Saturday, March 26, 2011
Natasha Mayers' Press conference Statement
One of the things I do is help people paint murals about their community’s history.
In Auburn we painted about the shoe industry after some of the students’ grandparents came to talk about working there. In the 20 foot long mural: GIANT rats (this long! ) ran over the top of the factory. Crying children stared OUT of the factory windows watching children playing outside.
There were workers on strike carrying signs and police beating them up, paddy wagons parked at the curb
Doesn’t the governor know that the history of labor in Maine is a lot worse than this mural depicts??!!!!
What is astounding about this act of censorship is that the art is NOT challenging or controversial. No urine or elephant dung here. No inaccessible metaphors, it’s not too abstract. There are no historical inaccuracies.
BUT, What is challenging and controversial is the governor’s action! It is capricious and dictatorial. He is trying to provoke and outrage the working people of Maine. Still this requires an active and moral response. He has put us more in touch with our UNEASE about what’s going on here in Maine AND in the rest of the country. We sense the emergency and the madness of it.
But, once again the Governor is diverting our attention . Yes, we have to stop the removal of this mural and the renaming of the rooms, with our bodies, if need be, AND we ALSO have to stop the damage he is doing to Maine’s environment, workers, immigrants, healthcare, etc.
As artists, we can try and make art that deals with serious subjects, issues important to us
Don’t forget that this mural has lots of meaning. It has content and context. It’s about context. If we artists want our own art to have some meaning in the world, to be paid attention to, CONTENT matters!!!
I invite all artists to come to an April 4th drawathon State house hall of flags, 11-2 pm Bring our war $$ home campaign