Letters to the Bouncy Banker...

Letters to the Bouncy Banker...
...from a struggling artiste.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Letter to the Bank #74 (No Comment Art Show, 23 Wall Street)

Dear Mr. Bullrider, my very own personal bank manager (am I right?),

Thank you for inviting us in to the very belly of Wall Street last night so Art and all his (Arthur’s) and her (Artemis’s) friends could express themselves without reserve in face of the financial calamity that we are all confronting. I’m not a realtor and cannot begin to fully understand how it is that last night a pop-up exhibition occurred at the old J. P. Morgan bank building at 23 Wall Street, but happen it did and what a joy. Certainly there was fury—burning dollar bills, protest signs—in spades. There was also a young woman playing a beautiful rendition of the Jimi Hendrix Star Spangled Banner, live gambling, body artworks, graphitti (on the spot murals), puppeteers and performance. The building, a gargantuan yet vacant space that even bankers can’t afford I’m guessing (I already know I’m wrong—when you can make money out of nothing what’s to not afford?) was filled with what can for the most part be described as anti-corporate art. There was plenty of humor and a ton of energy. Even the barriers and excessive police presence outside (including mounted police) failed to discourage a large attendance. Be encouraged! There is Life on other planets. You just have to look harder.

I left before a silent auction planned by the organizers, No-Comment-Art, took place. Though allied with the Art Committee of the Occupy Wall Street movement some saw the auction as yet another Capitalist Enterprise and therefore dubious. Considering the movement is in a beautiful infancy and has a lifetime (I hope—full of hope) to figure out what its demands are we urge such thoughts to be picked up as conversations and discussed heatedly but in mutual respect. Some of the money will go to the protesters, some to the artists and organizers and some, possibly, down a black hole. The show was happening, after all, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange. Such is life and life isn’t perfect but it is life, pumping veins and all. Whether Occupy should build a list of demands, whether those demands should be mutable, inchoate or wide open is already a matter being tested out in the blogosphere. I do know divide and conquer is a great way to sow discord in a movement and that for now it would probably be for the best if tolerance/give-and-take ruled the day.

Enjoy some images of the show.My dear BM, you should run down there. If you went now you could snap up the art for nothing I expect!

Though ever a thorn in your side I remain none the less most sincerely yours,

Kristian Witherkay

The banner image for this letter is a half sign, a symbol of expression finding voice. It is okay if the message is unclear. The emotion is very clear.

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