Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 1-6pm or by appointment
Depleted Selves A photographic project by Cheryl Meeker
Cheryl Meeker, "White Man" and "Roma", photographs, 2008
October 17-November 22, 2008
Opening Reception: Friday, October 17th, 6-9pm
*Also on October 17th, in conjuction with ArtSpan, The Blue Studio will be hosting a reception with wine and food at the same time and location. 20 artist studios will be open for viewing. Both events are free and open to the public!
How does seeing entail social responsibility? Is sight power-laden, political? What role does blindness play in determining what we take to be true? In her on-going photography project, “Depleted Selves,” Cheryl Meeker explores these questions by tracing the boundaries between artwork, social consciousness, and the changing role of journalism in a networked society. The project is inspired by the U.S. military’s use of munitions made with depleted uranium, and their purported contribution to birth-defects in Iraq, including some children born without eyes. Meeker has gathered a library of hotly-contested literature on the use and effects of depleted uranium, which provokes the questions: what we can confidently take to be true in this internet age, how much do we know about our military’s activities, and what information has been withheld? She has shared this information primarily with friends and other visual artists, for whom knowledge is important and the prospect of having no eyes is unthinkable. And she has asked them to work with her to stage a series of “anti-portraits,” in which their eyes and/or faces have been covered and their identities have been obscured. The resulting images are both haunting and humorous. They speak directly to feelings of shame, as if their subjects are turning away from an undeniable truth, blinding themselves to realities in which we find ourselves implicated. But they also playfully explore anonymity, collaboration, and the construction of masks. And, at the show, audience members will be invited to consider the literature, participate in the discussion, and contribute images of their own.
- Clark Buckner
Saturday, November 8th @ 3 pm at MISSION 17
An Overview and Update on the Use and Effects of Depleted Uranium:
A panel discussion with artist Cheryl Meeker and two of the leading authorities on the crisis of depleted uranium, Dan Fahey and Gretel Munroe.
Dan Fahey is a Navy veteran who has researched the use and effects of depleted uranium munitions since 1993 and has worked to promote testing and monitoring of veterans exposed to DU. He hasbeen invited to make presentations about DU to groups including the US Institute of Medicine and two Presidential committees, among others. He is author of three book chapters and numerous reports and articles on the use and effects of depleted uranium. He also has appeared on BBC radio, CNN, NPR, and the Voice of America, and in publications ranging from the Financial Times to Rolling Stone.
Gretel Munroe is a graduate of Smith College, the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Massachusetts/Amherst where she received a Master's Degree in Human Nutrition. She has been involved in the DU issue since 1998 with Grassroots Actions for Peace in Concord, Massachusetts where Starmet/Nuclear Metals produced DU anti-tank shells for many years. Grassroots is a member of the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW). Gretel is the author of Health Effects of Depleted Uranium, 2nd Edition, 2004, and is a member of ICBUW's Science Team. She is also a member of the ICBUW Steering Committee.
Special thanks to the wonderful Doug Weir at the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons who helped us to identify and confirm our illustrious panelists. http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/
Friday, November 21st @ 8:30am
MISSION 17 Artist Cheryl Meeker on KPFA
Listen to Cheryl's radio interview with Aimee Allision. Her portion is towards the end, starting at 1:38:30
Saturday, November 22nd @ 3:00pm
Checkered Facts: Lecture and Discussion with Steven Wolf
& Closing Reception for Depleted Selves
Steven Wolf, a former newspaper reporter turned art dealer, will lead a discussion about facts and fact-checking as a part of journalistic investigation. Topics will range from "facts" concerning significant historical events, like the WMDs that justified the U.S. invasion of Iraq, to the ways in which artists may choose to use or dispute factual material in support or as part of their work.
The discussion will take place at the closing reception for Cheryl Meeker's Depleted Selves, a photo project inspired by the U.S. military's use of munitions made with depleted uranium, and their purported contribution to birth-defects in Iraq, including some children born without eyes. The show features "anti-portraits" of people with their faces and/or eyes covered; and it includes an archive of hotly-contested research materials about the use and effects of depleted uranium (DU), which raises the question: what we can confidently take to be true in this internet age? How much do we know about our military's activities, and what information has been withheld?
Steven Wolf's presentation will provide tools for better negotiating the uncertainty of these "facts."
Steven Wolf has a BA in philosophy from New York University. From 1985-1992 he was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor specializing in politics and urban affairs for weekly newspapers first in New York and then Los Angeles. He worked as a private dealer
specializing in 20th-century painting and sculpture before founding Steven Wolf Fine Arts as a contemporary art gallery in 2004.