Sunday, June 13, 2010

Knight Riders, Decision Portrait Series

There is no photo on this post.  This is intentional.  I finished this piece over a month ago and then couldn't decide if, how, when, where, etc. about posting it.  It is controversial.

Controversy isn't new to the Decision Portrait Series.  I've created pieces on abortion, Pro Life, Atheism, and all sorts of other subjects.  Yet, this portrait is different.  The visual impact of it is so obvious that there aren't even any stitched words on it.

Last week I selected a random blog reader and wrote a message asking for an opinion.  The feedback was very, very helpful.  It reminded me of being in the third grade at a Lab School in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.  Lab schools were public institution that just happened to be inside college education buildings.  College students got hands on experience teaching mini-lessons to us.  The rooms had close circuit monitors and we had many interesting experiences including an occasional "art history" class....complete with slides.  We were show Goya's The Shootings of May 3rd/The Disasters of War.  To this day, it is the image that flashes through my mind when simply hearing the word "violence".  So....I don't really want unsuspecting people, especially regular fiber arts readers, to click to my blog and be face-to-face with two members of the Ku Klux Klan if they don't want to see such a thing!  It is frightful.  It is also a decision.

The blog post statement is below.  If you want to see the artwork, CLICK HERE.  I've buried the post in my "strata blog"....a place I bury things in blogland.  I "dug a hole" on the second page for this one and dated it in 2007!

Statement for Knight Riders:
The Decision Portrait Series is about decisions....all sorts of decisions.  It is NOT about establishing value judgment.  Each piece is meant as a straight forward presentation of a decision made by the person(s) depicted.  I was going to stitch the words:  KKK Members but this is obvious.

Some of the pieces in this series subtly ask viewers, "What would I do it this situation?"  Others remind people about a family member or friend facing a difficult choice.  Many bring awareness to religious, moral, social, and health related topics; but, nonetheless, the focus is on the decision...someone's personal option.  "Right" and "wrong" aren't was is important.....this is just a look at a DECISION.  This portrait is no except. 

Knight Riders challenges viewers to THINK about their reactions.  It asks, "How would I respond if I knew someone in the KKK?"  Who knows?  Maybe you do.....and don't even know it.  In truth, there are all sorts of controversial, pro-choice, many animal rights groups, most political and religious affiliations, various environmental groups, etc.  Do you belong to one of these?  What do those on the "opposing side" think of you?  How would you like them to react to your membership decision?

These two men belong to the Ku Klux Klan and were part of a march in Georgia.  I read about it on the Internet.  The townspeople weren't particularly happy about it but they respected the group's right to have such a parade.  They had to THINK about their reactions to a decision they wouldn't have made themselves.  My portrait is meant to challenge viewers with the same question.....How would you react?


Elizabeth said...

I clicked and I looked and I HATE what I saw, but I am glad that I looked!! We all need to know that there is true evil in the world and just because we don't choose to look at it does not mean that it does not exist. These two men made their misguided decision and it will ahve ramifications for them and for society. Yeah some judgement got into that comment!!!! Your exhibit is going to be incredibly powerful and you are doing an amazing job and telling some very important stories!!

Funny thing, my husband and I just finished watching the movie about Edward R. Morrow titled Good Night and good Luck about the McCarthy hearings. IF we don't continually strive to better our society and to learn form each other and our past and from the decisions that we make, where would we be?????

MosaicMagpie said...

I clicked and wished I hadn't. I believe it would have been hard to work on that piece. I guess come to think about it, working on a piece, your personal thoughts must come into the mix. Is it hard to work on some of these decisions?