Peter Schumann has a hole in his sweater. On a Sunday morning in May, the founder and artistic director of Bread and Puppet Theater ushers a visitor into a house on the Glover farm where his family and the theater have resided since 1974. Schumann's face is bright and animated, framed by a mane of white hair; when he walks, his weight tilts forward, like he's peering down from the 10-foot stilts he routinely donned well into his seventies.
Marxian playwright Bertolt Brecht declared of revolutionary art: "Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it." Brecht's work - whose artistic career in Germany (except for his exile during the Nazi era, after which he returned to found the Berliner Ensemble Theater company in East Berlin) spanned from the Russian Revolution to his death in 1966 - illustrated, during his career, that revolutionary art must avoid the pitfalls of becoming co-opted by propaganda or commercialization.
There’s nothing new about music fans being targeted by law enforcement. From the FBI trying to find hidden sexual messages in “Louie, Louie,” harassment of hippies, to the modern-day “hip-hop” cops that listen in on rap songs — the connection between law enforcement and music is well documented. In today’s world, juggalos are now subject to random stops, frisking, and detainment. If they are arrested, they may have further criminal charges pressed against them via gang enhancements and end up spending more time in prison than they would without the gang label. What is happening to juggalos is not surprising. We live in a period of massive government surveillance and repression.
Let me clarify one thing from the start: Christopher Nolan’s Batman: The Dark Knight Rises really is a piece of anti-Occupy propaganda. Nolan, the director, claims the script was written before the movement even started, and that the famous scenes of the occupation of New York (“Gotham”) were really inspired by Dickens’ account of the French Revolution.
Imagine for a second, we live in communes, villages, squated and reclaimed commons, autonmous territories that are inhabited and defended by the communities that live there. Imagine a post collapse world and the democratic and sustainable alternatives we all work so hard to develop become village institutions. Imagine more so the seccesionist future ahead of us in the new Global Corporatist World War on the commons, on the indigenous peoples left, and all of those trying to find our way back to the lost territory we know exists!
On Friday, September 20th 2013, the Full Frame Theatre in Durham, NC hosted the premiere of a film called 'Let The Fire Burn' by filmmaker and director, Jason Osder. It was supposed to premiere during the Full Frame Film Festival in April, but had to postpone its Durham debut until Full Frame’s Third Friday Free Film Series. It was a documentary about the bombing of an organization called MOVE and historical developments concerning the group’s political repression by the city of Philadelphia since 1978. Osder’s premiere of 'Let The Fire Burn' was absolutely riveting.
Following on the heels of our conversation, concerning John Kelsey—thank you again for that exquisite dinner at your home and the stroll through Montmartre, I have always preferred le Droite — as usual our interludes birth a wealth to consider. During our talk you revealed that you were familiar with Kelsey from the late 90's, but wondered why anyone would bother to launch a public attack, especially now that the artist's personality is old hat. And when we delved into The Kelsey Collection Artforum 2004-2012 you expressed difficulty approaching the material due to feeling it crossed over to something … too personal… if I may interrupt, forestalling an accusation about my intentions, and quote a long dead Prussian politician,"Neid und Gier, das ist mein Bier." Which, as far as I've been able to make out, means, "Envy and greed — that's my beer."
Michèle Bernstein wrote two versions of the same story, that is to say, the story of Gilles and Geneviève, a husband and wife who have an “open relationship,” one that allows each one to have affairs and yet remain happily married. There’s an easy to read, short version (Tous les chevaux du roi, published in French by Buchet/Chastel in 1960), and a more challenging, longer version (La Nuit, published in French by the same publisher in 1961).
One by one, Molly Fair flattened them on the table. She had in her hands a screen print, dated Feb. 22, 1987, commemorating Malcolm X — “Our Shining Black Prince.” Another pictured Sonia Sanchez, a poet active in the civil rights movement. “That’s pretty cool,” Ms. Fair said, seeing Ms. Sanchez’s signature.