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Archive for November 11th, 2009
by Gerald Boerner

  

“I was meticulously copying other art and then I realized I could just use a camera and put my time into an idea instead.”
— Cindy Sherman

“I feel I’m anonymous in my work. When I look at the pictures, I never see myself; they aren’t self-portraits. Sometimes I disappear.”
— Cindy Sherman

“If I knew what the picture was going to be like I wouldn’t make it. It was almost like it was made already.. the challenge is more about trying to make what you can’t think of.”
— Cindy Sherman

“I was feeling guilty in the beginning; it was frustrating to be successful when a lot of my friends weren’t. Also, I was constantly being reminded of that by people in my family making jokes.”
— Cindy Sherman

“When I do work, I get so much done in such a concentrated time that once I’m through a series, I’m so drained I don’t want to get near the camera.”
— Cindy Sherman

“I can’t work without it. And it has to be the right kind, because if it’s not then I get into a bad mood. I work with a remote so that I can change CDs instantly if I need to.”
— Cindy Sherman, talking about her need for music while working

“I was supporting myself, but nothing like the guy painters, as I refer to them. I always resented that actually.. we were all getting the same amount of press, but they were going gangbusters with sales.”
— Cindy Sherman

“…a significant ‘re-inventor’ of two important traditions in photographic art–photosurrealism of the 1930s and the photo-based conceptual art of the 1960s. Cindy Sherman’s influence on successive generations of artists and photographers has been, and continues to be, immense.”
— Hasselblad Award Ceremony

“I didn’t want to make ‘high’ art, I had no interest in using paint, I wanted to find something that anyone could relate to without knowing about contemporary art. I wasn’t thinking in terms of precious prints or archival quality; I didn’t want the work to seem like a commodity.”
— Cindy Sherman

  

Cindy Sherman (born: 1954)

Cindy_sherman Cindy Sherman is an American photographer and film director of Office Killer, best known for her conceptual portraits. Sherman currently lives and works in New York City. In 1995, she was the recipient of a MacArthur Award. She is represented by Sprüth Magers Berlin London in Europe and Metro Pictures gallery in New York.

Sherman_cinderella Sherman became interested in the visual arts at Buffalo State College, where she began painting. Frustrated with what she saw as the medium’s limitations, she abandoned the form and took up photography. "[T]here was nothing more to say [through painting]," she later recalled. "I was meticulously copying other art and then I realized I could just use a camera and put my time into an idea instead." She spent the rest of her college career focused on photography. Though Sherman had failed a required photography class as a freshman, she repeated the course with Barbara Jo Revelle, whom she credits with introducing her to conceptual art and other contemporary forms. While in college she met Robert Longo, and together with Charles Clough, created Hallwalls, an arts center.

Photographic career

Sherman_Woman in Sundress Sherman works in series, typically photographing herself in a range of costumes. For example, in her landmark 69 photograph series, the Complete Untitled Film Stills, (1977-1980) Sherman appeared as B-movie, foreign film and film noir style actresses. A series, dated 2003, features her as clowns. Although Sherman does not consider her work feminist, many of her photo-series, like the 1981 "Centerfolds," call attention to the stereotyping of women in films, television and magazines. When talking about one of her centerfold pictures Cindy stated, "In content I wanted a man opening up the magazine suddenly look at it with an expectation of something lascivious and then feel like the violator that they would be. Looking at this woman who is perhaps a victim. I didn’t think of them as victims at the time… But I suppose… Obviously I’m trying to make someone feel bad for having a certain expectation."

In 2006, The Jeu de Paume museum in Paris hosted an exhibition of Sherman’s works, “Cindy Sherman: A Retrospective.” It included works spanning 30 years from 1975 to 2005.

Sherman2001_Cosmo Girl CoverWhat emerges through these images is a subtle analysis of individual identity, both the fantasies that it generates and the forces that shape it. This immersion in the uncertain, conflictual zones where individual identity struggles with the collective imaginary, stereotypes and issues of symbolic power, can be either playful or—when it touches on horror and repulsion, on the decay and dismembering of the body—very dark.

In response to the NEA funding controversy involving photographers Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano, Sherman produced the Sex series in 1989. These photographs featured pieced-together medical dummies in flagrante delicto. Like much of Sherman’s work, many critics find the series both disturbing and funny.

In her work, Sherman is both revealed and hidden, named and nameless. She explained to the New York Times in 1990, "I feel I’m anonymous in my work. When I look at the pictures, I never see myself; they aren’t self-portraits. Sometimes I disappear."

