Seattle's Consolidated Works is a contemporary arts venu with a theater, film center, galleries and it is the meeting place for a new organization of political artists.
In the first gallery is an installation with Rachel Corrie's emails that were read in the United States Senate and are a tender reminder. (The 23-year-old peace activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by a bulldozer as she tried to prevent the Israeli army destroying homes. Seattle's Vets for Peace are known as the Rachel Corrie Brigade, in her honor.) Painted representations of Rachel's vulnerable body were surrounded by quotations from her emails in red as in blood, interspersed with pink-faced men in suits.
Several galleries contained multimedia works by the collective Negativland. Negativland coined the term "culturejamming," which figures prominently in
Paintings of Bush and Lincoln were juxtaposed, distorted as through a trick mirror. Images of sunshine and light morphed into warlike scenes which were high-tech in the present, flying pig missiles in the past. The animals in both paintings devolved into skeletons as they entered the death and war segment of each painting. Other icons, such as semi trucks and flags were incorporated into the pieces, including one of Nixon with "four more years," and another with JFK.
In the film room were works of promising young local film makers. My favorite documented the ideas of elementary school children on war. Several children, probably 6 or 7 years old, were able to look into the camera and explain that both sides thought the other side was the enemy. One girl explained that she knew about war because of her “eyes and ears.” She said, “My ears knew about planes flying into buildings and my eyes saw people marching to stop the war.” My other favorite detailed the creation of a small neighborhood park in a Hispanic/multicultural neighborhood devoted to Cesar Chavez, with musical stones. This neighborhood, called South Park, has always been our international farming area which produces local produce, as for the famous Pike Place Market.
In the theater were Slanty-Eyed Mama an Asian-Canadian rap/electric violin duo from Toronto, doing a live show called "Birth of aNasian". I was able to see their version of "Rice Rice Baby, whichwent way beyond the Wierd Al Yankovic parody, with references to nail salons. massage parlors and other Asian female stereotypes.