International Graphics of Celebration and Dissent
13 June, 2001, Santa Monica-Globalize THIS!- International Graphics of Celebration and
Dissent will also be on view at Track 16 Gallery from July 18 through August 25, 2001 as part
of the L.A. International Biennial Art Invitational. The exhibition is curated by and from
the collection of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics.
Two dozen visually startling posters from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and the Americas reflect the antiglobalization movement that is rapidly gaining international support. "A worldwide graphic rebellion is fomenting against globalization," says Carol Wells, founder and Executive Director of CSPG. "From Seattle to Chiapas, from Staples Center to Quebec, tens of thousands are protesting sweatshops, environmental erosion and the price being put on their future."
The images in Globalize THIS! are truly international and reflect on themselves as well as on the established order. An army of Mona Lisas from Spain demands reproductive choice. A once antiestablishment 19th-century Manet is reinvigorated with social critique when German artist Klaus Staeck clutters up the dejeuner with 20th-century Coke cans. Protesting French nuclear testing in the Pacific, Japanese artist U. G. Sato transforms Gauguin's emblem of South Seas sensuality into a death mask wearing a hibiscus. An Australian poster catches the viewer's eye with the glow of a seemingly innocent Hawaiian shirt‹but the shirt's pattern shows palmy islands, named Marshall and Bikini, which radiate eerie reds.
Controversial, frequently anonymous and noncommercial, political posters are one of the most accessible and democratic of art forms. Ironically, however, because they are often fragile and oversized, posters are infrequently made available to researchers or exhibited. Exhibitions such as Globalize THIS! allow these political graphics to reach a wider audience.
The Center for the Study of Political Graphics is a nonprofit educational archive of more than 45,000 artworks from diverse domestic and international social justice causes. CSPG has produced more than 40 educational exhibitions on subjects ranging from children's rights to immigrants' rights. By preserving these rare visual records and continually exhibiting them to a broad audience, CSPG recovers both lost art and forgotten history‹and, in doing so, reclaims the power of art to inspire people to action is reclaimed.