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Location: TUCSON, Arizona, United States

Monday, November 01, 2010

This sculpture by Beth Stichter (2009), in the Chazen Modern Art Museum on the University of Wisconsin campus, is called "Blood Rushes to the Head". Rather good pun, as well as an amusing take on all the talk about 'greater tolerance for diversity.' In the context of the widespread reaction that distorts American politics, I'm glad to see artists confronting the ambiguities of sexuality and the pious hypocrisy that so much of our media allow to dominate conversation. Eventually, all reaction fails, if only because all those people die off who pretend to be "conserving" the past. "Traditions" are largely pernicious, because they're invoked so often to perpetuate prejudices, biases, and unexamined assumptions. For instance, the coming demise of the position in American life that "white" people have occupied is fueling the reactionary politics of the "right" this mid-term election. Almost a century ago appeals to "purity" pushed an angry politician into power. His name was Adolf Hitler. I lived through what happened next. I hope I don't have to live through it again...


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