Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Patriot Act Meets The Stamp Act

Al Brandtner, a graphic designer from Chicago, made an art piece showing sheet of mock postage stamps showing President Bush with a gun pointed at his head captioned with "Patriot Act." This piece of artwork was to be displayed as part of a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay exhibit, "Axis of Evil: The Secret History of Sin." It was previously displayed at Columbia College in Chicago last spring where Secret Service agents attended the opening to inspect it. UWGB Chancellor Bruce Shepard has pulled the piece and made the following statement was part of the chancellor's remarks on Sept 1st:

"I have heard the aforementioned piece described to me as "only art." But, to call it "only art" is to disparage the important role of art in shaping our culture, forming our beliefs, and directing our actions. Art matters. Precisely for that reason and having come of age during a period in our history when political assassinations came in all too rapid succession, the advocacy of assassination is something I view as neither abstract nor theoretical. It happens, it is real. I further believe that the one piece of concern very reasonably can be seen as expressing advocacy of assassination."

Erica Millspaugh, an art and photography major, rallied 30 students to protest at the opening reception wearing T-shirts using Brandtner's image.

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