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exhibition

 

Legacy, Bush, Obama, Trump , @ KAI MATSUMIYA, 2017
Opening: Sunday, March 5th (7-9pm)
March 5th - April 23rd

Kai Matsumiya presents a range of work by Rainer Ganahl exploring the linguistic and visual terms associated with each administration for his show “Legacy: Bush, Obama, Trump”. Such terms, the artist contends, become symptomatic of each presidency.

In his “War on Terror” series, the artist rendered such expressions with a ballpoint pen in the style of Alighiero e Boetti’s airplane drawings: “Axis of Evil”; “9/11”; “Freedom fries”; “Homeland Security”; and other terms that refer to various terror attacks, wars, lies, political theater, and name calling.

“Why do they hate us?” reveals a postcard mailing project with fake stamps comprised of works on paper. An embroidery piece from Ganahl’s “Afghan Dialogue” series recycles network news design, branding, and labeling strategies, and incorporates reactions to the content by the Afghan embroiderer who stitched it. The same interaction informed the “Iraq Dialogue,” works that the artist produced with factory workers from the Arab worlds on ceramic tiles, a long-revered tradition in many Arab countries.

Ganahl’s “News Paintings,” first shown at MUMOK-Vienna in 2003, draws imagery from news websites in over-sized fashion with the painting medium, and was a response from the spectacular reports and images of suicide attacks and warfare from the time. In nearly all cases, the artworks in “Legacy: Bush, Obama, Trump” had been executed shortly after events which informed them.

The Bush administration packaged the Iraq War as prime-time television spectacle and labeled it “Shock and Awe.” While the Hussein regime never produced “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” as was accused by the Bush administration, a strange irony came about when mass destructive weapons then rained down on Iraq which resulted in destabilization of the world to this day. Asymmetrical warfare in the form of terrorism, i.e. “Evil Doers”, went hand in hand with the rising internet media culture.

After a brief pause, Ganahl continued his website News Paintings again during the Obama administration with the arrival of the news imagery of the well-choreographed beheadings from ISIS. Such imagery surpassed the shock value of suicide bombings as the new media novelty. Meanwhile, Obama institutionalized a major military innovation which promoted surgical stealth operations from the air: drone warfare. The artist thus returned to Boteti’s ballpoint pen technique with his two-color depictions of war drones, found via Google images. This war strategy produced its own vocabulary, like “Extra Judicial Killings” and “Predator”.

Just entering office, President Trump has brought forth a sea of terms that speak for themselves: “Fake News,” “Alternative Facts,” “Extreme Vetting,” “Sad!”, “Bad Hombres”—and his main slogan: “Make America Great Again.” Ganahl rendered these slogans with a script invented in 1930 by Rudolph Koch who adhered to Nazi ideology. For this series Ganahl added his own term, “TRUMPUTIN,” reminiscent not only of the charlatan advisor Rasputin who contributed to the fall of Czarist Russia through salaciousness and mysticism, but also of the 1970s-disco song “Rasputin” (“lover of the Russian queen”) by Boney M. Befitting of the chauvinist, sexist realities of our new president. The song will play in the gallery. The exhibition, “Legacy: Obama, Bush, Trump”, opens March 5 and remains on view through April 23.

Rainer Ganahl will host reading seminars at the gallery during his exhibition with a primary focus on Hannah Arendt’s “Origins of Totalitarianism”.

Reading Seminar Dates (at Kai Matsumiya)
Hannah Arendt's "Origins of Totalitarianism" (please RSVP):

Wednesday, March 8 (6:30 pm)
Wednesday, March 15th (6:30)
Wednesday, March 22nd (6:30)
more dates TBA.

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Drone , 2015
ball pent on paper, 11 x 14 inches
http://www.kurzweilai.net/images/Raven_drone-512x394.jpg

more about this DRONE WORKS

 

 

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FAKE NEWS, 2017
pencil drawing, 11 x 14 inches

 

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type face / font : Wallau, created 1930 by Rudolf Koch, who was known for his nationalist tendencies - though he died already in 1935 ie. before Naziism was in full gear. WIKIPEDIA has

the followoing comment on him which resonnates with the current president elect:

"Known also for his nationalistic ideology, he wrote in Der Deutsche, "Even as a boy I wanted to become a proper real German. I hated anything that was foreign, and even as I was growing up I felt this was a sign of true loyalty."[10]"

selwo ee the more popular version of who Rusputin ("lover of hte Russian queen" was as sang by BONEY M

 

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Arab Dialog with Klid, Sassuolo 2003

Translation: I hope that peace will overcome the world.

