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Author Topic: The Art of AntiWar
Boinker
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posted 26 October 2001 09:46 AM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think that the following is an interesting site on the horrors of war.

Where are the artists in Afghanistan and the witnesses to the carnage?

AntiWar Art


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 26 October 2001 02:05 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cameras are forbidden by the Taliban.
From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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posted 26 October 2001 03:13 PM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sketching and painting too?
From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 26 October 2001 03:21 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm just sayin'.

Still, isn't art a luxury activity? Who is going to create these paintings? The Afghans are too busy trying to survive, and Westerners aren't allowed inside.

Also, in WWI, how many of those painters were drafted and how many were volunteers? I don't think the modern US army is nearly as diverse as armies in WWI were. As such, when the troops do land in Afghanistan, it's very unlikely that many of them will be artists.

I think artistic expression about Afghanistan won't come from those inside Afghanistan. It might come from "western" artists looking at it from the outside, or from Afghan refugees/immigrants who, while definitely having a different insight on the culture, have just as little real access to the subject matter as "western" artists because they aren't there to witness it first-hand.

The days of Hemingway going "over there" to fight and reporting back to the rest of the world seem to be long past. How many "western" lefties join the army these days?


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 26 October 2001 05:44 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hemingway never enlisted in the armed forces -- he was disqualified in youth for health reasons. He was a volunteer ambulance driver in WWI and a correspondent for Collier's magazine after D-Day.

There are lots of journalists in Afghanistan now, probably mostly moving in from the north with the Northern Alliance. Someone's got to bring back something. But it's true, it's hard to imagine a painter nowadays getting there, either attached to an army or funded privately. Interesting idea ...


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 26 October 2001 05:58 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, if the Afghans are predisposed at the current moment with other things, I found this stunning painting from one of the local artists here in town:

The local resident artists haven't finished their fine arts degree's yet. Or maybe they have and I just can't tell if it's in the dada or surrealist or modern styles...


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 26 October 2001 06:59 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually, there is a pro-war version of this too. The picture is the same but the caption is different: “For the greater good of Allah! Jihad is the answer!”
Also, a version appears in Palestinian propaganda, something about what Israel is doing. Oddly enough, the exact same picture is used by the Israelis, about what the Israeli’s need to do.

It is quite a popular picture.


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
PanzerLeader
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posted 26 October 2001 09:01 PM      Profile for PanzerLeader   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
War art is never painted in the field. Can you image trying to hold a brush with rounds dropping all around you. It is always painted after the fact. However some do small drawings in the line.
What makes you think there are no artist in the military. Typical lefty viewpoint. I know several guys who like to draw or paint. One is better than any artist I ever saw at school lefty or otherwise. Who do you think does "nose-art". Guys with talent are in high demand in many units. Everyone wants and picture on their kit.
Just look before you leap next time you say there are no.....in the military.

From: Ottawa, Ontario | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 26 October 2001 10:31 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Anyone interested in Anti-war art might be interested in this

Paintings from Kosovo.

[ October 26, 2001: Message edited by: N.R.KISSED ]


From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 26 October 2001 11:33 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I "like" this one:

Full Image

Is this war art?

Hey, PanzerLeader. I read a blurb in the G&M Social Studies section about people getting in trouble over writing "die, you fags" or something like that, on a shell. Is that art too? Hehe.

But, yeah, art talent is not restricted to the looney left. But I suspect the "left", if you define it as people who are upset by war, have a better knack for recognizing the more powerful "war art". They are already "tuned" to the atrocities.
But, I'm not an art critic. The Toronto Star printed a picture of an injured Afghan baby this week and they got mail about how unpatriotic, or whatever, they were.

That's scary.

[ October 26, 2001: Message edited by: clockwork ]


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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posted 27 October 2001 11:11 AM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A few comments...

Art may rank behind food and accomodation but it is not a luxury. It is one of the main ways to reflect on the meaning of existence, be it religious expression or otherwise.

The Kosovo paintings display wonderful draftsmanship but they appear to be derived from photographs. I do not think this is invalid but I am looking for a more synthetic representation that overstates rather than appeals to subtleties of the "picture". Notwithstanding the above - thanks the work was wondeful and evocative.

I am glad that there are soldiers with artistic sensiilities, in fact I expect it.

I think drawing and painting the realities (and horrors) of this so-called "War" might be helpful in pointing out the utter folly of it.

Here is a good example of what I mean...


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 27 October 2001 12:15 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm a big fan of Geoff Butler's work. Like this one:

It's called "Business As Usual"


From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 27 October 2001 12:39 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Those are valid criticisms Boinker the artist actually does address some of them on the site
quote:
Aside from the lack of colour, I am also aware that these pieces share some of the "language" of documentary photography. The nature of the subject matter which holds my interest in many ways parallels that of foreign correspondents/international journalism. Without entering into a dialogue on the variant natures of painting and photography, suffice it to say that in this instance, among other things, the time and process involved in producing the final image are crucially differential elements, and I hope the finished work holds more (or at least something other) than what is usually seen in news media.



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clockwork
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posted 27 October 2001 07:28 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

“Following the quacks” hehe

From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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posted 28 October 2001 01:37 PM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thank you all - this is fascinating stuff and I feel quite humbled by it all.

But there is a fine line here that needs to be addressed and that is the Afghanistan specifics.

There are still none.

Butler's work is excellent but a little too "Cancult" for my taste...i.e. general.

I liked the student work posted by clockwork but it has a similar ironic dimension and I don't agree that the image,whatever caption was used, could be anything but anti-war.

The problem is how to engage the reality directly so that those who experience the art get the sense of the events being played out there.

I think Dowling is the best or closest to what I'm looking for so far but it is of Kosovo not Afghanistan.

What would we get if we sent both Butler and Dowling to Afghanistan I wonder?

It all seems even more absurd when Rumsfeld says that they are no closer to getting bin Laden or dislodging the Taliban than they were two weeks ago.


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 28 October 2001 01:57 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As so many people who know the countryside were predicting from the beginning.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 28 October 2001 06:26 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I liked the student work posted by clockwork but it has a similar ironic dimension and I don't agree that the image,whatever caption was used, could be anything but anti-war.

No? The image conjures up a feeling of revulsion in me, so I would associate it with an anti-war message. But what happens if the image evoked rage or hate? What happens if you don’t value human life on the opposing side? What happens if you can identify with the ethnicity of my stick figure?

Pro war messages incite, do they not? What's the difference between my posted picture and the WTC towers collapsing?


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boinker
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posted 28 October 2001 08:47 PM      Profile for Boinker   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Clockwork says
"No? The image conjures up a feeling of revulsion in me, so I would associate it with an anti-war message. But what happens if the image evoked rage or hate? What happens if you donít value human life on the opposing side? What happens if you can identify with the ethnicity of my stick figure?"

The identity of a stick figure ? Isn't the point of the stick figure that it is a symbol of all humanity? It is not a blank vessel which you can fill with whatever emotion you like. This idea is false in itself. Emotions are connected to the real world and have antecedents. One of the most powerful is our common humanity. To see it slaughtered evokes the same feelings in all of us I submit, terror, sadness, outrage but also dread of the agent of the slaughter... and a fervent hope that it stops.

Thus this image must be always anti-war.


From: The Junction | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.R.KISSED
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posted 28 October 2001 11:50 PM      Profile for N.R.KISSED     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well Boinker I wouldn't be surprised if Dowling does make it to Afghanistan or at least the region. I was intending to ask the next time I contact him I'll keep you posted.
From: Republic of Parkdale | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged

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