The Untitled Film Stills

Sherman_Film Still 14 The Untitled Film Stills are all black and white photos in which Sherman places herself as an unnamed actress in shots reminiscent of foreign films, Hollywood pictures, B-movies, and film noir. Sherman used her own possessions as props, or sometimes borrowed, as in Untitled Film Still #11 in which the doggy pillow belongs to a friend. The shots were also largely taken in her own apartment. The Untitled Film Stills fall into several distinct groups:

  • The first six are grainy and slightly out of focus (e.g. Untitled #4), and each of the ‘roles’ appears to be played by the same blonde actress.
  • The next group was taken in 1978 at Robert Longo’s family beach house on the north fork of Long Island. (Sherman met Longo during her sophomore year, and they were a couple until late 1979)
  • Later in 1978, Sherman began taking shots in outdoor locations around the city. E.g. Untitled Film Still #21
  • Sherman later returned to her apartment, preferring to work from home. She created her version of a Sophia Loren character from the movie Two Women. (E.g. Untitled Film Still #35 (1979))
  • She took several photographs in the series while preparing for a trip to Arizona with her parents. Untitled Film Still #48 (1979), also known as The Hitchhiker, was shot at sunset one evening during the trip.
  • The remainder of the series was shot around New York, like Untitled #54, often featuring a blonde victim typical of film noir.

The Hasselblad Foundation proclaims that through this and other early work Sherman "set a new agenda for contemporary photography."

Other works

Sherman_Lucille Ball lookalike In addition to her film stills, Sherman has appropriated a number of other visual forms— the centerfold, fashion photograph, historical portrait, and soft-core sex image. These and other series, like the 1980s "Fairy Tales and Disasters" sequence, are shown at the Metro Pictures Gallery in New York City.

In 2006, Sherman created a series of fashion advertisements for designer Marc Jacobs. The advertisements themselves were photographed by photographer Juergen Teller and released as a monograph on April the 4th by Rizzoli.

In the early 1990s, Sherman worked with Minneapolis band Babes in Toyland, photographing covers for the albums Fontanelle and Painkillers, creating a stage backdrop used in live concerts, and acting in the promotional video for the song "Bruise Violet."

Awards

In 1995, Sherman was the recipient of one of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowships, popularly known as the "Genius Awards." This fellowship grants $500,000 over five years, no strings attached, to important scholars in a wide range of fields, to encourage their future creative work.

During the 1999 Hasselblad Award notification included the following information about Sherman’s body of work:

Sherman_Untitled-01 Throughout the 1980s and ’90s Sherman continued to challenge cultural and social preconceptions by exploring the position and representation of women in a society dominated by media and consumer culture. Her "Untitled Series" (fairy tales) (1985) and "History Portraits" (1989-90) explored the division between the real and the imaginary while simultaneously commenting on the position of women in history. Her sex pictures series of 1992 was made in response to the heightened conflict over censorship and the representation of sexuality in artwork at the time.

The Hasselbiad Foundation distinguishes Sherman’s work as iconic in contemporary art. As part of the first wave of postmodernists to investigate politics and gender issues in her work, Sherman helped shape our understanding of Western visual culture. The Foundation further commends Sherman for being "a significant ‘re-inventor’ of two important traditions in photographic art–photosurrealism of the 1930s and the photo-based conceptual art of the 1960s. Cindy Sherman’s influence on successive generations of artists and photographers has been, and continues to be, immense."

  

Background and biographical information is from Wikipedia articles on:

Cindy Sherman that can be found at…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cindy_Sherman

Other References:

Hasselblad Award…
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2479/is_4_27/ai_59877377/?tag=rel.res1

by Gerald Boerner

  

“The most persistent sound which reverberates through men’s history is the beating of war drums.”
— Arthur Koestler

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”
— Cynthia Ozick

“It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.”
— Dick Cheney

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”
— Elmer Davis

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”
— Maya Angelou

“I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot.”
— Gary Hart

“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.”
— G.K. Chesterton

“But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, Is their monument to-day, and for aye.”
— Thomas Dunn English

     

Veterans Day: We Honor Your Sacrifices

Note:
The following is a posting in the Military.com for Veterans Day, 2009. Instead of writing a new essay in honor of this special day that honors very special men and women who have served in the armed forces over the history of our country. We have highlighted the major conflicts (except for the two World Wars of the 20th century) over the past week. It is now time to think how we can pass on to our children the sense of gratitude that we feel for those who have served our country with such valor. Not all of these conflicts have been well supported, especially those of the past half century, but brave men and women served and died to preserve our freedom.

So, in this moment, take a look at the seven suggestions included in the following posting and help pass on to the next generation the sense of honor that these Veterans so dearly deserve…

Veterans Day is a great time to educate your children about the history of this holiday and the sacrifice and dedication of our U.S. veterans. So, how do you celebrate this holiday in a creative and constructive way with your children?

