Saturday, April 26, 2008

Meghan Daum on Obama art

A couple of weeks ago, Meghan Daum in the LA Times wondered about some postmodern concerns she has about some Obama posters. Specifically, the ones created by Shephard Fairey (he's the guy who made all those Andre the Giant stickers you used to see everywhere and wonder just what the heck they meant) drive her around the bend, or, as she puts it, "into an existential tailspin." Having been through more than a few of those myself, I can empathize. She compares the posters to various forms of agitprop and propaganda, and is a little worried about the effect that these posters might have on the campaign. I'm guessing she read a little too much Jacques Derrida somewhere along the way. It took me a bit of thinking to see where she is coming from, but I can visualize a vague connection between these posters and some kind of old-fashioned attempt to propel the masses forward.

But I diverge from her when it comes to impact on the campaign. First, I think she's reading a bit too much of her own perspective into these, and I don't think most people are as familiar with ironic commentary in visual media as she is. But I'm also not worried about it because I think the association that she makes is entirely stylistic, and, lacking a clear, specific reference in the content, I think the link between this poster and, say, the famous poster of Che Guevara is too obscure to be meaningful. If Obama were raising his fist, or maybe wearing a beret with a red star, then, yes, I would be worried. As for this, I just think it's a cool poster. Partially because I have one, and I don't want anyone to think I'm a Marxist. Been there, done that. Threw away the posters.

1 comment:

USpace said...

.
So many talented artists for Obama. His 'Change', 'Hope' and 'Progress' mantras are actually somewhat self-mocking. Making your own Obama posters is totally addicting, I laughed so hard I almost had a breakdown. LOL!
:)
.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
always hope for hope

push for change at all costs
change can never be bad

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
only feel and hope

please make people change
change can only be good

.
Make Some Obama Posters NOW!
.
Appeasement Talk Bothers Appeasers
.
Help Halt Terrorism Now!
.
USpace

:)
.