Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ship of Fools - The Raft of George W. Bush

The Raft of George W. Bush (2006) Joel-Peter Witkin (click to enlarge)

The Raft of George W. Bush is a contemporary "Ship of Fools" which has as its pictorial basis, the "Medusa" by Gericault. Bush sits lost in his grand ideas, shown as small electric lights. His left hand rests on the large, perfect breast of "Condi" Rice. Who, the most powerful woman on earth, is merely a mouthpiece, a token blackie who dresses in haute couture. Above Bush is his mother, Barbara, basking in the light, the myth of neo-conservatism. At her feet is Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld crushed by the disaster of Iraq. Colin Powell wears the wreath of militarism and the dollar sign vision he now lives for, after lying to the world at the United Nations. Powell taps Bush on the shoulder to make him aware of the rescue. Vice President Cheney and his wife express joyful rapture in their perceived deliverance. Dick Cheney, a "whatever it takes to succeed" type, is dressed in a gown and bra reminiscent of the cowardly men on the sinking Titanic who dressed as women in order to save themselves. Below the mast is a religious figure representing Theocracy and Priest-pederasts. Has the young man below him received spiritual comfort or oral sex? The angry angel, wearing a bra of tea cups, holds a large bone signifying cannibalistic capitalism, that charnel house of our dismal social progress. All the other models in this tableaux are posed as characters in the Gericault painting. With the exception of the black African immigre named Cyril, who waves to the ship, all other men are examples of under educated, fast food prodigals, a result of this misdirected country.

Joel-Peter Witkin

via Joerg Colberg who points to some discussion about The Raft of George W. Bush here and here

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