Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Selma Waldman's Black Book of Aggressors

Selma Waldman
“Lust for power and territory is the same lust that kills man, women, children and the land itself” Selma Waldman

No artist has more consistently addressed the subject of inhumanity and its relationship to power than Selma Waldman. Waldman’s entire life and art have been dedicated to the representation of war, capitalism, in both its victims and its perpetrators. Waldman grew up in King, Texas, where everyone was a slave to the King Ranch and her family were the only Jews in town. She learned about injustice and oppression early.

She is currently showing her work at Allison and Ross Fine Art Services in Seattle, because no museum will touch her potent work that exposes the intersection of sex, war, and torture. Her most recent series is on black paper with chalk lines in blue, red, yellow. It is a tangle of passionate and fury that ensnarls interrogators and victims in a process that has no moral parameters. She declares in the brochure "War is the Crime,Naked/Aggression is the work"
The work is titled The Hague Project, because she plans to show it in the Hague. The 40 drawings currently on display are called " Black Book of Aggressors". It has four parts of which only one is on display. The Abu Ghraib series is part of her ongoing project Naked/Aggression that exposes the intersection of sexuality and war.

(excerpt from my forthcoming book "Art and Politics Now") See images above.
"Waldman is a member of Women in Black. She has also participated in multimedia commemorations such as "Sleepwalking Apocalpyse" (Seattle September 11, 2005) in which poets, singers, dancers, actors and the general public took part in a procession in honor of victims of war everywhere. Waldman makes connections between war and other environmental disasters. She sat in front of a shelter on which she had photographs of Camp Katrina “Gulf Coast Toxic” and Camp Casey ( Cindy Sheheen’s one woman protest in the month of August 2005, as a mother of a soldier killed in Iraq) “Iraq Toxic” and finally the repeated images of Bush and Cheney. “Toxic Leadership wastes Lives”

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