My apologies for coming across the way I did.
I believe that I read you wrong.
Please know that I think its a cool project and i look forward to
seeing what can be spelled out with 500 women.
Maybe I reacted to the infighting that does go on within the left.
I do feel that this thread has been important and timely. Sort of a
call to arms and agenda check for the political artists with in the
Which I think there are a lot of.
Thank you for taking the time to respond.
On Thursday, April 15, 2004, at 10:07 AM, wendy tremayne wrote:
> Hi Lee,
> Thanks for the reply post.. and here's my reply. I do believe we have
> some unfinished business.
>> Good ideas are good ideas especially for social change. copy and
> couldnt agree more
>> Even if an artist is doing it strictly as a way to gain attention for
>> themselves then great.
>> If its powerful and touches the masses then great. Advertising
>> executives do it every day and get paid top dollar.
>> I dont think you should have turned down the book offer.
>> You don't seem to be alone in the naked people spelling words for
>> political causes art movement.
>> I ask why? and I am wondering why you think you are the first to
>> think of this sort of "nudist" performance art as political dissent.
> Who said I thought that I was the only one? I copied someone else, a
> group in California, sent them an email saying "good idea, I'm gonna
> do it in NYC." Didnt you notice that I posted pictures of other groups
> who did this on my site?
> This is the reason I turned down the book. Because someone else did
> believe that they were the first to use nudist performance art as
> political dissent and I didnt want to be part of that claim. They
> decided to claim this 'art form' (if you can even call it that) by
> publishing a book of all the people who used nudes to spell words to
> express themselves against the war. I fought with them for a whole
> year. First I tried to submit an entry for the book which included an
> essay on how dangerous it is to claim such a medium by publishing a
> book. When they wouldnt publish the essay I refused to be in the book.
> This is not about validating any form as art. In truth, I think
> spelling words with nudes is a rather sophomoric medium (however
> complicated to produce). What matters is that at the time it was done,
> it was affective. It raised awareness.
>> you said
>>> This was at a time when dissent was barely on the radar.
>> Whos radar???? Your Radar ????????? Dissent >>>>>
>> Its out there,
> On February 7, 2003 there were no reports of dissent in the major
> media and we were about to go to war. Because NO BUSH was so widely
> covered by the media other people in all parts of the world knew that
> some Americans were against the war. I received emails from nearly
> every country on earth telling me how happy they were to know that
> Americans gave a shit. This matters! And, the massive media coverage
> of NO BUSH inspired groups in other countries to do the same. This
> also matters. If it pleases you, dont call it art so that you wont
> subject it to this scrutiny and can see it for its impact. Call it a
> form of protest. It doesn't matter, what matters it that it was
> On Feb 7 2003 dissent was not in the papers. We were about to go to
> war and it was very quiet.
>> it never stops. I'm not trying to give you a hard time but I think
>> you are being a bit naive and the Newspaper has inflated your ego.
> This is quite silly, I think you are putting your own desired story in
> here. I turned down a book offer, and although over 500 people emailed
> me to volunteer to do the "next nude piece" I have not done the next
> piece. I did not feel that it had enough relevance or would have the
> same impact and I really have little interest in this medium. I did it
> at the time because I was the right context for conveying the right
> message. And I did not repeat it just because I could even though the
> media was waiting for me to. Instead I thought about what project
> might be affective and since I had no idea I felt was worth producing
> I sat around for over a year letting the media interest fade and I
> instead helped other people do their projects. Does this sound like my
> ego is guiding my decisions? I also turned down offers to go on talk
> shows and interviews with the press because I felt they wanted to play
> ping pong with me in a political arena.
> I think that this debate is falling prey to the very same subject that
> the first email kicked off. It's not about validating someone's art or
> being ego based, or fame, or any of this crap. All art is political!
> It's about anyone, artist or not, using art to convey important
> messages in a time when we need social change. Anyone who can, should.
> And they should not be attacked for it, especially by artists! Art
> doesnt belong to the talented, the famous, .... its available to
> everyone alike. Finding flaw in political art seems like a really good
> way to avoid doing it yourself. Judging it only keeps people further
> from doing it making it unsafe ground to tread.
> I dont want to begin a debate about Burning Man. But it serves a good
> example of how art is for all. At Burning Man all artists are given
> the same amount of real estate (endless amounts, however much they
> want) to create. They dont have to be someone or pass some test. The
> famous, the unfamous, the experienced and novice all have equal space.
> The result is a community that uses art to express themselves in their
> daily lives (at least their lives at the event). You just cant have
> this when artists set bars on what the right context is, what's to ego
> based, etc.. This things are the result of our current society's use
> of art: commercial use.
>> The other projects you are working on that I saw on your website are
>> interesting and i encourage you to keep doing it but you are not
>> alone. Have you brought your art to the frontlines of and angry
>> blackblock taking on the cops. Your project was very safe outside of
>> some risk of frostbite of the butt.
> Safe. I doubt it. I did this project in NYC post 9-11 when security
> was at an all time high. There was nothing safe about it. I also
> recruited women I had never met. I had an awful lot of responsibility
> to bear including a tide of nasty emails that I personally responded
> to from pro Bushers who would be happy to see shot down by the very
> next terrorist to hit NYC.
>> Have you ever been to Dachau? The Nazis did much of their human
>> testing there, they learned a lot about what a human could with
>> withstand. Cold, Heat, Pressure. Although alot of people died there,
>> they never used the gas chambers. Probably the saddest place I have
>> ever visited.
> What's the point of this comment? Are you defending Dachau because it
> produced medial information?
>> The VOMITORIUM sounds like fun., I would recommend to not ware your
>> good shoes.
>> Why do it in a controlled location? why not do it in a high-end
>> uptown restaurant and not pay the bill because everyone got sick.
>> Once fame sets in there is another agenda that an artist must
>> consider and that is their business of artmaking, their assistants,
>> dealers, agents.
> Not if you are not doing it for money or fame you dont.
>> When it comes to political art, dont give a damn what ANYone else
>> says, just do it until you learn how to not get arrested or until you
>> sell out or until there is no war or pain and suffering and cold and
>> power and ego and money and fame. Make it because something inside
>> you is driving your spirit to make a difference.
>> For some political art is just working for a childrens charity
>> collecting money on the streets. Basically begging as performance >> art.
>> For some painting landscapes with no underlying political meaning is
>> more powerful than your average period piece protest slogan one >> liner.
>> I personally think 15 years from now George Bush 1 and 2 will be
>> mostly forgotten about. Either times will get better or they will get
>> Sorry for the ramble but I think you are out of touch with reality.
>> i do think though that this thread has inspired some important
>> content for consumption.
> I think you've assumed a lot about me, my motives and project. Perhaps
> my reply will help you see that. to date I have not done an art
> project for money, even when I could. I'd rather prostitute myself in
> other ways like having a corporate day job to earn money so that I
> never have to bow to any agenda when making art.
> I think you have my confused with someone who has an ego.
>> Eat it up... spit it out...or swallow and shit it out later.
> Right back atcha,
>> Infiltrate and Take Over
Lee A Wells
mobile: 917 723 2524
studio: 718 349 firstname.lastname@example.org://www.leewells.org