GG_sm Lorna Mills and Sally McKay

Digital Media Tree
this blog's archive


Lorna Mills: Artworks / Persona Volare / contact

Sally McKay: GIFS / cv and contact

View current page
...more recent posts

The Weathermen Underground is an interesting documentary. I won't go into the details of the history, since most of you probably know all about it anyhow ( I didn't, but I'm an ignoramus). There's a good review here that will fill you in. In a nutshell: they were an extremely radical group of white, middle-class kids who blew up buildings in the early 70s to protest Vietnam. It's an ethically conflicted story, and the film gets its strength from allowing that complexity to exist. Interviews with the now grey-haired members of the group show their own genuine confusion, pride, and regret.

The main objective of the Weathermen Underground was to make the violence of the Vietnam war visible at home. Interestingly, the documentary itself starts with the most brutal and devastating Vietnam footage that I have ever seen. It was the third instance I've noted in a few days, where someone has intentionally undertaken to impart horriffic imagery as a thoughtful means of expressing anti-war sentiment. Mike Davis's excellent article about an American unit in Vietnam is packed with sad, awful, grisly detail (Thanks to Tom for that one). The other is an art project at posted by curator Wayne Baerwaldt in which we are confronted with images of a murdered, dismembered corpse. Says Baerwaldt:
Will one or more corpse resemble images associated with the rape of Nanking? Anything in colour? Which colours, what kind of detail, anything emotional about the representation?
Maybe there's an urge to show each other horror that is not so different from the agenda of the Weathermen. 1969 seems like a very long time ago. Homosexuality and women's liberation were still exotic. People had unprotected sex. A lot of it. And some people still believed in the transformative powers of violence. But the current climate of frustration and helplessness against the American war in Iraq provides a window back in time to the extremes of rage and hate that young Americans felt about the bombing of Vietnam. I was too young and I don't remember it. But I'm starting to get the picture.

- sally mckay 11-20-2003 9:37 am [link] [1 ref] [4 comments]