Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vulnerable Soldier Billboards Too Artsy Fartsy For Repugs

Amid RNC ‘paranoia,’ CBS Outdoor pulls ‘Soldiers’ billboards


"Visitors flying into the Twin Cities for the Republican National Convention were, up until last Friday, to be greeted upon arrival by the gigantic face of a U.S. soldier. New York–based artist Suzanne Opton photographed active-duty military personnel and arranged to have their faces appear on five billboards in Minneapolis and St. Paul. One, a 48-footer on Highway 5, was to be positioned at the intersection of Post Road just outside the international airport. But CBS Outdoor cancelled the contract, citing that they feared drivers might misinterpret their message.
In 2004 and 2005, Opton traveled to Fort Drum in her home state to photograph soldiers. “When I saw them on the news I couldn’t really see them,” she told me in a phone call today. “They’re so encumbered with gear you can’t see them.”
At the time, her son was of draft age, and getting to know around 90 military volunteers got her thinking: If her son was in the military, how would it change his life?
The billboards, part of her
“Soldiers Billboard Project,” show soldiers facing the viewer, with their heads positioned on a table, as if at rest. The pose suggests vulnerability, a trait in direct opposition to public perceptions of those in the armed forces. “I wanted to turn the idea of a soldier on its head and look at them as vulnerable.”
“I wanted to look in the face of a young person who has seen something that has marked their lives,” she said. “Whether or not you can see that in the photograph is another matter.”

None a them pussyfied pretty boy pictures, hear me? Why, them boys look like theys dead fer crissake. What we need for the convention is HE-MAN pictures, yessir, MANLY poses, hear?



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