Political Engagement – Priscilla Otani

Laurie says:

The exhibition was at the Mission College Vargas Art Gallery and the hours were very limited. Her political work is impressive and I decided to post about it.

The gallery was presenting a solo exhibition of her new work that deals with current issues. Priscilla Otani has been making political artwork throughout her career, and her work has been featured around the world in venues such as the United Nations.

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Covid Quilt

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Her interactive installation “I Do Believe” has collected postcards from around the world; people of different countries and cultures have written their opinions on women’s reproductive rights.

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I Do Believe

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As Priscilla Otani says: “I am a mixed media artist, curator, and owner of Arc Gallery in San Francisco. My works explore the nuances of cultural misunderstandings between Japanese and Western cultures in the area of taboos, beliefs and myths. More recently my works have focused on American politics, particularly the extreme divide in belief systems among people. In my painted works, paper is combined with canvas and acrylics to create texture. Collages are created from scraps and Japanese papers. Three-dimensional and installation pieces are made with fiber, paper from funeral stores and objects harvested from recycle centers.  I am the President of the Board of Northern California Women’s Caucus for Art and together with partners Matthew Frederick, Stephen Wagner and Michael Yochum, I founded Arc Studios & Gallery in 2009.

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This group of images reflects on the first 100 days of the Russian war against the Ukraine.

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I participated with many women from all over the world in “I Do Believe” This is my post card. The image was made while abortion was still legal.  I expect I would have made something far fiercer rather then the commentary of this image.

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If you would like a much broader view of her very impressive work, go here.

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Lil Nas X: Make Everyone Laugh at the Haters

Laurie and Debbie say:

In case his music isn’t your thing, Lil Nas X is a highly talented rapper and singer, and a two-time Grammy winner. Along with his musical proficiency, he has a lesser known but equally finely-honed talent: he’s brilliant at trolling racists, white supremacists, and homophobes– which he gets plenty of opportunity to do, as he is both Black and gay.

Jazmin Tolliver has a short piece at Huffington Post about one of Lil Nas X’s latest ripostes. A group of anti-LGBTQ protesters showed up outside his Montero tour stop in Boston this past Sunday … and he had his team bring them pizza! And tweeted about it.

Now here they are, hypocrites if they accept the pizza, fools if they reject it. So they rejected it. And here’s the extra zinger.

Of course, homophobic and white supremacist movements are extremely dangerous and must be taken seriously. That being said, nothing disconcerts these people more than being set up to be laughed at, and it’s a great tactic when used carefully. This makes us think not only of some other stunts Lil Nas X has pulled, but also of the K-POP Army that undermined a major Trump rally in the lead-up to the 2020 election, and the time-honored technique of getting your supporters to pledge donations based on the number of counter-protestors who show up.

The pizza gift isn’t only a good strategy to discomfit and dismiss the protesters, it’s also a way to make Lil Nas X and his staff and fans feel good about themselves, which matters.

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