These are my babies. They hurt me really bad at one time and for some of you, you will be like, BIG FUCKING DEAL... but you are going to have to remember that I am from the "South" and that nice Southern ladies don't have opinions.
Here is the way I saw things as they happened.
The Student Art League was in a bind. They canceled a showcase of Women artists for their gallery (I now believe it's because the president is a sexist fuck) so they had only 3 weeks before they needed an opening, and they wanted one to go with 3 professor's work showing in the big gallery. They couldn't ask one professor, since he taught interior design, they couldn't ask the fiber's professor, so they asked the photography professor if his Bachelor of Fine Arts students would do it. There were 4 of us. (Some assholes since then have said "well, I would have gladly showcased my work." which is a crock they tell themselves).
So there we were 4 students that needed to come up with about 8 pieces a piece, to fill the gallery up. We busted our asses. It took me 2 weeks to figure out what I was going to do. I write on my photos and had this idea about how I hate my father. He is the most racist, sexist fucking pig on the planet and he gets paid to be that way.
So, I was thinking to myself. I don't agree with his way of thinking, and how can this mother fucker say this shit when HIS OWN ANCESTORS helped end slavery! So I came up with the idea of the images and the phrases. I did a tryptic of a torn up picture I took of OJ Simpson, a picture of one of my gay friends and the third I had a black shawl covering my face and all you can really see is my hand. On them I wrote, respectively, "he would call him a nigger...He would call him a fag...But when I grew up, I wouldn't call him DAD."
The next groups of photos I thought about what women that had been "circumcised" must have gone through. I had sympathy for them since I have a cyst taken out of my vagina and the doctors fucked up and left me with a scar I will never forget (the valuable lesson I learned from this surgery: NEVER GET CUT UNLESS IT'S ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY)
I thought that what I had heard about female mutilation was pretty horrendous and I associated it with back alley abortions so those pictures are pretty dirty.
The last one of me "touching" myself got pulled because of it's obscene nature. The "nigger" and "fag" photos were pulled because of the words I used.
It's been since October of 1995 that this happened and I am still tying to make sense of it. No matter what I hear, we are not free. No American is free no matter how hard you try to convince me of that, not if someone can walk into a gallery and say, well this isn't pretty and I don't like it because the content. If we were truly free, then anything I said or wrote about wouldn't bother other people. There are some things that may be left better unsaid, but that's the same as taking away your freedom of expression. Few people like to talk about shit that matters, it's all swept under the carpet and ignored. Hell, sometimes I can't deal with it as well.
Sure, I suppose I could take pretty pictures if I wanted, and I have, but there is always an underlying message. I heard someone say that artists are the filters of society and we are more sensitive to stuff that is fundamentally wrong. Why should it take someone like me to point out to the apathetic public about issues that matter? And then we are condemned because we are "out for attention." What the fuck ever. If I were a wus, and I didn't stand behind my work or take responsibility for what comes out of my mouth, then there would be no justification for what I do as an artist.
In closing I just have one thing to say... If Princess Di had spoken against female mutilation, do you think it would have had an effect?