#1085 Assanta Shakur

This one for my new home:  A collective house for social activists and artists.
#1085
View more work at Saatchi Art, and on may web portfolio: ART BY WILLARD For photos on this blog, click MY ART on the right panel and scroll down.

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Your children don’t have a chance in hell…

Read this. 

July.. yet another warmest ever month.

What are doing about it? What am I doing about it? I don’t know–but neither of us can do shit alone. We have to come together and shut everything down. EVERYTHING. Those in power are out to kill us all.. including themselves, if they weren’t too fucking stupid to see it.

There is no time for measured well thought out incremental actions.

It’s *%$$@ shit up and *&44^ shit down…. there’s nothing to lose. We’ve already lost!

Consider yourself already dead–no–look at your children if you have any–they are going to die miserably before their times. Because you didn’t do shit to stop this.

It will happen. Every second you hesitate to take up full scale revolutionary action–is condemning them to suffer what no generation has ever suffered before.. and never will again. Cause there’ll be no one left.

The End IS coming…

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If some great flash of understanding were to come over the whole population of the earth — if however billion humans there are on the planet now–were suddenly to see as clearly as Greta Thunberg what we are facing in the not at all distant future–hundreds of millions would drop what they were doing, leave their jobs, leave their studies and schools, abandon their cars, take up crutches and walkers and stream out of hospitals and nursing homes… take to the streets–not to demonstrate, but to charge the corporate masters–the climate deniers, their political servants– accepting whatever horrendous losses their defenders might unleash, swarming over them, destroying them utterly… in the slim hope that a remnant might survive to begin again…
… it would be their rule and custom, if they should succeed, that anyone who mentioned the word ‘profit,’ who ever again should seek to gain advantage over their neighbor, they would be set upon and torn to pieces and fed to rats as a warning.
That’s what I imagine, when I try to think what a just response to this crisis would look like.
That would be a just end to capitalism.

Ten Years Ago, May Day….

Walking stick.JPG

… in Baltimore, after street theater by Media Mobilizing Project at the inner harbor, I followed the march to City Hall, led by a band with a New Orleans sound, shedding bits of costume and streamers along the way. At some point I picked up some ribbons and feathers, and tied them to the tree branch walking stick I was carrying.

It was magic.

In the days and weeks that followed, I began to add to the stick, things I found on the street: ribbons, strings, can tabs…

It changed my life.

I lost that one, my Shaman Stick… and almost every year since, would lose another one. Reading on the bus or El, lost in my thoughts. Each time–back to Morris Park to find another branch. Dress it in what I would find, or people would give me to hang on it.

This is the one I carry now. The sixth or seventh one… I lose count. I mended it when it broke.. like my own broken leg. Screwed metal strips to hold he break. Wrapped strips of canvas, soaked in Modpodge, around the wound. Like a permanent cast (the orange band in the middle).

At some point, as I add Found Things to each new stick, the magic of the first one–the Shaman Stick–finds it’s way to the new one. I don’t usually take it with me to demonstrations… Cops. But I did today… and on the way home, remembered… that it’s been ten years. May Day.

Magic is real.

 

Only in being useless, does it have infinite value.

#461 afterwords

I deplore the use of false comparisons to scold or draw attention to this or that problem, versus another, perceived to be of lesser importance. These all presume some zero-sum equivalence, where there are insufficient resources, material, economic or social, to attack both, when, if this is so, it is only because this presumes a status quo of capitalist, political conditions, where the the application of resources to ANY given problem, will result in withholding resources from another–maintaining an equilibrium of injustice.
All these–“why are you asking to give to x, and not y?” in that larger context, are false equivalences, and if that logic applied to anything, it would be, ‘why are you asking to devote resources to x, when the only thing that’s going to matter in not so distant future, is climate change?”
The real question for any problem, is how do we apply our resources in such a way that it will address the root causes for all these problems–overcoming and replacing the entire capitalist political/ecomomic/social/military/colonialist system? How do we CHANGE the role played by each and any of the specific problems, in that system?.
Understanding the importance of the arts and its products–other than in terms of use-value, and propaganda, is particularly vulnerable. It is precisely in their HAVING no use value, that they confirm meaning our lives in our otherwise doomed and absurd world.

#1025 Stonewall at 50

30″ x 48″ (77x122cm) Acrylic on canvas. For the Stonewall 50th anniversary Invitational
in June. Marsha P. Johnson, Jackie Hormona, Zasou Nova, Marty Robinson, Morty Manford, Robin Souza and Silvia Rivera: names engraved in this painting, some visible, some not, but all–and all who joined the uprising,  present in love and gratitude for their courage and rage.

#1025 Stonewall50.JPG
View more work at Saatchi Art, and on my web portfolio: ART BY WILLARD For photos on this blog, click MY ART on the right panel and scroll down.

Nothing lasts but change

944

For generations, artists in the Euro-American traditions, like ancient Greek heroes, accepted the idea of posterity–the hope for an enduring place in history and myth, that they, and their work, might defy mutability–hope for a kind secular immortality; artists and poets might die, but art and poetry was forever.   On the brink of collective human suicide–and even if we should survive our human-made catastrophes, it will be but for a blink of the universal eye–who can believe in such a thing, now?

I’ve been thinking about this for some time. My work will never achieve an enduring status, and even if it did–what posterity…?  when, in a few generations, there will no humans left on the planet? And in the immensity of time, before the sun consumes the inner planets as a red giant, who can maintain the illusion of a lasting memory, of a lasting anything? What then, can take the place of that old fantasy–dead as the gods who belonged to that vanished world? What, but change itself? Like Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Seed. Rather than imagining, how works of art might endure, think of them in terms of what they do, as themselves, agents of change–which they are. As works of art and poetry have always been… done?

Lubricants to slide us another step into a future we can only know when we get there. The only past worth saving, is what will remain as we break the chains that bind us to it, the past that will survive, because it changes with us in a future we create together.