kill yr idols
October 5, 2017 2:09 PM   Subscribe

Kill! Your! Idols! is a project by Ashley Blewer about abuse and celebrity featuring simple facts in beading, paint, embroidery, and glitter.
posted by maryr (29 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
So timely, considering the NYT article on Harvey Weinstein that was just posted a few threads below this one.

Very sad that this is a thing that is necessary or exists, but I'm glad something positive is being created out of this kind of pain. Nice post.
posted by Fizz at 2:22 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]

This is incredibly powerful. It is heartening to see something so artistic, visible, and squarely FUCK YOU against the square miles of bullshit that is coming out.
posted by Krazor at 2:32 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]

and/or has been out, and is finally being listened to.
posted by Krazor at 2:33 PM on October 5

Woof. The Bill Cosby jacket jacket is a stand-out for me, in terms of design.

I've done most of these crafts. The angry summer-camp execution gives me something to think about.
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:37 PM on October 5 [5 favorites]

Some of these are very good but-
"Louie CK is a creep" is a simple fact?
William S. Burroughs accidentally killed his wife.
posted by brevator at 2:46 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]

*bedazzles "Morrissey Is a Racist" on a jean jacket*
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:48 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]

1. These are about violence against women.

2. Don't make excuses for the facts.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:58 PM on October 5 [10 favorites]

William S. Burroughs accidentally killed his wife.

Culpable homicide. He fired a gun at her head. While drunk.
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:58 PM on October 5 [13 favorites]

3. Try really hard not to judge the poor execution.
posted by elsietheeel at 2:58 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]

William S. Burroughs accidentally killed his wife.

Um... maybe? He later made some very mealymouthed statements about it that make me think he knew More or less what he was doing. Or at least, but it was incredibly fucking dangerous in the shot anyway. Additionally, he fled Mexico To avoid prosecution, Which is more or less what Polanski did. Regardless of whether the trial either was facing was going to be fair does not absolving them of never Returning for a trial.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:03 PM on October 5 [7 favorites]

3. Try really hard not to judge the poor execution.

That's what I meant when I was said I was thinking about the execution. As an artist and crafter, I did react with judgement on the technique "(that knitting is shit.") But then I thought "what might the artist be trying to convey with the poor execution?" And I imagined a really angry high schooler stuck in a arts program trying to express her rage against a man who had harmed her.

I don't know anything about Ashley Blewer, but if she is an artist. I'm sure she was capable of a different execution so there must be intent.
posted by Squeak Attack at 3:03 PM on October 5 [17 favorites]

The sometimes-crude style also serves, at least for me, to force decoding, which reminds me how many of these stories I know but which I don’t think about on a regular basis. There’s shame in that, but I have to be reminded, and I think that’s part of the effect.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:08 PM on October 5 [9 favorites]

The "crudeness" also evokes the kind of handmade tshirts I've seen folks do describing their own sexual assaults. (relevant images are 6th and 7th in the slideshow of that article.)
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 3:15 PM on October 5 [6 favorites]

also art doesn't have to meet an execution standard to qualify as art, just sayin'
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 3:16 PM on October 5 [10 favorites]

This is strong stuff. The execution is perfect, imho.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:16 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]

That's why I'm a crafter and not an artist.

But I agree that the execution may add to the message, which is why I'm trying really hard not to judge it.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:18 PM on October 5 [2 favorites]

The artist's contextual statement addresses the meaning behind the execution.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:20 PM on October 5 [5 favorites]

I enjoy William Burroughs' work; it has had an influence on how I engage with letters generally. He made neat stuff!

He also shot his wife in the head, and fled to Mexico to avoid the consequences of that act. I don't care if he was drunk, or if his tongue was in his cheek, or whatever, when he did it.

