Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Poster of the Week

Hold On To Your Wallets! Cross Your Legs!
Guerrilla Girls
Offset, 1994
New York, NY

CSPG’s Poster of the Week is almost 20 years old, but it shows that artists and activists have long criticized Wall Street. It’s also a perfect poster to focus on the ongoing “Occupy Wall Street” campaign which began September 17, 2011. The footnotes for the poster are below.

Inspired by the massive public protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and Madrid’s Puerta del Sol Square, hundreds of people are currently camping out in a square near Wall Street. The encampment began after a protest that attracted thousands of people and spawned several marches, including one near Union Square that resulted in 80 arrests. Video posted online from the protest shows a police officer pepper-spraying a group of young women while they were surrounded by police netting. Videos and eyewitness accounts show violent clashing between protesters and the police.

On Monday night, September 26—the tenth day of the protest—filmmaker Michael Moore visited the protest encampment. Police have barred the protesters from using any form of public address system at the encampment so the crowd repeated Michael Moore’s comments.

Michael Moore, filmmaker: "Whatever you do, don’t despair, because this is the hard part. You’re in the hard part right now. But everyone will remember three months from now, six months from now, a hundred years from now, that you came down to this plaza and you started this movement."

Poster Footnotes:

1. President; plundered U.S. economy to fund the Gulf War.

2. Board member of failed Silverado Savings & Loan, whose debts are being paid by Taxpayers.

3. Jailed director of failed Lincoln Savings & Loan; masterminded debacle that cost taxpayers $5 billion.

4. Vice-president, whose current missions are: opening wetlands to developers; destroying the northwest timberlands, along with endangered species; and deregulating the 1990 Clean Air Act.

5. Representative from Pennsylvania; indicted on charges of conspiracy, racketeering, and accepting bribes.

6. Former Bush White House Chief of Staff; financed his personal travels with taxpayers' money.

7. Televangelist; defrauded pensioners to finance his network.

8. Former head of Department of Housing and Urban Development; investigated for misappropriation of funds.

9. High Priest of Wall Street during the 1980s; currently incarcerated.

10. Head of the American Family Association; dedicated to dismembering the N.E.A. and N.E.H. [National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities]

11. Known sexual harasser and Supreme Court Justice; currently ruling on legality of Pennsylvania's restrictive abortion rights law.

12. Police chief who fiddled while L.A. burned.

13. Leader of Operation Rescue, whose efforts to rob women of abortion rights have cost Buffalo and Wichita millions.

14. Former President; slashed urban spending by more than 60%, increased U.S. military budget to fight The Evil Empire, and accrued the largest national debt in history.

A Public Service Message From Guerrilla Girls 532 La Guardia Pl. #237, NY 10012


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Poster of the Week, Pt. 2

Killing Him Would Not be Right
Amnesty International; Fellowship of Reconciliation; Clearinghouse on Criminal Justice; National Coalition Against the Death Penalty; Southern Coalition on Jails and Prisons
Offset, circa 1984
United States

CSPG’s Poster of the Week* calls our attention to the pending execution of Troy Davis on Wednesday, September 21 in Georgia. Davis has been on Georgia’s death row for close to 20 years after being convicted of killing off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah. Since his conviction, seven of the nine non police witnesses have recanted their testimony, alleging police coercion and intimidation in obtaining the testimony. There is no physical evidence linking Davis to the murder.

Last March, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Davis should receive an evidentiary hearing, to make his case for innocence. Several witnesses have identified one of the remaining witnesses who has not recanted, Sylvester “Redd” Coles, as the shooter. People throughout the world are asking for clemency or a new trial for Davis, including former President Jimmy Carter, Pope Benedict XVI, Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Congressmen Hank Johnson and John Lewis, former FBI Director and Judge William Sessions.

One of the jurors, Brenda Forrest, told CNN in 2009, “All of the witnesses — they were able to ID him as the person who actually did it.” Since the seven witnesses recanted, she says: “If I knew then what I know now, Troy Davis would not be on death row. The verdict would be not guilty.”

Troy Davis has three major strikes against him. First, he is an African-American man. Second, he was charged with killing a white police officer. And third, he is in Georgia.

On Tuesday, September 20, Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles announced it rejected clemency for Troy Anthony Davis. Time is running out. There are only 24 hours left to stop the execution and we must act now. Please urge them to reconsider.

