The image is of an imagined metallic cover for the unpublished 13th volume of the "Internationale Situationniste", the philosophical journal of the French avant-garde artistic/political movement the Situationist International. The S.I. is regarded as 'the invisible hand' behind the May '68 Paris student/worker uprisings. The text (in French) reads - "the revolution said...we live like lost children, our adventures incomplete".
The image is of the RAF's "red star and mp-5" logo, and text. The RAF - (the Baader- Meinhof group) - a violent, left-wing German revolutionary movement, active in the early to mid '70's, though only officially dissolved in 1998. The upper text reads "the revolution said...the gun speaks". "The gun speaks" is what the groups leader, Andreas Baader, stated should be the title of their collected writings, should they ever be compiled. The lower text translates as "perpetrators of anarchist violence", sourced directly from the "wanted" posters which circulated in the wake of their activities.
The image is a logo of the Weather Underground Organization, AKA "Weatherman", with ancillary "cell-like" markings on either side. The text reads "the revolution said...Franchise?!?", and lists cities in which the group 'franchised' operations and set up underground 'cadres', or what today would be called terrorist cells. The Cincinnati cell is was infiltrated by the FBI, contributing to their downfall.
The image is an enlarged reproduction of my hand-written notes paraphrasing the "last words" of Rosa Luxemburg, discovered in her home as written on the evening of her murder, in Berlin, in 1919. Luxemburg was a Polish/Russian revolutionary, philosopher, and Marxist theorist. The text, in German, reads "The revolution says: I was, I am, I will be" - note the active tense of 'says'. This phrase was also used at the end the "official" communique dissolving the RAF in 1998.
The image consists of what I consider to be the legacy left by the above movements for those who grew up in the shadows of their failures. A post-punk "cri de couer" for my generation, the zine-graphic text reads "the revolutions said...all I ever did was try to help you stupid motherfuckers". What was there left for us to do? To quote William S. Burroughs, "...look at 'em, so anonymous, gray and spectral - don't even know what buttons to push".
Cincinnati based artist Joseph Winterhalter has been creating large-scale paintings for over twenty years which also explore the nature of cultural institutions and the built environment. The artist replicates his vision of the density and interconnectedness of these social structures through his unconventional use of painting materials. Employing a labor-intensive technique that involves the repeated layering, scraping and polishing of an oil and wax mixture, he produces layered architectural compositions which serve as records of the slow evolution of the contemporary institution. The forms which appear at various layers within these dense works, represents the destabilization of the boundaries between home, work and leisure. Winterhalter has exhibit his work extensively throughout the United States and is included in the permanent collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum.
“THE REVOLUTION SAYS…” Suite
In general, the works draw from journals, imagery and statements made by historically significant revolutionary movements. Through utilizing this source material, the suite intends to facilitate historical memory, and to point to potential parallels to our current political situation. For the images created from French and German sources, the accompanying text is in that language. 4 of the images contain the phrase "The revolution said...", in the past tense. By examining the seeds of failure embedded in the program of each movements decisive actions, and the consequences of these failures, the exhibition as a whole serves to question the inadequacies of contemporary political actions.