Directed by Gordon Winiemko

San Francisco-based artist Gordon Winiemko is a raconteur. With his trusty video camera, Winiemko deconstructs and reassembles the cultural landscape around him. His videos attack with gleefulness the dominant and influential paradigms that have changed the value of art not only in the Bay Area but also around the world. Winiemko mimics and mocks with a sniper's aim all the images that mass media has to offer.

911 Media Arts Center has invited Winiemko to host a night of his finest works entitled Art Strikes Back!

In one of his finest pieces, "Art Strikes Back," artists being forced out of the Mission District take action. The documentary follows diverse groups of artists who impose their art onto unsuspecting people in order to make a point about the need for space. Whether it's Butoh-like performances at an intersection or a group of artists parading up and down the streets yammering on their cell phones, the artists attempt to reclaim their streets and their space. Winiemko stakes out trendy sidewalk cafes and gives patrons eviction notices because they are occupying his space. It is a hilarious look at how artists take a stand in order to carve out an area for art.

In "Enjoy," Winiemko and his cohorts are enthralled with a huge, looming Coca-Cola neon sign. As a symbol of consumerism as its most grotesque, Winiemko takes great pleasure in dismantling the power of the image. Using "commercials" like the ones Coke would make, Winiemko brilliantly shows the influence of advertisement on the public psyche. My favorite fake advertisement protrays a woman striding down the street, painted in Coke colors and slathers herself in Coke.

Another target of Winiemko is the gross commercialization of Christmas. In "Exchange Policy," Winiemko and his frequent cohort (fellow artist Julie Wyman), document their shopping spree while interviewing people and getting in trouble for filming in major department stores. We watch as they happily play the role of avid consumers, buying cell phones, fancy clothes, and even a video camera. After the holiday season, Winiemko and Wyman go back to the stores and return all of the items they purchased. Yes, even the video camera that they used to shoot the footage for the video.

Winiemko loves getting in people's spaces and faces. He is a fine muckraker and his aim is most differently true and right on. His videos are funny, insightful and thought-provoking and give a scary, yet truthful look into consumerism.

Art Strikes Back plays at 911 Media Arts Center on Friday, April 12th, 8pm, $6/$4 911 members. 911 is located at 117 Yale Ave N. Seattle, WA 98109. Filmmaker Gordon Winiemko will be in attendance.

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