Printing Company Refuses to Release Abu Ghraib Image for Exhibition

SAN FRANCISCO -- October 5, 2004– Hundreds of art enthusiasts looking forward to San Francisco-based artist, Clinton Fein’s, latest exhibition may find an imageless 78” wall in the gallery after Palo Alto-based printing company, Zazzle, refused to release two of Fein’s images.

Fein learned of the last minute decision after a company representative informed him that two of his images had been deemed inappropriate, and Zazzle did not want to be associated with the images.

The one image, recently reviewed at Chelsea’s Axis Gallery by New York Times’ Ken Johnson, who described it as “an American flag with the stars and stripes made from the text of the official Abu Ghraib report is accompanied by fifty representations of the iconic image of a hooded man teetering on a box with wires trailing from his arms comprising the stars.

[Full Release]

See also:
Printer rebels at artist's imagery
By Louise Roug
The Los Angeles Times

2 of Clinton Fein's political works run afoul of his printer's policies
By Kenneth Baker
The San Francisco Chronicle

Artist and advocate Clinton Fein has his controversial images destroyed prior to exhibition
By Kresta Tyler Johnson
ArtThrob Magazine Webmaster says war art censored
By Paul Festa

Print shop refuses to release political images
By Jack Fischer
San Jose Mercury News

Local Artist Censored: Printing Company Refuses To Release Abu Ghraib Images For Exhibition
Not In Our Name Press Release

WARNING! Exhibition

August 31 - October 2, 2004
Axis Gallery, New York City

In a world of superficial sound bytes dominated by a generation absorbed with the self and the surface of things, Clinton Fein's work dissects the vicissitudes of our body politic, pricking the raw nerves that the increasingly conservative mass media tiptoes around. Fein's politically charged art offers social critique through compelling, aggressive, and daring images. He subverts existing imagery by digitally altering, manipulating, and collaging fragments to create striking images that shock, mock, and amuse. George W. Bush becomes King Kong atop the World Trade Center, flailing futilely at inbound airplanes. Condoleeza Rice becomes Marie Antoinette, complacent in finery and bewailing the lack of forewarning of imminent turmoil. "The Last Supper" becomes peopled by the President's cabinet and cronies over a slogan proclaiming "Better Be the Last." The overwhelmed face in Edvard Munch's "Scream" becomes Bush's, or perhaps the American Everyman who did not elect him.

These images are not mannered or labored; they shoot fast from the hip and are produced at a prodigious rate, promulgated through Fein's website,, in a one-man parallel of the mass media news cycle. On the website, they are amplified by charged "editorial" commentary, whether in prose, verse, or parodies of popular lyrics. This continual program of publication can be read as constituting a type of performance art that simultaneously performs politics through activism.

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annoy Exhibition People are strong and resilient enough to confront challenging ideas, even in the face of terrible tragedy. Art often challenges the status quo. The declarations of war, the political rhetoric on all sides and the sweeping tide of emotion and patriotism right now are potentially the most dangerous and damaging to our civil liberties if left unchecked and unbalanced. And the threat posed by our willingness to blindly trade our freedom for a heightened perception of security and community cannot be underestimated. That is exactly what the powers of terrorism want. The exhibition, Clinton Fein's will take place January 2002

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War Against War

The horror of war is difficult to comprehend without being there and witnessing it first hand. Yet those opposed to the war are not all vandals, bleeding hearts and left-wing lunatics as the mainstream media would have everyone believe. Many of those protesting have siblings, children or people they love in the military, and want nothing more than to see them home safely. And not every person opposed to George W. Bush automatically supports Saddam Hussein.

Similarly, many of the riot police who are arresting citizens on the streets of San Francisco do not support President Bush or the war, but are forced to bear the brunt of vicious baiting and taunting vitriol at the hands of some protestors in the performing of their job. There is no black or white in this War Against War.

From ground zero of the antiwar movement, War Agaisnt War is the beginning of an audio-visual commentary on what the modern antiwar movement looks like and how it operates.

[Bear witness]

Trademark Trash

Adbusters on Speed. Often people and trademark holders themselves do very foolish things with such marks. Lucky for everyone, we’re here to monitor such folly. We appreciate your identifying the trademark rights of others in this section. We acknowledge those rights. However, protection for trademark rights under the Lanham Act is limited to protection against another's use of a designation to identify its business or in marketing its goods or services in a way that causes a likelihood of confusion. Such trademark rights do not override First Amendment rights.

[Proceed with caution!] Anecnotes Anecnotes

A politically skewered way of learning the meaning of words.

Is pontification reserved for Pontiffs alone? Can pontification be presidential? What are dirty bombs? What are dirty tricks? Or who?

Anecnotes are dated to ensure relevant news bytes are not lost on the uninformed, should further research be required. Each word contains a little note you would expect to see passed between and among the stupid and the powerful in an ideal world.

[Learn More]

Who's that Queer?

Who's That Queer?

The case of the naval sailor facing dismissal after private information about him was allegedly leaked to Navy investigators by America Online took another bizarre twist Tuesday as prankster Web site launched an E-mail protest against the Navy -- one that dragged AOL's chief executive into the spotlight.

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Feel the Fear: January 2003

There is apparently an ex post-facto law in place that says nobody is to come within some number of miles of a government official with any camera or recording device -- even for personal use -- without permission. That kind of press management went by another name in the old days...censorship and intimidation, and it was only practiced by totalitarian regimes that we all pointed to and said "See? That's why we fight for freedom everywhere, so that doesn't happen.”

[BaRbArIaN speaks!!!]

The Gay Agenda

Gays are constantly defending themselves against accusations by pseudo-religious bigots claiming they have an insidious agenda aimed at destroying family values. Let's put the matter to rest, once and for all, by providing the MOAA -- the Mother of All Agendas.

How strong can a marriage be – a supposedly sanctified institution – if two members of the same sex marrying will destroy it? How learned can a behavior be, if despite your best parenting efforts to instill heterosexuality onto your children, they still end up being gay?

[WARNING: Do not open if homophobic]

Feel the Fear

As John Ashcroft begins preparing the camps and President Bush milks the blood of World Trade Center victims to push a political agenda that will make him and his accomplices rich, Homeland Defense has never been so terrifying a prospect. This feature will simple serve as a conduit to the efforts of others to tell the story as this ongoing nightmare unfolds. You have a lot more to fear than fear itself.

[Feel it...]

Post Traumatic Press Syndrome

In the wake of the September 11 attacks, Artforum, New York's prestigious art magazine pulled an advertisement for an exhibition because the image mocked New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. They would later give conflicting reasons for the decision that day veering between operational and ideological justifications. We would only learn of this decision the following Monday when it was too late to do anything about it.

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The Independent Institute is pleased to share material from The Independent Institute -- a non-politicized, scholarly public-policy research and educational organization, including The Lighthouse, the weekly e-mail newsletter of The Independent Institute.

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Someone Talked

When former Miss Vermont, Katy Johnson, read Tucker Max's graphic account of their stormy relationship, she sued, winning a temporary injunction that is about to be challenged. What makes this case so interesting is that both parties use their real names as brand extensions to sell themselves and related products. Both parties attended law school, and both have authored books that are published. Both rely on their looks to promote their image. Both have appeared on different programs on MTV, and both are lightning rods for controversy.

[Look who's talking...]


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