Posted by pancho from pool0017.cvx20-bradley.dialup.earthlink.net (22.214.171.124) on Thursday, December 05, 2002 at 7:10AM :
You have to hand it to Jackie...when her jaws snap shut on something they don't let go.
I have before me sworn statements by Jackie, Alphonse and Atour Golani. The last two are fairly tame...all three give as the reason for "not inviting me" to be my "disruptive behavior" at their convention in Chicago...where according to them, the police had to be called because of me.
Let that go for now.
What takes my breath away is Jackie's statement, under pain of perjury, that at the Chicago convention I had posted some letters attacking or mentiong my dispute with Nimrod, who was..."trying to have the Shumirum installed in Chicago". He was? Funny way to do it.
I have a letter from Michael Lash, director of Public Art for Chicago, saying that Nimrod's letter threatening to sue the city if they installed the Shumirum at the excellent location chosen for it, forced them to shelve the project...also that they looked forward eagerly to being able to install it...that it would be a wonderful addition to the city's public art collection etc. But they needed a waiver from Nimrod...as soon as he sent them one, the Shumirum would go up.
My conflict with Nimrod wasn't because he wanted to install it, but because he stopped the city from installing it. Sure...he wanted it in his backyard...but even there he hasn't done anything to show he tried to achieve it...because he knows he can't. He's been "about to meet the mayor" for five years now.
My conflict with Nimrod, and the Federation was that they were both blocking the installation. Considering the Federation gave $10,000 towards the project, I thought I would have had their support. Instead they sought only to protect that Putz from being exposed in front of us. Their single thought is to make themselves "look" good..."appear" to be...etc. It's like the standard of measure we always use..."does the person TALK a good game". "Does the person LOOK sincere, or honest, or believable". It's never been about what you ARE...just what you APPEAR to be. My crime in Chicago was to expose the truth about them... not my own truth, but what the documents say. I had a paper trail...letters between Michael, Nimrod and I...something people needed to know if they wanted to understand why Shumirum hadn't been installed for all those years...and still isn't. Instead the story has been twisted round to make it appear that I ruined my own monument...that I stopped it from happening...as Janey said, "it was all my own doing". Now why I would work 13 years to get the funding to finish the piece, then decide to scrap it myself...no one thinks to ask. We don't easily forgive any one of us who shows some integrity...makes the rest of us "look bad".
I said all along I would make a monument to give to Chicago...and abide by what those responsible for these things decided to do with it. As with San Francisco and the Ashurbanipal, Chicago gave us an excellent location. Nimrod, like Jackie later, rushed in at the last minute to hijack the guts of the enterprise...to make of it a vehicle for their own rise to "fame" among you all. I never started out to service them, but to make it for us...and the art curators and commissioners got in on the spirit of the thing...tried their best to do what was best for US. The only people thinking of themselves were Nimrod and Jackie...it's supposed to be their payoff for all they "do for us".
I just politely responded, "Fuck you".
That's also what Jackie didn't want known: her own effort to use the Shumirum for maximum benefit to her...and how she'd lied outright to me...and then to the rest of us.
The police came the second time because I called them... because of the threat of physical harm from the Federation's security chief...threats he later said he didn't mean. Exactly...just what do these people MEAN anyway? Everyone is used to this sort of slipshod behavior....the "security chief" stands in the hallway of the Hilton, yells he's going to kick my teeth in and destroy all my sculptures...right there in front of hotel guests and other conventioneers...and later that same day says he never meant it...would I like to go to dinner with him and his friends and ends by hugging me. To those of us who want business at it's usual dismal self, this is an "Awww Shucks" episode..."isn't that nice, they kissed and made up". We aren't children for heaven's sake...you can't do this sort of thing in public...the monuments were about publicity, about putting our best forward. We can't keep acting like we're in a soccer clubhouse.
My mother asked Jackie, the night at San Hose when they covered up the sculpture, what was going on. Jackie replied that, "they were having trouble at conventions"....to which my mother replied that the trouble came from anywhere but the artists.
That was true...but there's a kernal of truth in what Jackie said, though as usual with her she had to trip over it in the dark, ...trouble DOES come from artists...it always has, and thank god for that.
I am indeed a "troublemaker", and we need a whole lot more trouble. The trouble comes when you tell the truth about these people, about their lies and deceit...when you puncture the facade they present from all those podiums they get up on...from those speeches they die to make in which they TALK that good game of theirs. In fact...I'd say poetry readings, even conventions, and genocide brunches...and , they hoped, the unveiling ceremony for the monumentts...are all USED by these people as opportunities to place themselves before us in their best possible light...so they can TALK a lot about what they do and what they stand for.
The monuments weren't about TALK...they were actually things that got done...that would speak about us and to our children in positive ways, in their own way, with the language of Art, for years and years to come, past the time when Nimrod and Jackie went off to that final , Hot, resting place they so richly deserve.
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