Please e-mail the Georgia parole board and Chatham County District Attorney Larry Chisolm and ask them to reconsider their decision. Go to: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1265/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8257

*This poster was originally produced to stop the execution of James Dupree Henry, for the 1974 murder of 81-year-old Orlando civil rights leader Zellie L. Riley. The poster uses a quote from Riley's son arguing for clemency. Henry, whose final words were "I am innocent," was evaluated as mentally retarded before his execution on September 20, 1984. In 2002, the Supreme Court decision in Atkins v. Virginia declared that "executions of mentally retarded criminals are 'cruel and unusual punishments'."


Monday, September 19, 2011

Poster of the Week

Flowers of Life for Central America
John Baldessari; Norm Gollin
Artists Call Against U.S. Intervention in Central America
Offset, 1984
Los Angeles, California

Poster Text (partial):
Flowers Of Life For Central America/Flores De Vida Para Centro America
Artists Call is a national coalition of visual, literary, and performing artists who have concern for the life, culture, and traditions of Central American and Caribbean peoples. Artists Call is opposed to the ways in which these are threatened by foreign intervention. As North Americans we recognize our responsibility to speak out against injustice and the threat of regional war, promoted by our administration, and its domestic consequences. All events planned for October 1984 are an expression of these concerns.

Shifra M. Goldman

CSPG’s Poster of the Week is dedicated to Professor Shifra Goldman, a visionary pioneer in the study of Latin American and Chicana/o Art, and a social art historian. She died in Los Angeles on September 11, 2011, from Alzheimer’s disease. She was 85. This poster was produced by the Los Angeles Artists Call Against U.S. Intervention in Central America, an organization co-founded by Shifra Goldman in 1983.

"I was never in the mainstream, never in all my life. I was born on the margins, lived on the margins, and have always sympathized with the margins. They make a lot more sense to me than the mainstream."

Shifra M. Goldman, September 1992

Shifra Goldman taught art history in the Los Angeles area for over 20 years. She was a prolific writer and an activist for Chicano and Latino Art. In Dimensions of the Americas: Art and Social Change in Latin America and the United States, one of her award winning publications, she stated that part of her life’s work was to “deflect and correct the stereotypes, distortions, and Eurocentric misunderstandings that have plagued all serious approaches to Latino Art history since the 50s.”

Born and raised in New York by Russian/Polish immigrant parents, art and politics were central to her entire life. Shifra’s mother was a trade unionist and her father, a political activist. She attended the High School of Music and Art in New York, and entered the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a studio art major when her family moved to Los Angeles in the 1940's. As an undergraduate, she was active in the student boycott against the barbers in Westwood who refused to cut the hair of the Black Veterans entering UCLA on the GI bill following the Second World War.

After leaving UCLA, she went to work with Bert Corona and the Civil Rights Congress, a national organization working to stop police brutality against African and Mexican Americans, and the deportations of Mexicans and foreign born political activists. Living in East Los Angeles, Shifra learned Spanish and became immersed in Mexican and Chicano culture. In the 1950’s, during the repression of the Cold War, she was subpoenaed before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC). Two decades later, she lost her first college teaching job because a background check revealed that she had been called before HUAC

In the 1960's, after supporting herself and her son, Eric, as a bookkeeper for fifteen years, Shifra returned to UCLA to complete her B.A. in art. After receiving her M.A. in art history from California State University, Los Angeles (CSLA), she entered the Ph.D program at UCLA where she ran headlong into Eurocentrism when she was unable to find a chair for her doctoral committee because her topic of choice was modern Mexican art. Shifra refused to choose a more mainstream topic, and waited several years until a new faculty member finally agreed to work with her. Her dissertation was published as Contemporary Mexican Painting in a Time of Change by University of Texas Press in 1981, and republished in Mexico in 1989. She also initiated and co-authored the bibliography and theoretical essay, Arte Chicano: A Comprehensive Annotated Bibliography of Chicano Art, 1965-1981 (1985) with Dr.Tomás Ybarra-Frausto.

Shifra taught her first class in Mexican Art in 1966, possibly the only one given at that time in all of California. She later went on to a full time teaching position in art history at Santa Ana College where she taught courses in Mexican Pre-Colombian, Modern and Chicano Art for 21 years. She was one of the organizers for the Vietnam Peace Tower in 1966. Shifra also co founded the Los Angeles chapter of Artists Call Against U.S. Intervention in Central America, in 1983, and was instrumental in bringing solidarity with the Central American struggle to the Los Angeles community.

