Tuesday, September 02, 2008
From what I understand, Banksy came through Birmingham a couple of nights ago and stopped long enough to leave this little ditty on the wall of an abandoned gas station in West End.
It's interesting because I immediately felt sort of embarrassed that this, a Ku Klux Klan member hung from a noose, is what comes to mind when passing through Birmingham for this gentleman. (I ran across this during my research- disturbing).
I was talking to Jason and I said, "Isn't he a little shit for automatically thinking that this is relevant in Birmingham in 2008?" I mean, I'm aware that racism still exists. I'm also aware that Banksy's artwork is a sort of cultural commentary, doesn't mean that the KKK is alive and thriving in Birmingham, doesn't even mean that he thinks the KKK is alive and thriving in Birmingham.
I also found several message boards with people pondering the same things I was, some more adamantly than others:
"Too bad Bansky didn’t leave some art that doesn’t hearken back to the Civil Rights movement; this is a pretty hackneyed theme in Birmingham these days, really, particularly from outsiders. I trust the lot of us have moved on, artistically speaking."
"Perhaps I’m not the intended audience, being a native of Birmingham born well after the Klan was beaten back into the shadows. I’m pretty sure I don’t understand the relevance of the piece. I do know that the black man who came over ask me about it while I was looking at the work didn’t appreciate it at all."
"There was no notion that banksy was saying the klan was "alive and well in birmingham" just the opposite if you look at the piece. He was making a historic and social comment on the south and the U.S. as a whole."
Interestingness. From what I'm reading, it's already been painted over. Such a disappointment.
My thanks to Dystopos for hopefully allowing me to use his photo on my blog. His was certainly the best photo I could find of the piece.