Artist Response

1700% Project: Transform Defacement into Defiance – Invite to Public Staining

May 15, 2010
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Sullivan Galleries
33  S. State St. (7th Fl) Chicago, IL
Free and Open to the Public

During Saturday’s performance,  Anida Yoeu Ali is asking for the public to join her in the staining process — to transform the marks of vandalism and hate into acts of collective healing and reclamation. This is a call to action to respond as a community.

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Dear Friends, Family, Mentors, and Supporters —

Peace & Blessings,

On Tuesday May 11 at 12:30 pm my friend and I came to view my installation titled “1700% Project: Otherance” and found the wall installation defaced with caricatures and a word bubble that was not part of the installation or original performance. The word bubble was strategically placed around the wall text that reads “Kill all Arabs.” This is obviously an intentional act of hate related vandalism. The person(s) used the stains & materials left in the space for the defacement. There is no invitation for anyone to interact with the materials. The work has statements on the wall plate, takeaway brochure & the wall itself indicating the work is about “hate crimes.”

In light of the recent defacement of my work, I am placing a call to action for my communities to attend and participate in this Saturday’s performance and discussion. The public performance is scheduled for Saturday May 15th at 12:30pm in Sullivan Galleries (33 S. State 7th Floor) at the wall installation.

My original performance was going to entail a scheduled performance of the text followed by a public staining of the walls. The point of the “1700% Project: Otherance” has always been to make what is seemingly invisible more visible. However, based on this recent incident, I am responding by modifying the performance to include a facilitated dialogue with faculty, students, the public and the communities to which these acts of hate and bias crimes address. The “1700% Project: Otherance” is a politically charged art installation that cannot be silenced and disrupted in this manner. During Saturday’s performance I am asking for the public to join me in the staining process — to transform the marks of vandalism and hate into acts of collective healing and reclamation. This is a call to action to respond as a community within and beyond the borders of SAIC. This is not just an assault on me as an artist, this is an attack on multiple communities to which the work speaks for.

It has been a difficult road and this kind of work has not been easy to develop, and its reception has been controversial. I am asking my friends, family, mentors, acquaintances, fans, supporters, allies and even strangers to come out this Saturday may 15th to the gallery — to stand with defiance in the face of violence, to open up this critical dialogue about the role of art & politics, and to place real faces behind real issues in a time where we must not be silenced. Come, speak, and help me to to transform the defacement into an act of defiance!

You can see the vandalized artwork and follow my blog:
http://1700percentproject.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/documentation-of-1700-project-iterations/

There is also an additional final Closing show on Friday May 21 @4:30pm where we will begin to peel all the words from the stained wall.
Gallery Hours: Tu-Sa (11am-6pm) ALWAYS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Light and Love,

Anida Yoeu Ali
performer/writer/agitator
www.atomicshogun.com

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Photograph of the original exhibit(left); the defaced wall (right).

Defaced Wall

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