Sunday, January 29, 2006

Do Not Open - Cheney Inside

I've cut the photo at right from an image montage available here: [Andrei Codrescu and Nils Juul-Hansen, "If These Refrigerators Could Speak," New York Times, January 29, 2006]. Excerpts:
WHEN New Orleanians returned to their homes after the Storm they were struck by a smell that has no equivalent: a stupefying blend of decaying flesh as layered as the city's history. The sweet rankness of animal and human death floated around the city as it might have in the aftermath of a yellow fever epidemic in the 18th century, but added to it was the putrid efflorescence of 20th-century grocery store meat inside thousands of refrigerators.

For a week or so after the storm, when the city wallowed in its filth and misery without help from the United States of America, which it had mistakenly believed it was part of, people helped one another drag the taped-up fridges outside. Rows and rows of white metal boxes cradling generations of maggots began to fill the narrow byways of one of America's oldest cities. Waves of putrefaction rolled over the streets. New Orleans sank into the funk like a corpse into the embrace of the earth...

And here were all these metal tombs stretching as far as the eye could see, more numerous than the graves they resembled. The art appeared instantly and it was, appropriately, political.

"Chem Trails Are Real: Weather Control Is Here," was scrawled on a refrigerator below a drawing of a jet leaving behind what looked like a trail of poison. Another fridge warned severely: "Do Not Open: Cheney Inside." Inside others one could find President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Ray Nagin and Michael Brown doing obscene things with the maggots and with each other. In a short time, there were thousands of art works in the city, an exhibition that stretched for miles, that had no official opening, that was constantly in progress.

Today most of the show is closed. National Guardsmen, volunteers and city workers have incinerated the art after hauling it to vast refrigerator graveyards.


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