Category ►►► Art - Good, Bad, and Bogus
December 11, 2005
Dario, Fo of the World
Dario Fo, an überleftist playwright, Nobel Prize winner -- say, where have I heard that combination before? -- and candidate for Mayor of Milan, has rushed into production a play about the lonely vigil of Cindy Sheehan (and presumably her rather massive and worshipful entourage, though I'm not sure whether any of them has a speaking part):
"Peace Mom" received its world premiere in London on Saturday night, starring British actress Frances de la Tour, with both Sheehan and Italian dramatist Fo in the audience.
The one-woman show is based on extracts from Sheehan's letters to Bush and other writings. De la Tour delivered the monologues beneath large pictures of Sheehan's son Casey and a tank in the Iraqi desert in front of a plume of fire....
The play was rushed into production to conclude a day-long conference of activists opposed to the U.S.-led war in Iraq, with de la Tour reading some passages from a script.
But relax; I'm sure the play will be every bit as fair and even-handed as his other farces and satires, which have gotten him kicked out of virtually every theater group he has ever joined, banned (off and on) in most countries, and have drawn death threats from the Italian Left, the Fascisti, condemnation by the Church, and a tear-gas grenade hurled during a performance of one of his plays. (Another play exalted the PLO... and actual members performed in its cast).
"Frances did such an amazing job of conveying my feelings of anger and betrayal," a tearful Sheehan said after the play.
She said she hoped the play would help "put a human face" on the war.
There is a peculiar belief among leftists that if a person manages to enrage people on all sides of the political spectrum, that must mean he is telling the truth (perhaps even speaking it to power). This is, of course, utter nonsense: it is entirely possible to offend everybody merely by being a big enough fugghead. (I just blurted the name "Bill Burkett" out loud, Tourette's-like, for some inexplicable reason.)
Fo, the leftist playwright who won the 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature, said his wife and artistic partner Franca Rame would star in a longer final version of the play in Italy.
I can barely contain my anticipation. I am giddy with excitement.
I suspect "Mother Sheehan," having evidently abandoned her family (including her surviving son), has finally found her ideological soulmate: a man who hates everyone and everything. Surely this must be minute seventeen or eighteeen for Cindy Sheehan by now... I wonder when the bill for overtime will come due?
September 26, 2005
Art that Bombs
There was a time when art meant something that pleases, inspires, and moves you in a good way, not something that rubs you the wrong way. But rubbing you the wrong way is exactly the intent of this art exhibit in Manhattan.
“A Knock at the Door" features stamps depicting a gun held to President Bush's head, a straightjacket made from an American flag, and what appears to be a suitcase bomb.
[T]he point of the exhibit — not to provide answers but to ask visitors to decide what is offensive and what is art.
Are they so clueless that they have to ask that question? When did art become an intelligence test anyway?
But it's hard for many not to get the shivers after looking at the suitcase bomb, especially with the artist, Chris Hackett, facing firearms charges after the discovery of a weapons cache in his studio when police responded to an explosion caused by one of his other projects.
It is so offensive that even the fair and balanced Fox news reporter could not help but express his opinion:
Organizers assure no explosions here — but the exhibit may bomb.
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