Since wars keep failing
How about an alternative?
WWII may have been preventable. If the free nations of the world had taken more kindly to the plight of the German people, they may not have been so easily exploited by a tyrannical dictator and the hate-filled Nazi regime.
To begin, wars are between those who have found freedom and those who never had it, or lost it somehow, or never experienced a high state of individual freedom.
Wars are indications that all society has failed because free and intelligent people should find better avenues for dealing with tyranny.
Artists make a mockery of the machines of war, and I like that.
Richard Meade commented on Jack Cordini's Facebook page: " “The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are individual human beings, and that these individual beings are condemned by the monstrous conventions of politics to murder or be murdered in quarrels not their own”
“War Machines (With Gymnasts)
By CAROL VOGEL
Published: May 12, 2011
ON a nondescript street in Long Island City, Queens, is a mysterious gold-painted door with a drawing of a colorful tent and a sign that reads “Circus Warehouse.” Inside is a cavernous space with a flying trapeze, gymnastic rings and ropes, ballet bars and piles of thick practice mats. It was here on a recent spring morning that about a dozen people were gathered around two pairs of strangely familiar objects: identical models of airline business-class seats, impeccably fashioned in wood. One, an American Airlines design, featured a seat in the upright position, beside it a bed with a meticulously carved imitation of a blanket and pillow.
“Feel free to move around, see how different it looks from different angles,” whispered the performance and conceptual artist Jennifer Allora, a small woman with cropped blond hair, dressed entirely in black. A business-class seat conjures up all sorts of associations: money, power, hierarchy. And, as Ms. Allora explained, “there’s tension about being on a plane, and this is meant to provoke that same kind of anxiety.”
The action was unfolding around the smaller, Delta version, where the group watched as Sadie Wilhelmi, a young professional dancer and gymnast, bent her body in graceful movements over a seat: wrapping herself around the tray table, draping her body along the edge of the seats, limbs splayed, forming a perfect split, and finally alighting on the divider, a leg gracefully extending high in the air — Brancusi’s “Bird in Space” sculpture come to life.
The routine lasted 17 minutes, far longer than the three-minute routines typical of professional gymnasts. “We wanted to push the limits,” Ms. Allora said.
The notion of pushing the limits is heard over and over from Ms. Allora, who, with Guillermo Calzadilla, her partner in life and work, make up Allora & Calzadilla, an artist team in Puerto Rico. The two were frantically putting the finishing touches on this performance along with the five other new projects that will be incorporated into “Gloria,” an exhibition that will occupy the American pavilion at this summer’s Venice Biennale. The artists, who are hardly household names, will represent the United States in a prestigious international arena, like Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Ed Ruscha before them.
To perform the pieces they have gathered a cast that includes Dave Durante, a champion in all-around gymnastics; Dan O’Brien, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon; the gymnast Chellsie Memmel, a silver medalist at the 2008 Bejing Games; and Ms. Wilhelmi, among others. There will be a 52-ton military tank turned upside down and topped with a treadmill and an Olympic runner; a classical-style bronze sculpture lying inside an open tanning bed; a custom-made pipe organ incorporating a fully functioning A.T.M.; and a 21-minute video that depicts the island of Vieques in Puerto Rico, which until 2003 was the site of bombing experiments and war games for the Navy.
“It’s all about making the impossible possible,” said Lisa Freiman, senior curator and chairwoman of the contemporary art department at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, who is this year’s commissioner of the pavilion. “I never thought the State Department would choose my proposal. I assumed it would be too politically engaged.”
Every two years museum curators from across the country detail their visions for the American pavilion in proposals that are reviewed by the Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions, a group comprising curators, museum directors and artists who then submit their recommendations to the Fund for United States Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions. While the process is secret — and nobody would talk about it — according to sources close to the State Department, Ms. Freiman’s 95-page application beat out many by curators who were promoting the work of more established artists, including Cindy Sherman, Shirin Neshat, Cathie Opie and Diana Thater.
Allora & Calzadilla’s presence in Venice will represent a couple of firsts for America: the first artists working in Puerto Rico to show there (Ms. Allora, 37, was born in Philadelphia, and Mr. Calzadilla, 40, was born in Havana and moved to Puerto Rico with his family as a child) and the first time performance artists — and an artist collaborative — have been chosen to represent the United States there.
In their hugely ambitious exhibition, the artists have assembled objects and expertise from all parts of the globe. The tank was shipped from Manchester, England, in two flatbed trucks that are arriving in Venice by boat; the organ is coming from Bonn, Germany. The bronze statue was made in a foundry in Berkeley, Calif.; the tanning bed is being sent from Indianapolis; the A.T.M. is being shipped from Milan, but the computer program that runs it was conceived in Paris; the airline seats were made in Los Angeles.”