The linked stuff is great, and needed.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 3:26 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]

I used to do crafts like this - never so explicit - but definitely as a way to work out the abuse against me i suffered as a child and the way that the culture I grew up in both enabled him, shielded him, and taught me these often feminine coded crafts to keep our angry hands busy. Some I burned in the burn barrel, some I stuffed in the women's trash can, some I threw on the highway from a school bus (littering is bad - i was 10).

For a few years now I've been brainstorming what sort of pie-tin art I'd make to drive the point home - a squished rose or licked cupcake with "it's better to be dead than raped" maybe (and then dream about sending it to the chapel with the note 'Thanks for everything you taught me').

Also Polanksi needs another one. I think he's up to 4 or 5 accusers now.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 4:40 PM on October 5 [7 favorites]

So I originally looked at the thumbnails and those were evocative enough, but then I blew them up and really focused on them each for a moment. Suddenly my hands remembered how those crafts felt to make when I was first abused by men, how the strings twisted and beads scattered and my printed letters were always off or smudged or weird. I am fully on the side of absolutely loving the execution and if these were gorgeous crafter/etsy level pieces I think something would be missing. [TW: Self-harm] They also remind me of when I was a teenager and I'd carve into my skin what was done to me or words used to describe me, all those frayed edges just trying to get the message out of me to find some sort of peace.

And yeah, there's a DIY/punk aesthetic to these that I really respond to.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 4:49 PM on October 5 [12 favorites]

Ashley's incredible. So thankful to see her work being discussed here.
posted by avocet at 5:13 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]

This is one of those issues that crashes hard with my belief for criminal justice reform. They aren't actually at odds with each other, but the shaming rhetoric makes me reach for my due process talking points. I find myself in the weeds trying to parse the difference.

I'm reminded of the Michelle Jones story. It's tangential, but it sits there, reminding me that we are not the sum of our worst actions. The big difference is that as a black woman, Michelle Jones carried the full judgement of society.

I don't want to police my idols. I don't want to carry the weight of deciding someone's guilt, and whether or not I can ethically appreciate their work. I shouldn't have to do this, and this art shouldn't be necessary. But the system has shrugged off this work, so it falls to women to act as a warning system for other women. Like the Harvey Weinstein post below.
posted by politikitty at 5:26 PM on October 5

The execution is perfect and makes the message that much more raw and memorable. The juxtaposition of childhood crafts with chilling messages is incredible. Looking forward to following this artist's work now that I know about her.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 9:14 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]

2. Don't make excuses for the facts

Asking whether one of these might constitute actionable slander is not to "make excuses for the facts"; it's demanding them.

There's no shortage of well-documented popular shitbags to choose from. Why bring specious rumour into it?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:39 PM on October 5 [3 favorites]

[Folks, please keep in mind that we have had a lot of threads to talk about specific claims and we need to not try to make this thread a repeat of all of them at once. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 10:09 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]

These are good - I like the variety of *types* of fan art happening here, in particular.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:15 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]

The Woody Allen one is cleverly worded.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 7:03 AM on October 6

I fucking love this so much, I am literally speechless. As a multiple trauma survivor its honestly fucking hell sometimes to see people talking about woody allen, sean penn, who-the-fuck-ever, casually, in any context. For a while my facebook banner was "curbstomp woody allen", I have a sticker on my art desk that says "make rapists afraid again".

I grew up with the image of my mother harshly gripping my shoulders, shaking me slightly, telling me I could never speak about what just happened - my father pushing my sister against a wall, her head colliding with a hook. She still has a scar. I grew up with an obsession with privacy. I do not take that word lightly. It was damaging for me and it made it hard to build meaningful relationships. through therapy, queer heroes, and other people talking about trauma I'm at a point in my life where I don't feel like I have to hide every facet of my being. I get help now when I need it.

I love the execution. It's messy. Its rough. It feels right. Its the same way I feel when I want to shout about John Lennon when someone brings up the beatles. It's raw. How do I contact Ashley? They're my new hero.
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:45 AM on October 6 [5 favorites]

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