John Fekner & Don Leicht - Control - Recent Conversation (Confrontation) 2013
Ad Hoc Art Welling Court, Astoria, Queens, NYPhoto: Jeewon Shin
The talking invader on the left represents the people. The silent invader on the right represents the government.
The way one can avoid living in fear is by recognizing when change is of the utmost importance and it is necessary to challenge the status quo.
Questions have recently arisen about whether whistle-blowers are heroes with conviction or just downright traitors who jeopardize national security. Our citizenry expect the leaders of our government be honest, trustworthy and firm upholders of the Constitution. As citizens, we should speak out and be concerned about issues of privacy, surveillance, spying, freedom, human injustice and other social problems throughout the entire world.
What will happen if an unexpected environmental catastrophic event completely knocks out electricity, communication, food supplies and clean water? Within a few days, you will be completely on your own. Will the government be there to meet your needs? Who can you really trust?
Question control. Be aware. Speak up. Be involved. Create change.
Ligon’s paintings and prints frequently juxtapose pictures and captions, but in many cases, they consist of words alone, excerpted from famous writings by James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, and Zora Neale Hurston, among others. His stenciling, which is deliberately smudged and frequently illegible, illustrates each author’s message, even as he obfuscates their actual words. In the two black-on-white prints here, he repeats a different line from Hurston’s essay “How it Feels to Be Colored Me” (1928): “I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background” and “I do not always feel colored.” In the black-on-black prints, he repeats a single passage, with different line breaks, from Ellison’s prologue for Invisible Man (1952): “I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.”