How to Teach Kids About Veterans Day

Here are a few ideas, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs and EducationWorld.com:

1. Teach your children about the history of Veterans Day by having them create a time line of events leading to the observance of the holiday.

2. Have your kids write short articles or essays of how veterans are honored around the world. And if you know any veterans locally, propose that your kids interview them about what it’s like to serve in the U.S. military.

3. Research how American veterans were treated after they returned from various military conflicts, ranging from the French and Indian War to the Persian Gulf War. Ask your children to compare and contrast their findings. Also compare and contrast how women and minorities who served in those conflicts were treated.

4. Have children draw a picture of Veterans Day, and what this holiday means to them. Military children can draw a picture of a parent who is currently deployed, or a relative who has served.

5. Make a thank you card for veterans. Children can give this card to veterans that they know or to veterans who are listed through the local VA medical facility.

6. Ask your children’s teacher to invite veterans to their classroom. Veterans can discuss what it’s like to serve in the military, and how important it is to observe this holiday.

7. Have your kids make a colorful and fun poster with the names and pictures of relatives who are veterans.

There are a variety of ways to celebrate Veterans Day with your children. And teaching children about the significance of this holiday will help give them a deep appreciation of our nation’s servicemembers and veterans.

A “School Kit” is available with more ideas for implementing these suggestions at:
http://www1.va.gov/opa/vetsday/schoolkit.asp

  

Background and biographical information is from articles on Military.com website:

Veterans Day, 2009 that can be found at…
http://www.military.com/veterans-day/celebrate-veterans-day.htm

by Gerald Boerner

  

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”
— Jose Narosky

“Lord, bid war’s trumpet cease; Fold the whole earth in peace.”
— Oliver Wendell Holmes

“I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, “Mother, what was war?”
— Eve Merriam

“The most persistent sound which reverberates through men’s history is the beating of war drums.”
— Arthur Koestler

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”
— Cynthia Ozick

“It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.”
— Dick Cheney

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”
— Elmer Davis

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”
— Maya Angelou

“I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot.”
— Gary Hart

“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.”
— G.K. Chesterton

“But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, Is their monument to-day, and for aye.”
— Thomas Dunn English

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
— John F. Kennedy

“Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul.”
— Michel de Montaigne

“She mourned with a bleak blank determination, marching straight ahead with a shell-shocked vet’s hollow-eyed thousand-yard stare while doing the next thing and the next.”
— James A. Hetley

“But fame is theirs – and future days; On pillar’d brass shall tell their praise; Shall tell – when cold neglect is dead – ‘These for their country fought and bled.’ ”
— Philip Freneau

“In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”
— Mark Twain

Honoring our American Soldiers: Veterans Day

veteransday_wktv Veterans Day is considered a yearly American holiday venerating military veterans. And both a state holiday and a federal holiday in all states, Veterans Day is generally celebrated on 11th November. On the other hand, if Veterans Day happens on Sunday then the next Monday is selected for the holiday leave, if Veterans Day happens Saturday then either Friday or Saturday may be so chosen. It is commemorated as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day in other part of the world.Veterans Day is celebrated on 11th November, the anniversary of signing of Armistice that finished World War I. The main hostilities of World War I were properly finished at 11th hour of 11th Day of 11th Month of 1918 with German signing of the Armistice.

And the holiday is generally printed as Veterans’ Day or Veteran’s Day in advertisements and calendars.

Veterans Day History

DF-SC-84-11899 The U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed an Armistice Day for 12th November, 1919. And The United States Congress conceded a parallel resolution after 7 years on 4th June, 1926, applying for a President issue another declaration to survey 11th November with proper ceremonies. An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) permitted 13th May , 1938, made 11th of November in every year an authorized holiday; “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”

History of Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

The Last Two Minutes of Fighting

Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities.  This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

VeteransDayAn Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” which stated: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.”

Eisenhower signs Vets Day resolution

President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. From left: Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts

On that same day, the President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.

In 1958, the White House advised VA’s General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee’s chairman.

The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.

The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Other Events on this Day
  • In 1889…
    Washington becomes the forty-second state.
  • In 1918…
    World War I ends with the signing of an armistice in France
    .
  • In 1919…
    In the first Armistice Day ceremony, two California redwood trees are planted in Lafayette Square near the White House.
  • In 1921…
    President Warren G. Harding attends a burial ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetary for an unidentified soldier killed in World War I.

Dates and events based on:

William J. Bennett and John Cribb, (2008) The American Patriot’s Almanac Daily Readings on America. (Kindle Edition)

History of Veterans Day…
http://www1.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp