"Exhibiting You" - Story

Women Speak Out

By: Diane Bush
Submitted: 09/24/2008

As a college freshman I encountered political repression when my family was hounded by the FBI for anti-war protesting and other anti-war activities by my siblings and myself. A year before Kent State students were gunned down by the U.S. army, I decided to leave the states with a draft dodger, fearing the worst. At Kent State those fears were realized, and the protest movement was literally killed.

I returned to the U.S. ten years later, after the war had ended, and found a very different country. The Reagan years brought the selfish "me" generation into being, and everyone wanted to forget the war. Any reminders were ridiculed and ignored.

The Gulf War was a wake up call, and even though I could not go to the front lines to photograph the "action", I felt compelled to photograph something. So I shot photos of the TV set using a macro lens which helped distort images. The effect was like the distorted news the media was presenting... that is, no news. Nothing was seen but talking heads. Compared to news coverage during the Vietnam War, where camera men followed foot soldiers through jungles while sniper bullets flew past, this censorship was mind boggling!

Much of my work since has addressed the TV mass media which is still in lock down. I throw bleach on photos of the media to reflect the violence we never see. Bleach creates visual effects that mimic the fire and destruction that are produced by car and suicide bombs that are the current weapon of choice. But no blood will be seen on our sanitized TV.

Last year I saw graffiti that read, "The worst war crime is starting one." I believe George Bush started the Iraqi War. In June, 35 articles of impeachment against George W. Bush were presented to Congress. Only one was considered.

To commemorate this, I am presenting my first Art performance on Oct 3. 2008, called the "Im-BLEACHment of George W. Bush" by inviting members of the public to throw bleach on a picture of Bush until he is visually "exorcised." Come join the art performance at 8pm in Las Vegas, on First Friday in the Arts District (the corner of Casino Center and E. Charleston Blvd).

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