Friday, February 05, 2010

CHIROT: ART ET VIE BRUTE--RAW LIFE AND ART --Adventures of My Works and Me in Our Travels


L'ART ET LA VIE BRUTE--RAW ART & LIFE




R
WAR
W




CHIROT: ART ET VIE BRUT--RAW LIFE AND ART --Adventures of My Works and Me in Our Travels--




President Obama rebrands Bush's Invasion of Afghanistan--neglected by Bush for the "Wrong War" in Iraq-- as the "Right War"
The Right War--unites The Unholy Trinity--The War on Poverty, the War on Drugs and the War on Terror--all never ending, all impossible Wars--and al three of them joined in the flight from a child soldier guarding poppy fields in Afghanistan to a young kid junkie on the street corners in Milwaukee--
War--Poverty-Drugs-Terrorism (FEAR)--as the USA relentlessly annihilates one of the poorest people and places in the world--it is "building" a new world of super high octane heroin addicted kids living a life if not all of them "in" poverty,certainly "of poverty"--of existence--in a land where the Drums of War relentlessly beat the messages of Fear, Retribution and the Divine Mi$$ion of U$ America--



(Note: these sudden outbursts, detours down memory lane-- were triggered by a discussion on the Spidertangle list as to which places housed collections of Visual Poetry—so I was trying to envision sending my works to a collector or collection—in terms of what has happened to me and my works up until just the last couple years----and immediately these and other stories sprang to mind from out of the camouflaged hiding places of memory hidden in plain site/sight/cite—since they are off the cuff remarks, don’t mind the off beat unruly writing with al its broken rules of punctuation, capitalizations, grammar, etc--)

CHIROT: ART ET VIE BRUT--RAW LIFE AND ART --Adventures of My Works and Me in Our Travels--


"God's Lonely Man"--from the Diaries of Travis Bickle--(played by Robert de Niro in Taxi Driver)
--which were based on the Diaries of Arthur Bremer, which were buried in a Lakefront Park in Milwaukee, where Bremer lived off and on while he first tracked, stalked and planned to assassinate President Nixon--and, finding him too closely guarded, switched his sights to the person of Governor George Wallace, also (1972) running for President--finally shooting Wallace, who was paralyzed the rest of his life,while Bremer was until two years ago in a prison outside of Milwaukee--

This discussion made me wonder where a lot of my works are! Over the years i usually sent one copy if i had one extra to my mother for safe keeping as i never knew where i might be for stretches of time. Speaking of stretches of time one summer when my oldest son was in prison I sent him tons of things, almost everyday, for entertainment purposes and in case he wanted "mementos of my father." He decorated his cell with the single pages and was soon a high demand for them so he got permission from me to make copies for the other inmates to start papering their walls with. Soon a whole row of cells was sprouting all sorts of daily madness from here. I wish there were some fotos! My son tried to take some but wasn't allowed, for the sake of the privacy of inmates or something like that--Kind of ironic in a way, when you think your mug shot can be had any time off the net! But then i remember at the probation/parole offices i went to, with its bullet proof windows at the sign in desk and metal detectors at the entrance to the POs' section--there was a sign saying: "Be considerate of others. Remove all headgear and hats on entry."
When i think of it--my PO had a good 18 months worth of my work in his office!
Fortunately for me, he had a sister who was an artist, so he promoted art as a good thing to do for "living the straight life."
The first time he was coming over for a home visit--i didn't yet know him very well-- i was worried what he might make of al the Mail Art/Visual Poetry show posters, my own works and such on the walls, let alone al the junk i use for "materials." There was also a huge life size blowup of the poster to the film Taxi Driver a friend made for me, with in large letters "I'm God's Lonely Man . . .” on it. It was too huge to take down so i tried shoving some junk in front of it. But to no avail. Travis (Robert de Niro) just wouldn't disappear!
When Officer X came in, though, the first thing he said was "Taxi Driver!!! My favorite film! And who did al this stuff--you? It's great!"
It just goes to show, never underestimate anyone's range of tastes!

--i have tons of such stories--one exhibition of my works was "commissioned" so to speak-- commandeered wd be more like it--by one of the honchos for the Safe Haven outfit, a big operation which used to own where i still live, though now a different owner—Safe Haven run a series of "recovery/transitional living" homes for al kinds of people in over a dozen places in Chicago, three in Indianapolis—and, as note, formerly here--



The Honcho bore an amazing resemblance to Duke Ellington, down to the large brimmed white hat, crisp white suit, and big tie--he was crazy about my ruBEings and spray paint pieces-and wanted to find ways to exhibit them.
There was a huge first annual Banquet in Chicago coming up, with over 500 people attending, a presentation via video from a Chicago Representative to Congress, a great jazz band and tons of food and dancing—and Duke Ellington very generously invited me to bring some works down and have them displayed during this August Event.
So--at the entrance on cork boards and laid out on those long tables used in kids school lunch rooms—were a whole bunch of works and little folding books i made for the occasion
the idea was “to look at what addicts can do when they get off dope!! Hoo--ray! Get yr mind together get yr mind off dope and on to art!! woo-woo-woo! That kind of thing—
(“This is a revolution of the mind—get yourself together—get off dope—this is a revolution of the mind” runs through my head remembering all this, from the great ending to James Brown’s fantastic, extremely eerie version of the song “King Heroin.”
Duke Ellington gave a short talk about me and that was it--on to the jazz and the main thing the huge Chicago style (they kept reminding us this was all "Chicago style"--to rub it in that Milwaukee is not remotely in the same class as the "Windbag"--er Windy City-) plates heaped with al kinds of heavy duty beef and chicken dishes--
actually, my work let myself and a friend in for free--so we got a free meal and heard some good jazz thanks to the "works straight from the streets"--as the Man called the pieces on display--
you never know what doors will open for you in this racket, eh! And “straight from the streets,” at that, too!--

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