Making Waves

Never Surrender?

Time for SEA/SEE CHange

Obviously, to do that today — it’s not such a good idea,” says Lawrence Verria, co-author of The Kissing Sailor book.” “But in Times Square, 1945, they hear the war’s over — it’s not such a bad idea.”  Indeed, there is a whole cottage industry of false memory commemorative merchandise featuring this non-consensual act.

Although the initial forced kiss was understood by Greta in the context of the unique day in history, is it right to display an object that practically commands imitation by loving couples without disclosing to them that they are reproducing a forceful unilateral act?

Do we honor military service by subjecting local veterans raped in uniform, as well as children who have had their innocence robbed from them by sexual violence, to this towering trauma trigger, romanticizing assault and depicting the purveyors of it as heroic?



Drowned by a wave of campaign-season base-stoking and a misplaced sense of honor, the Sarasota City Commission voted on Nov. 16, 2020, to retain, as tourist attraction, an oversized, colorized, 3D print-out of the indelible LIFE Magazine image photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt in 1945, V-J Day in Times Square.

The City Commission, which includes 3 attorneys sworn under their Florida Bar oaths to uphold the U.S. Constitution, voted, instead, to willfully violate the Article I, Section 8 rights granted exclusively to owners of copyrights.

And worse yet, they made this community of artists, writers, composers, architects, unwilling accomplices to the ongoing vicarious infringement of the framer’s original right, as each Instagrammed photograph of couples re-enacting the pose at the pirated feet of the saccharine simulacrum creates a new instance of willful copyright infringement.




Risking cattiness, here is why we can't let sleeping dogs lie...

Plea for removal of trauma trigger

Just because this statue was intended as a gesture of love and honor, doesn’t mean it actually shows either. Since we can’t see others’ good intentions and false memories, it is time for Sarasota to stop romanticizing and valorizing this accidental play-along assault art. We can’t keep inflicting this mammoth trigger on those who recognize the body language of forced intimate submission – including the women, men, and children who have to live in the shadow of this displaced time-traveling artifact (artifiction? artifarce?).


Gumming up the works

Home of Ringling College of Art + Design, one of the top art schools in the nation, Sarasota’s local artists have added their own creative expressions to Unconditional Surrender.

Filled with Sound & Fury

A VERY tall tale told by an idiot...signifying Nothing

The Three Fates, sometimes known as Has Anyone Seen Larry?, is an aluminum and foam sculptural group cast in 2011 by Seward Johnson. The tableau was inspired by Odilon Redon's 1900 oil on wood panel Les Trois Parques.

As evident from its alternate title, Les Sorcières de Macbeth, the original painting depicts three sisters from William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Johnson adulterated the painting and seemingly expressed his disdain for women by adding a boiling pot of witches brew.

Perhaps relating to the Bard's court jester, or a tortured Macbeth, Johnson also created a mammoth King Lear (or "Leer" if it was displayed alongside Unconditional Surrender).

Unfortunately, Seward Johnson's outsized Oedipal issues have created a giant headache (and eyesore) for the city by the bay which was previously viewed as the "culture capital" of Florida.

If the culture is rape culture, then that identity is re-affirmed in the adulation heaped upon the giant mistake by those who forced it on the city in the early part of the twenty-first century.

Myths are culturally and historically-bound intepretations. The danger arises when society confuses denotation with connotation and iconic fragments seprate from the contextual whole. According to the father of semiotics, Roland Barthes, "pictures, to be sure, are more imperative than writing, they impose meaning at one stroke, without analyzing or diluting it" (Barthes 1972: 110).

Photography is taken as a representation of reality. According to mass communication professor Elliot Gaines, "the photograph is simultaneously iconic in its resemblance to something in the world, and indexical as the photo-chemical imprint bears witness to the appearance of the object before the camera at some point in time".

Roland Bartes held that photographs inherently isolate the imagery from the lived experience of the subject: ". . . photography is an ellipse of language and a condensation of an ‘ineffable’ social whole, it constitutes an anti-intellectual weapon and tends to spirit away politics (that is to say a body of problems and solutions) to the advantage of a ‘manor of being’ or socio-moral status (1972: 91)."