Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Future Without Fear

Sounds pretty unlikely, doesn't it?  I mean.  The human condition is the way it is (at least partially) because of fear.  Every animal experiences fear.  Without fear how can any animal protect itself?

But what if we human animals didn't create other things to be afraid of?  By "other things" I mean, additional things besides what we would just be afraid of because we're in a biological body that has it's fair share of idiosyncrasies, health-wise. 

Just look how scared we are about the ebola virus right now.  On top of the things that create fear because of "just being" - why add to that?  But humans DO...all the time. 

War, for instance.  Do we really need to add that to what we would just normally be worried about?

Just curious.  If you've been reading this blog for very long you probably have been able to tell a thing or two about me.  ONE.  I'm not an intellectual.  TWO.  Not a philosopher.  Not a deep thinker really and fairly na├»ve and somewhat simple and quite literal and probably over serious.

Curious too.  One of the reasons I'm writing this blog.  I'm curious about the artists who have come before me and about the artists who are here making art now...curious about why they make the art they make.

So.  I've been researching each artist listed as having been in the WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution show in 2007 and I am now to the artists on the list who's last names begin with the letter "B".

Judy Baca is the first artist in the B's. 

Baca was born in Los Angeles in 1946 to Mexican-American parents and was raised by her mother, two aunts and her grandmother (who was a shaman, or what would in Mexico be called a curaderisma).  You have probably seen her work out in public somewhere because she's predominantly a muralist...and a very prolific one.

In the 70's she brought L.A. street gangs together to paint The Great Wall of LA.

Overall she is responsible for bringing people together to create of 105 murals in the city of Los Angeles alone.

Closer to home, there is a Judy Baca mural in Denver International Airport in the Jeppesen Terminal, Level 5, (Southeast).
And she has an ongoing project that just finished it's latest installment in Canada, called The World Wall a Vision of the Future Without Fear.

This project is an amazing undertaking that started several years ago.  On Judy Baca's website is this quote from Frances Pohl describing the project's intent:
"[The World Wall - A Vision of the Future Without Fear] Explores the material and spiritual transformation of an international society seeking peace.  During the early stages of the production of this mural Baca read Jonathan Schell’s Fate of the Earth, which argues that we must imagine the eventuality of nuclear war before we can change our destiny.  She realized however, that in addition to being able to imagine nuclear destruction, we must also be able to imagine peace, particularly as an active rather than passive concept.  The eight 10’ by 30’ panels arranged in a circle that make up The World Wall attempt such imagining."
I love that Baca so stridently emphases that what we can imagine, we can make real.

For this project though, she has had her work cut out for her.  Take the panel for this project that was to be conceived and painted by a team of artists for the Israeli/Palestinian collaboration panel.  This from the 1998 New York Times International article written by Ethan Bronner:
"It was a noble plan: Three peace-loving artists from conflicting groups -- an Israeli Jew, an Israeli Arab and a Palestinian -- would produce a mural depicting a future without fear, a symbolic guide to trying to live together in this disputed land. But the process proved far more tortured than any of them imagined, a microcosm of mistrust and betrayal that mirrored the hostilities they had set out to overcome."


Inheritance Compromise", by artists Ahmed Bweerat, Suliman Monsour and Adi Yekutieli were added in the spring of 1998.  You can see some of it in the above photo.

Judy Baca is works with children too, helping them shape their own identities.  Check out the video below about her 2013 Emancipation Project
 


Hope you have enjoyed learning a bit about this amazing activist/artist, Judy Baca today.  She has a fantastic website where you could spend hours learning more about her past and ongoing projects and more about her, of course.

Wishing you a day of making real the best of what you have imagined.

'Til tomorrow!

~Alex