Sh*t is seriously effed up in the world
Shit's fucked up -- and this past Friday evening, I joined hundreds of folks at Pleasant Plains Workshop who agree (and bought limited-edition prints and graphic T-shirts to publicly proclaim this truth).
The original art piece that inspired the prints and T-shirts was made by Joseph Orzal, an artist who made a collection of works for the Vestibule "guerrilla gallery" installed at the Occupy DC encampment back in December 2011. Orzal and his collaborators were inspired by the protest signs seen around McPherson Square, and by a long tradition of American social movements against injustice and corruption.
There was a bit of controversy around the piece at the time it was being installed. One of the men who called the park home threatened to destroy it because he felt it would offend women and children. The Occupiers acquiesced and took down the sign, but I was afraid it would get lost or destroyed -- so I took it home. As I walked up 14th Street with the sign under my arm, people honked and waved and cheered and raised their thumbs. The art meant something to them.
I knew this work of art had to be shared beyond the borders of McPherson Square, leading me to create additional ways for folks to engage with the piece through prints and apparel.
But several people have unsubscribed from Pink Line Project’s Facebook page and mailing list because they didn’t like the title of the event we hosted on Friday, which included the words “Shit’s Fucked Up.” I’ll give the unsubscribers the benefit of the doubt and assume they didn’t know that the event was called “Shit’s Fucked Up” because we were selling prints of an art piece that literally said “Shit’s Fucked Up.”
I am sure they would not have wanted to squash freedom of creative expression if they had known what the event was about, and if they had known why the prints were made. I am sure they joined Pink Line because they believed in the power of art to change lives and to make a difference in the world, and to promote creativity everywhere while making the world a better place through art. If they knew that the reception was about celebrating an amazing art piece and supporting the artist who made the work, then that shit really is fucked up.
I think those cheering masses who saw me with the original piece along 14th Street last winter understood that a lot of things in this world really are fucked up. Women like Liz Gorman -- Pink Line Project's Chief District-Know-It-All -- get sexually assaulted as they walk through Dupont Circle in broad daylight. A dozen people get shot to death while watching a movie. A major American university conspires to cover up child sex abuse to protect its lucrative football program. And a female-fronted punk rock band is imprisoned in Russia for allegedly performing a song that criticized their government. This shit is seriously fucked up and I am really glad there are artists like Joe Orzal who are willing to say so, and art spaces like Pleasant Plains Workshop that are willing to show this work.
If you couldn’t make the reception on Friday night, I hope you will show your support for creative expression by purchasing a print. (You can purchase a t-shirt by visiting Pleasant Plains Workshop at 2608 Georgia Avenue, NW.) Nothing that is wrong with today's world will ever change unless we expose it for (and talk about) what it is: fucked up shit.
Also, you can win a FREE small print by tweeting articles about fucked up shit using this hashtag: #shitsfuckedupnow. We'll pick one winner each week throughout August. (You gotta follow Pink Line on Twitter to win!)
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