Klid is from Casablanca, Morocco, and is factory worker in Sassuolo's tile factories. He decided to only give his first name.

Four ceramic tiles with fired paint, 70 x 100 cm (tiles) - plus wooden frame -approx .37 x 47 inches (94cm x 120 cm)

 

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Afghan Dialog, LIVE, 2001/2003

no comment was embroidered

 

Afghan Dialog, LIVE, 2001/2003

no comment was embroidered

 

Afghan Dialog, LIVE, 2001/2003

no comment was embroidered

 

 

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Afghan Dialog with anonymous embroiderer, America Strikes Back, 2001/2003

Translation from Urdu: Islam is an act of faith forever

Thanks to the help of the by now gone Afghany restaurant on 10th Avenue and 22nd street who faciliated this exchange that took an average of 15 months.

Thanks also to the emboirderers of Alighiero e Boetti. Their mostly religious / political / justice begging comments on Beotti’s comissions of his conceptual language and map based art which in all likelyhood were unsollicited but burning inspired me to this work upon the beginning of president Bush’s “War on Teror” with Afghanistan.

 

about this work

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during the war.. I isolated media design devices for framing reports and asked Afghani embroiderers to write their own reaction to it..

 

 

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D Homneland security

 

 

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You are either with us or against us / World Trade Center / Momenta Art, 2004
11/12 postcards, self made stamps

 

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FOX NEWS, SADDAM HUSSEIN CAPTURED, 1214/03

accrylic paint on canvas, approx. size: of th canvas:

cllick for high res.

 

 

individual works;

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Drone, 2015
ball pent on paper, 36 x 66 inches

 

 

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Drone, Unmanned combat air vehicle, 2015
ball pent on paper, 11 x 14 inches

 

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Drone, Predator, 2015
ball pent on paper, 11 x 14 inches

 

 

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Drone, Drone, Extra Justicial Killings, 2015
ball pent on paper, 11 x 14 inches

 

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Drone, High Value Target, 2015
ball pent on paper, 11 x 14 inches

 

 

 

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koin this poster.. OBAMA .. is remembered visually by his orignial poprtrait.. now a muslim woman.. pllus by BLACK LIVE MATTES

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WOMEN'S PROTEST MARCH, WASHINGTON, 2017
photography, 20 x 24 inches

 

 

 

wo ee the more popular version of who Rusputin ("lover of hte Russian queen" was as sang by BONEY M

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TRUMPUTIN, 2016
pencil drawing, 11 x 14 inches

listen to RASPUTIN (BONEY M)

 

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EXTEME VETTING, 2016
pencil drawing, 11 x 14 inches

 

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MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, 2016, 1, 2016
pencil drawing, 11 x 14 inches

 

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FAKE NEWS, 2017
pencil drawing, 11 x 14 inches

 

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ALTERNATIVE FACTS, 2017
pencil drawing, 11 x 14 inches

 

 

 

BUSH:

silk embroidery, 64 x 82 cm (32 x 25 inches), 2002

Pashtun text - translation (as I was told) : "

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Arab Dialog with Klid, Sassuolo 2003

Translation: I hope that peace will overcome the world.

Klid is from Casablanca, Morocco, and is factory worker in Sassuolo's tile factories. He decided to only give his first name.

Four ceramic tiles with fired paint, 70 x 100 cm (tiles) - plus wooden frame -approx .37 x 47 inches (94cm x 120 cm)

 

 

 

gravated the situation and part of it is reflected in the legistaltion, their actions and the wording of all this.

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9 x 12 inch; 22.9 x 30.5 cm - ball pen drawing on paper -

click image to download high res.pic.

 

 

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9 x 12 inch; 22.9 x 30.5 cm - ball pen drawing on paper -

click image to download high res.pic.

 

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Axis of Evil, 2003

11 x 14 inch; 28 x 35.5 cm - ball pen drawing on paper -

click image to download high res.pic.