In 1968, she began the campaign to preserve the 1932 Siqueiros mural America Tropical in Olvera Street, and in 1971 approached Siqueiros for a new mural derived from the original. According to the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (CEMA), he agreed but the plan was thwarted by the artist’s death in 1974. His last mural in Los Angeles, Portrait of Mexico Today, 1932, was restored and moved to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in California with Shifra’s advice and assistance.

Shifra published and lectured in Europe, Latin America and the United States and led several delegations to Cuba to attend their Art Biennials. In 1994 she became a Research Associate with the Latin American Center at UCLA and taught art history there. Goldman is also Professor Emeritus from Santa Ana College, Santa Ana, CA.

In February 1992, she received the College Art Association's (CAA) Frank Jewett Mather Award for distinction in art criticism and, in February 1993, an award from the Women's Caucus for Art for outstanding achievement in the visual arts. She was elected to the board of the CAA, 1995-1999. In 1996 she received the “Historian of the Lions” award from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics. The title comes from an African proverb, “Until the lions have their historians, tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter.” Shifra told the stories of the lions.

The Shifra Goldman Papers, including her slides, books, and videos are part of the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (CEMA) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her extensive Chicano poster and print collection is at the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles. She will be remembered for her important contributions to Latin American Art scholarship and for her seminal work in Chicano/a Art History and support of the Chicano/a art community.

Professor Goldman is survived by her son Eric Garcia, daughter-in-law Trisha Dexter, and grandson Ian of Los Angeles. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Avenue 50 Studio, Center for the Study of Political Graphics and/or Tropico de Nopal.

A memorial for Shifra Goldman will take place on Saturday, October 15, 2-5 pm at the Professional Musicians Local 47, 817 Vine Street,Hollywood, CA 90038

¡Shifra Goldman PRESENTE!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Poster(s) of the Week

We Will Never Forget
Zero Crossing
Offset, 2001
Los Angeles, California

Joshua Bienko
Digital Print, 2007
Athens, Georgia

CSPG’s Posters of the Week commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist bombings of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The initial shock and outpouring of grief were soon channeled into jingoistic calls for revenge by the members of the Bush administration. Literally overnight, U.S. flags appeared everywhere as a sign of collective mourning and solidarity; but they soon took on an aggressive, militaristic stance. “These colors don’t run” became a common slogan on many posters and placards displaying the U.S. flag.

By draping the destroyed Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in the flag, the first poster strongly evokes two coffins. Of the many posters produced immediately following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S., this is one of the most poignant and least jingoistic.

The second poster, made six years into the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, focuses on how the Bush administration manipulated one criminal tragedy into another, ongoing criminal tragedy. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the Bush administration claimed that Saddam Hussein was involved in the attack on the U.S. on September 11, 2001. With the burning twin towers of the World Trade Center on the left, and the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein on the right, the artist used the Gap logo to refer to the factual gap. There is no direct connection with the Gap company. This poster is part of CSPG’s traveling exhibition, Subvertisements—Using Ads & Logos for Protest available online at www.politicalgraphics.org

If you are in Los Angeles between September 9-11, please visit LA vs War. This 3-day anti-war event–from noon to midnight–commemorates the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001. There will be artists, displays, music, performances, workshops, educational presentations, and an exhibition of CSPG posters. For more information, visit: http://vswar.org/

On Sunday, September 11, 2011:
• 12:30 pm: Mary Sutton, CSPG’s program director will speak at 12:30 p.m. at a workshop titled, No Prisons, No Jails, on the history of California prison expansion.
• 1:30 pm: Carol A. Wells, CSPG’s founder and executive director, will present Can Art Stop a War? The Power of Graphics to Educate, Agitate & Inspire Action

All this and more will take place at the
2341 E. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, 90021
9/9/2011 - 9/11/2011
12:00 PM - 12:00 AM

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Poster of the Week

They Plan for Profits…Let Us Plan For People
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
Offset, no date [pre-1994]
United States

CSPG’s Poster of the Week honors Labor Day. In the U.S., Labor Day was started in September of 1882, and quickly became an official holiday at the same time May Day spread throughout the world.

The first May Day, in 1886, was a call for eight-hour workdays by the workers in many American cities; it is now mostly associated with the Haymarket Martyrs.

Labor Day is a time to celebrate the contributions American workers had given their country, unlike May Day events, which focused on the international class struggle.

Source: http://dissidentvoice.org/Articles4/Cobban_MayDay.htm