Athomas Goldberg | 09.04.2003 18:06
On May 3rd, 2003, The Works on Shirts Project invites you to take part in "WEARNICA", an international exhibition of artistic reactions to war. On the day of the event, participants in over 30 cities in 8 countries around the world will form walking art galleries, wearing original works they've created on the backs of white dress shirts into museums and monuments, parks and shopping malls to help raise public awareness of the realities of war in our time.
On February 5th, Colin Powell stood before the U. N. to make his case for a new resolution authorizing the U.S. to take military action against Iraq. Notably absent was Picasso's "Guernica", perhaps one of the the twentieth century's greatest, most unsettling artistic images depicting the brutal, self-destructive nature of war. Under pressure from the U.S. Government, The tapestry was covered prior to the Secretary of State's speech out of concern that the painting's message might speak to historical parallels that the Bush administration and UN officials were clearly determined that the media or the public should not make.
In response, the Works on Shirts Project (http://www.worksonshirts.org) has initiated this historic event to give people in the U.S. and around the world an opportunity to follow Picasso's example by publicly expressing their own personal reactions to the war in Iraq and continuing conflicts throughout the world. So far the response has been extremely enthusiastic, with new locations being added daily.
Here's what YOU can do:
By staging an event in your area, making a financial contribution or just spreading the word, you can help send a message to the Bush administration, the U.N. and the world that the power of art to reveal the horrors of war and the promise of peace cannot be covered up.
The Idea is Simple:
By creating original war-inspired artwork that can be worn as clothing, it's possible to stage an art exhibition in any location open to the public. As long as the participants conform to the standard behavior for the general public in the space, the white dress shirts will visually tie the pieces together, and the images will speak for themselves.
Toronto Star art critic Peter Goddard wrote of the Guernica coverup: "If there is a war with Iraq, there's already been the first casualty — art." We can change that. Where one image has been silenced, a thousand may drown out the drums of war forever.