Abu Ghraib - is it torture 
or is it art? You decide!



Conceptual surrealistic photography through the ages:
(left, figure 1.a) U.S. soldiers make a point by photographing themselves with naked Iraqi prisoners' bodies stacked in the form of a human pyramid, Iraq, 2004. Contrast this with (left, figure 1.b) famed photographer Philippe Halsman making a point of complimenting Salvador Dali with naked women's bodies stacked in the form of a skull, in his portrait "Dali's Skull," New York, 1952.


Photo documents of avant garde performance art through the ages? 
Case in point (left, figure 2.a), a photograph of U.S. soldiers psychologically torturing an Iraqi prisoner with crazy costumes and imaginary electricity, Iraq, 2004. Compare this with (left, figure 2.b) an early photograph of Dada-ist Hugo Ball psychologically torturing audience members with crazy costumes and imaginary poetry at Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Switzerland, 1916.


United States government funded homoerotic, sadomasochistic photography through the ages?
Consider the controversial photograph (left, figure 3.a) of U.S. soldiers urinating on an Iraqi prisoner, Iraq, 2004. Placed next to (left, figure 3.b) a photograph of two men urinating on each other, as documented in Robert Mapplethorpe's controversial "Jim and Tom, Sausalito, 1977."


U.S. government funded performance art depicting symbolic forms of perverse degradation and exploitation, through the ages?
Take this document (left, figure 4.a) of U.S. soldiers smearing an Iraqi prisoner with his own feces and parading him around in front of them, Iraq, 2004. Next to renowned performance artist Karen Finley (left, figure 4.b), smearing herself with chocolate and parading herself in front of everybody, New York, 1982.

Government clampdowns on inappropriate subject matter through the ages?
Is it redundant to mention the controversial 2005 Newsweek reportage (left, figure 5.a) of the flushing of the Koran in toilets at Guantanamo by U.S. interrogators, and Marcel Duchamp's controversial, riot-causing 1917 sculpture "Fountain" (left, figure 5.b)?

Copyright Mark Allen - 2004
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