DIALOGUE: CONFLICT / RESOLUTION


Dr Doris Derby, Ruth Dusseault, Ruth Stanford, Matthew Maher, Michi Meko, Johnny Drago

Dash Gallery – Atlanta, GA

January-March 2016
Photos by Dave Batterman

Press: Coverage by ArtsATL


 

DELIBERATION

By Ruth Stanford

My knowledge of the Michael Brown shooting has formed like that of most of us—through media coverage. We rely on our justice system, for which the police serve as a first line of defense, to deal with conflict and solve problems. The court system serves as the ultimate arbiter when things go awry.

The only thing that seems clear about the Michael Brown case is its complexity. The grand jury documents are voluminous and overwhelming. Witness accounts differ and even a thorough reading is unlikely to reveal an unambiguous picture of what happened on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri.  What does seem clear is that the world we inhabit in the first quarter of this new century offers tremendous challenges. We are faced with a search for a singular truth in light of a long history of racial injustice, ready availability of firearms, hyper-militarization of police, media sensationalism, and a rapidly growing culture of fear. Is it any wonder there is no single clear narrative that emerges from the incident? Is it any wonder that there are protests?

Deliberation combines the iconic presence of a police car with the documented testimony of major players in the Michael Brown case. For better or worse, these are the voices that speak for the one individual who can no longer tell his story.  The most demanding voices are the ones that have been silenced. Though we are unable to hear those voices, they are the ones asking us to consider where we find ourselves as a nation and as human beings. They are asking for our careful attention, for listening, for openness, and for change.

 

ANGSTY COCKTAIL PARTY

By Matthew Maher

At the center of this quaint little vignette is conflict over ones own identity and how we... fuck it--I’m talking about my identity and me.

Real talk, I’m terrified.

What am I doing? Am I making the right choices? Do I want what I want or just covet what I don't have? Choices made will empower me! Or they will bind me, stalling progress and preventing my "wholeness". Prevent me from becoming a full, grounded, self-aware, confident person…opposed to the flimsy cardboard cutout self propped up solely by bravado….

Do you ever feel that way? Is there anything about your self you're afraid of?

I feel much better. Nice chat.

best
m@

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THEORY OF KILLING

By Ruth Dusseault

One of the military’s largest unspoken challenges is that new soldiers will resist killing. After a full course of training, they are delivered to the theater of war. They do not shoot, even facing the enemy: perhaps awestruck by the likeness of their opponent. It is an age-old dilemma that puts the soldier at risk and threatens the success of the campaign. To address the problem, military scientists have developed simulation facilities that include virtual reality, video games and full-scale mock villages. In the civilian world, these innovations have inspired the entertainment industry to develop commercial games like Counter-Strike Global Offensive and entrepreneurs to build recreational battlefields for paintball, airsoft and milsim games. In Theory of Killing we find a paintball player who is clearly too innocent. His evasiveness creates a poetic reverie on our natural resistance to kill.

 

 

DR . DORIS DERBY

Dr. Doris Derby is an activist and documentary photographer.  She was active in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, and her work is on the themes of race and identity of African Americans, specifically African American woman.  Photographs on display depict public dialogue around the Democratic Party elections, Student Nonviolent CC, and the Free Southern Theater.

 

 

POTS AND KETTLES

By Michi Meko

Pots and Kettles is a sound installation taking ownership of the idiom “the pot calling the kettle black.” The expression illustrates how criticism of another may just as easily apply to the critic.

Pots & Kettles’ functionality exists within the theory of psychological projection. The theory suggests that a person may project their unwanted or undesirable feelings onto someone else rather than dealing with the emotion internally. This form of emotional scapegoating and neuross is where the project establishes its context within the history and conversation of race, power, and identity.

The installation's audio omponent s mined from historical archives and eb-basedcontent. The correspondence of Benjamin Banneker's letters to Thomas Jeffersonas well as the comment sections of various website provide voice and linear structure to the conversation.