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January 17, 2008 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-01-17

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The Michigan Daily michigandaily.com C Thursday, January17, 2008

The Daily Arts
guide to the best
upcoming events
- it's everywhere
you should be this
weekend and why.

There' no better way to
spend MLK Day than at
Hill Auditorium with Mos
Def and his Big Band.
Def's politically conscious
brand of rap is fit for the
holiday. The 7:30 p.m.
concert is being held
Monday in memory of
Detroit music producer J
Dilla, who died in 2006.
Tickets are $25 - $45.

Want to claim you knew
a band playing at South
by Southwest way back
when? Well, if you do,
check out Ann Arbor's
own Great Lakes Myth
Society tonight at the
Blind Pig before they
make the trek to Austin.
Doors open at 9:30
p.m. and tickets are $5
for the legal drinkers
and $8 for those 18+.

For a totally different
take on MLK Day, check
out "An Afternoon with
Martin and Langston,"
1 p.m. Monday at the
Power Center. Felix
Justice will transform into
Dr. King to read several
of his speeches, followed
by Ben Vereen who will
adopt the persona of
poet Langston Hughes. A
Q&A session will follow.

Imperative' hits hard

Graphic arts
call students
to engage and
take action
By Katie Carey
Daily Arts Writer

The newest exhibition at the School of Art
and Design's Slusser Gallery, "The Graphic
Imperative," features 50 years of social, polit-
ical and environmental posters. On display
until Jan.25, it's sure to catch the attention of
even the most undemonstrative members of
"Generation Apathy"
One hundred and twenty-one political
posters from around the world line the walls
of Slusser Gallery, each delivering themes of
human rights, civil rights, sexism, classism
or war protest. Each poster is a mixture of
rebellion and frustration along with hope
and courage.
Upon entering the gallery, bold graphics
that once encouraged protest and incited
change don't simply wash over you, giving
you time to contemplate and chew on the

artists' messages. Instead, they pull you in
quickly and then throw a firm left hook to
your very core.
While some of the work does this with
photography, others use irony, juxtaposition
of words and pictures and even comedy. Yet
what all the posters have in common is their
ability to make history collide with the pres-
ent, reviving the reality of past social strug-
gles while illuminating the reality of the
Many of the most effective posters in
"Imperative" exploit the viewer's familiar-
ity with graphic advertising to promote their
own agendas. A poster titled "iRaq" features
the same black silhouette of the iPod adver-
tisements. But this image, stark on a bright
yellow background, isn't that of a vibrant

street dancer or Bono, but a prisoner at Abu
Ghraib. The text says, "10,000 Iraqis dead.
773 U.S. soldiers dead."
This "subvertising" is also used in a work
exposing health and environmental prob-
lems raised by the use of pesticides. "Sun
Mad II" borrows the graphic language of the
Sun-Maid Raisin box, yet twists the com-
monality of the image by turning the tanned
maiden into a skeleton hovering over a bushel
of green grapes.
Unlike the posters that take typical,
uncontroversial graphic advertisements and
contort them to make a strong message about
mortality and health, others like "Penis Cop"
raise awareness through humor, not fear.

The Oleander Review is
the only undergraduate-
run University literary
journal, featuring fiction,
art and screenplays.
To commemorate its
launch party, catch recent
contributors Elizabeth
Kostova, Rachel Harkai
and Cyan James tonight
at 7 p.m. at Shaman
Drum Bookshop.

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