A provocative storm in a tea cup earlier today as Yazmany Arboleda opens a temporary gallery with 'the assassination of Hilary Clinton, the assassination of Barack Obama' on the street-level window - here.
The artist's defence of this inflammatory text - that it concerns character assassination - is futile and irrelevant. The chord the text strikes is the fear that should Obama win the Presidential election, he is in real danger of being killed. And the fear behind this fear is that America is not yet ready for a Black President, and that the dying days of MLK, Malcolm X and the Kennedys are just a flying bullet away.
Equally misguided however is the notion that the work is inherently racist. From the photos from the inside (on the left), it seems that rather Arboleda is exploring the knife edge between liberal progressivism (the Kennedy family baton now in Obama's hands) and the hicksville racist underbelly of America. Its uncomfortable viewing, as any representation of uncomfortable reality can only be, but that doesn't make it racist. Still less does it make it an exhibition that should be closed down.
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