Sunday, November 19, 2006

Unfriendly Fire at DIA

Just got back from the New York Art Book Fair, the 30th anniversary of Printed Matter, where Deep Dish was invited to host a table in a section called "Friendly Fire". The use of that title is a bit confusing. Is this supposed to mean that those activists invited for this section are the victims of Friendly Fire or the ones who are seemingly "friendly" to the art world but whose fire is directed at the establishment itself? I would rather be a fragger than someone who makes "friendly fire". Fraggers were the GI's who offed their officers (often those who wanted to send their troops on suicidal missions.) There's an element of intentionality there. "Friendly Fire" is usually used to describe stupid mistakes in the midst of battle in which you kill your own side-- like the Pat Tillman incident. So I'm not really clear how we were supposed to represent Friendly Fire.

It's always interesting to see how activist art has to be "contextualized", identified, and located when shown within the "art world". I will post more on this later. Meanwhile here's a photo from the New York Times' article by Holland Cotter. The article actually included a positive reference to Deep Dish Liza Bear helped with the table and displayed some of her photos and her videos. Her work is at

I haven't posted any videos myself yet. There are just so many programs up on from Deep Dish, anyone can see a great deal of Deep Dish work. Like twenty years worth! Or you can get to some of them from the Deep Dish web site:

World War 3 was there in force. Seth Tobocman, one of the WW3 collective, gave a powerful performance with music and graphics from New Orleans. This WW3 cover has a picture from the Esperanza Garden where Brad Will (see discussion of his memorial below) was one of the defenders who spent nights in a giant frog constructed as a lookout for anticipated city bulldozers.

Dale Wittig was one of the exhibitors at the NYC Art Book Fair. This is an old painting I have of his-- a series he did about Salvadoran refugees. At Dia he had a big selection of his handmade books. This is one with excerpts from The Possessed which is illustrated by images from gay porn. I will post some more graphics from the hand made books I got there, and some photos of the Deep Dish "booth". It was a lively fair with an appreciative crowd and hopefully one that will keep Printed Matter alive for another 30 years.


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