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September 27, 2008

Art For Obama: Authenticity And Purity Of Race And Patriotism

Ewald 305

Ninaberman-Obamaauction

I wanted to direct you to an online auction for the benefit of the Obama campaign.

Titled Art For Obama, fifty of the country’s most prominent artists and photographers have donated their work for this cause. The auction will run from October 3, 5pm EST through October 10th, 5pm EST. All proceeds from the auction will go to MoveOn.org which is supporting the Obama campaign.

BNN offers you a look at two of the works up for bid. The first is by Wendy Ewald, titled “White Self, 1997″ from the series Black Self/White Self.  Ms. Weald is  known for her photographic collaboration with children on issues of race, class and identity.

The second is by BAGnewsNotes contributor Nina Berman, titled “Little Patriots,” 2003, from her new book “Homeland,” due out next month. (Full disclosure: I wrote the introduction.)  Nina has been working on the “Homeland” series since 9/11.  The images address issues of militarism and security in contemporary America.  If you’ve been a regular here, you’ll probably remember our discussion of Nina’s shot from the Atlantic City air show, as well as three rather troubling images from New York’s Fleet Week.  If you click to Nina’s thread here at BNN, the (currently) third through the sixth post down offer those images from her Homeland series.

It’s interesting to consider these photos while watching the candidates grapple with the construction of winning identities to suit the demographic of the moment and the constant questioning of authenticity and purity on issues of race (is Obama white enough or black enough?) and patriotism (who loves American more?). As always, I’m interested in your reactions.

Take a look at the images and participate in the Art for Obama auction here.

(image 1: Wendy Ewald, 1997. image 2: Nina Berman. July 4, Ridge-field Park, New Jersey, 2003)

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