. Behind me a broken cross. There is a sign with the text;
crime: speaking freely
The attendees will file past a bucket of rocks and a guard will encourage each person to pick up a rock and throw it at me. It is perhaps fitting that I have a gray beard with long gray hair since Free Speech has gotten “old”.
For any gallery or museum interested in this topic and possible exhibition you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.