Monday, January 23, 2006

'Everybody Is Somebody's Terrorist'

[Image: Andy Diaz Hope, 2005]

Andy Diaz Hope's exhibit 'Everybody Is Somebody's Terrorist' is a funky art installation of silly masks, balaclavas, and clothing apparel, photo-essays and gimmicky artifacts, like mock "terrorist training videos," which plays with the paranoid ambiguity of how public perception manifests its own absurd definition of "what is a terrorist," at a time "when surveillance technologies mask the fact that we do not know who we’re looking for."

[Image: Andy Diaz Hope, 2005]

Ultimately a spoof of the clichés that are prescribed through popular media, Diaz Hope forces the viewer to acknowledge their own tendencies to prescribe terrorists for themselves, made in their own self-obsessed images. The show itself aims to be a "future archeological museum documenting various covert terrorist organizations" that spring up in the immediacy of contexts fabricated by a culture of fear, where the term terrorist gets lost to a complete subjectivity of social manipulation and self-referential mania. "Terrorists are the new enemy," Diaz Hope writes. "They could be anybody. Environmentalists may consider big business as globally, economically or environmentally terrorist. The businessman might consider Greenpeace operations as terrorist acts. The aging baby boomers look at a group of teenagers dressed in street fashion and cross the street in fear. Local economies in developing countries embrace busloads of fat American retirees, while the local residents complain as their landscapes and livelihoods are replaced by high rise hotels and private beaches they will never see the inside of." (...) "Once labeled a terrorist, one becomes one-dimensional; personal history, love of family and country, even politics and religion are eclipsed by the public perception of irrational fanaticism. Almost everyone can be considered somebody’s terrorist.”

Go see the show now currently showing here in San Francisco at one of our coolest Board of Supervisors' offices at City Hall.


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