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November 8, 2004

{     Paper Bullets: A War of Words - The Gallery at Intersection for the Arts     }    

Understanding propaganda has never been more important, especially to those of us living in America who've so recently been the victim of one of the most successful propaganda campaigns ever perpetrated, in the name of a Presidential election. Paper Bullets: A War of Words mulls over the history of images used to dramatically influence various populaces, with a unique catalog of historic propaganda pieces married to several modern takes on the iconography that continues to sway us. Intersection for the Arts have been offering workshops and presentations on the subject, and even included an actual fly-by letter-drop on the city of San Francisco to kick the show off. Extremely ambitious in scope, the artists participating include Sandow Birk, Amanda Eicher, Rene Garcia, Mondo Jud Hart, Packard Jennings, Kara Maria, Patrick Piazza, Winston Smith & Christine Wong. They present re-contextualized pieces alongside the vintage wartime propaganda collection of Stephen J. Hasegawa, engaging in a dialogue with the history and meaning of these images, drawing them out into our modern lives. Shocking in its breadth and relevance, the gallery show includes as part of its installation a spent bomb dramatically suspended from the ceiling- a reminder that the psychological devastation caused by media-manipulation is just as deadly as any bullet fired from a gun, any bomb dropped from a plane. The show runs throughout November 20th, and we are grateful to artist/activist and Paper Bullets participant Christine Wong for bringing it to our attention. Her own triptych of pieces offers a very subtle look at the American psyche and the culture of fear that persists in wartime, through some rather circumspect imagery. Notably, her iconization of the Tom Clancy-created video game character Sam Fisher is particularly powerful; speaking to America's romance with the lone-wolf military figure, the feeling of security that concept engenders, and ultimately the shadow of guilt that such stealthy manipulators represent. See the links below for more information.

     » Gallery at Intersection for the Arts

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