Robert Rauschenberg, 1925-2008
American artist Robert Rauschenberg died of heart failure on the 12 May, 2008. Influenced by the Dada and Fluxus movements, Rauschenberg was a key figure in moving American art away from Abstract Expressionism towards Pop Art. His "Combines" could be said to have had a tremendous impact on the World of Art as we know it, using multi media including three dimensional objects in his work.
Though I have been heavily influenced by Abstract Expressionism in my own work, (toward which, it seems, that Rauschenberg had considerable antipathy) I do admit a debt to Rauschenberg in that he inspired me to use other media - denim, photos, photocopies, broken glass, screws, tinfoil, stones, grass, leaves and hair - to create said work.
What can I possibly say about Myanmar/Burma that hasn't been said already? Nothing, but I will surely repeat what I know many others before me have said: the Burmese government is one government that is in desperate need of overthrowing. This week, the Globe and Mail reported that the dictatorial government of Myanmar put aside discussion of the relief efforts needed to assist its citizens after the devastating cyclone that has killed at least 48, 000 and caused 28.000 to go missing. The Red Cross and the UN have stated that the death toll could exceed 100, 000 people very soon. Instead the "RanGoon" squad that governs Myanmar (poorly) thought it best to conduct a referendum and a new constitution that heavily favours their regime. The government claims the new constitution met with with a 92% approval rating.
Burma engages in genocide of its ethnic monorities and is estimated to have pushed 800,000 people into forced labour. (read slave labour) Child labour and human trafficking are said to be commonplace. Women have no rights and rape is a common form control used by the military.
I feel unclean.