OLD HABITS DIE HARD III
Title: OLD HABITS DIE HARD III (I wish it to be visibly invisible, there but not quite, always present but only for the ones who look for it and for the ones who can´t hide it.)
Medium: translucent “sandblast” vinyl decal on gallery window (lettering appropriation from historical 20th century photograph)
Size: aprox. 2 x 2 feet
Sign meant for migrant agricultural workers in Texas, 1949, From the Russell Lee Photography Collection, courtesy of The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin
_____shown @ ______
This Machine Kills______________
Fine Art Complex 1101
Dates: 11.5.2016 – 12.10.2016
Curated by: Ed Gomez, Luis G. Hernandez and April Lillard-Gomez
This Machine Kills _______ is a group exhibition examining works of art dealing with matters of protest, activism and propaganda relating to the 2016 presidential election. The show seeks to explore topics relevant in an election year, often propagated and exploited by news outlets and social media. Topics such as election fraud, terrorism, political corruption, economic insecurities, xenophobia and civil rights issues among many others are open to artistic interpretation and exploration.Participating Artists:
Mely Barragan (TJ) Cindy Santos Bravo (San Diego/LA) Gomez Bueno (LA) Temoc Camacho (Guadalajara) Robbie Conal (LA) Jeff Chabot (PHX) Sean Deckert (PHX/LA) Karla Diaz (LA) Victoria Delgadillo (LA) Veronica Duarte (LA) Cristian Franco (Guadalajara) Jason Gonzalez (Mesa) Olga Gutierrez (Guadalajara) Carlos Hernandez (LA) Luis G. Hernandez (SoCal/Mexicali) Julio Cesar Morales (Tempe, TJ) Ann Morton (PHX) Karl Petion (LA) Radio Healer (Mesa)
Daniel Ruanova (TJ) Christopher Vena (AZ)Film Screening by:
Karen Finley and Bruce Yonemoto (LA)The title of the show directly references American folk legend Woody Guthrie’s iconic guitar text “ This Machine Kills Fascists”, itself a protest piece recreting the musician’s leftist political views. The phrase has been repeatedly adapted by artists and activists, most recently by punk royalty Buzz Osborne of the Melvins for a 2014 solo album named “This Machine Kills Artists”. In 2012, journalist Andy Greenberg published a novel titled This Machine Kills Secrets: Julian Assange, the Cypherpunks, and their Fight to Empower Whistleblowers. A reference to the phrase has also been made in the post-apocalyptic themed video game Fallout 4 in which the words “WELL THIS MACHINE KILLS COMMIES” is etched into the side of a rifle. The title for this exhibition has been intentionally left incomplete, leaving interpretation open to the artist and/or viewer.Guthrie originally wrote the “patriotic” ballad “This Land is Your Land” as a social commentary on what he saw as fascism in America. He penned politically nuanced songs but generally sided with Communist ideals. His experiences during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl era parallel what many citizens are experiencing in modern day America.“This Land is Your Land” contains often redacted lyrics containing references to borders and food lines for the poor. In an untitled song, he criticizes real estate magnate Fred Trump, the father of presidential candidate Donald Trump. The lyrics were written at a time when he himself was living in tenements owned by the elder Trump. Guthrie’s lyrics reflected his thoughts on Trump’s unethical business practices:
Beach Haven looks like heaven
Where no black ones come to roam!
No, no, no! Old Man Trump!
Old Beach Haven ain’t my home!
This Machine Kills_____ seeks to explore the relationship between art, music and politics during a volatile election cycle. Featuring artists from Arizona, California and Mexico, the exhibition utilizes the historically significant function of protest art as an opposition to technologically prolific forms of media. Most works will consist of propaganda style posters and prints, though there will be several types of media represented. The gallery will be screening a new film by artists Bruce Yonemoto and Karen Finley in conjunction with this exhibition.Opening night performances by Phoenix based art collective Radio Healer.
To whom it may concern,
I, Daniel Ruanova, a borderrat & visual artist from Tijuana, am solely responsible for the RACIST SIGN on the gallery window at FINE ARTS COMPLEX in Tempe Arizona. This is a recreation of an actual sign that was up in Texas during the 20th century. My intent in bringing this sign back to life, is to convey the importance of history, and the terrible things that happen once we forget it…
I do not support any person who uses this artwork to justify their own ignorance. The words WE SERVE WHITE´S ONLY, NO SPANISH OR MEXICANS are harsh, but have been present during my entire life. I believe that it is my moral obligation to use my power (in this case art) to put forth ideas and situations that question the world we live in.
I, like millions of other US citizens (yes, I have dual Mexican and American citizenship) are appalled that a country like this one, can elect a full blown bigot to the most powerful position that the democratic process can create. We are now living in times where dialogue is crucial, and art, specifically political art is necessary.
In my own words (regarding my piece): “I wish it to be visibly invisible, there but not quite, always present but only for the ones who look for it and for the ones who can´t hide it.”
Daniel Ruanova, 12th of NOV 2016