War as a Way of Life
ARTNIGHT at 18th Street Art Center Santa Monica
WAR AS A WAY OF LIFE
Curated by Clayton Campbell
September 27 - December 19, 2008
Opens Saturday, September 27, 6:00-9pm
Susan Crile, Binh Danh, Barry Frydlender, Hometown Baghdad, Marty Horowitz, Cindy Kane, Ronald Lopez, Christina Mcphee, Catherine Opie, Stacy Peralta, David Reeb, Sinan Leong Revell, Daniel Ruanova, Larry Scarpa, Mark Spencer, and:
Project Room: Threshold of the Innocent and Martyred, an installation by Amitis Motevalli, 2008 Artist Fellow @ 1629 18th Street Studio #2
Photo courtesy of Benjamin Anayo
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Formed in Los Angeles in 1990, AUG has been true to their name and beliefs by playing political rallies and underground venues and anywhere that the doors are not closed. Creating a new sound that is still evolving, AUG captures the psyche and transcends to all ethnic groups, capturing a universal rhythm to convey their message of "self-determination and decolonization.
IT SEEMS LIKE I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FIGHTING SOME KIND OF WAR.
I was 18 years old in 1969, and my draft number was 31. That fatal number (for those who didn’t want to be drafted) began my involvement in anti-war activities, and supporting a national agenda of peace. I have always been in the opposition, it seems, because the wars just keep coming. Because I am a’ person of conscience’ the specter and reality of war has threaded through my life in ways that have changed who I am and how I view the world, and how I interact with persons around me.
In “War As A Way of Life” I am looking at the phenomena of how people who are exposed to long term effects of war change and mutate and perhaps become something else altogether. Yesterday Ingmar Bergman died, and I recalled his movie, “Shame.” It was his provocative answer to the Vietnam war, depicting how ordinary, civilized people are transformed when war suddenly overtakes them. This is the kind of sensibility I am hoping to bring to “War As A Way of Life”, to look at how different communities respond to conflict as a constant refrain in their daily lives.
War can be in Iraq, it can be in our own city, it can be in our heads. Whether it is a mis- -begotten foreign adventure run by incompetent politicians and corrupt industrialists, a neighborhood terrified of the gangs that control it, or our own psyches polluted with media images of slashers, serial killers, and action stars, violence is transformative. The responses are varied, and I will be asking the artists in the project to look closely at their personal, very human responses. In terms of the overall project at 18th Street, ‘Future of Nations’ of which “War As A Way of Life is one of the themes, an understanding of what is happening to our collective psyche is critical to transformative change which is positive and proactive.
- Clayton Campbell