Graphite on Paper, 96" x 120", 2007
A show of new large-scale figurative works by
James Cicatko and Lynn Schirmer
November 16 – December 8, 2007
Ouch My Eye Gallery
1022 First Avenue S.
Seattle, WA 98134
The Franklin case began with the investigation of a failed savings and loan in the 1980’s. Inquiries initiated by the Nebraska State Senate eventually led to the exposure of a criminal network involved in child pornography, prostitution, and human experimentation with ties to some of the highest ranking members of the Republican Party and the White House.
I came across the Franklin episode while doing independent research on American current affairs, for the most part marginalized or largely unheard of accounts of our hidden history, whether it be the activities of the CIA, the interfacing of Organized Crime, Establishment, and Intelligence Agencies in illegal narcotics trafficking, assassinations, or other black operations. Of particular interest to me here is the marriage of power and corruption, and its frequent expression through or on the human body, as well as the appetites for sexual pleasure, debauchery, and torture that seem to be a coefficient of this expression. There is a depressing repetition of this throughout history, from Caligula to Ewen Cameron. What is especially troubling about more recent manifestations of this union, such as MKUltra, in addition to the heinous applications of science and technology, is an ideologically fueled paranoia and a seemingly unlimited reach for absolute control. There is also an apparent willingness to embrace and use any methodologies, individuals, or political/social groups, however amoral or depraved, to achieve certain ends. I decided to use Larry King and the Franklin case as a starting point/focus of emphasis for "Party" because it ties together so many threads of this dark expression of power. All of the attendees of the "Party" are portraits of past or current members of the American Political/Financial/Military/Intelligence Establishment that have been connected to secret mind-control programs, pedophilia, drug-smuggling, assassinations, or a combination of these, or other illegal activities.
"The Devil is part of our experience. Our generation has seen enough of it for the message to be taken extremely seriously. Evil, I contend, is not contingent, it is not the absence, or deformation, or the subversion of virtue (or whatever else we may think of as its opposite), but a stubborn and unredeemable fact." Leszek Kolakowski
James Cicatko's web site www.cicatko.com
More on the Franklin Case: http://franklinscandal.com/
Detail: "I Deliver My Head"
Acrylic and pastel on Paper, 108" x 96", 2007
Reception: Friday, November 16, 2007, 6 – 9 PM
Hours: Saturdays 12-5 PM through December 8, 2007 (and by Appointment)
Evening Film Event: December 8, 7 – 10pm
Film “Conspiracy of Silence” starts at 8PM
It's only logical for power, in its reach for dominion, to send its tendrils to the limits of the imagination. In Franklin & Madeline, artists Lynn Schirmer and James Cicatko examine the nature of power at these limits. Cicatko’s work is narrative and based on media reports, and witness testimony, primarily from the Franklin case. Schirmer’s work is autobiographical, providing a glimpse from the inside.
Schirmer’s personal experiences are echoed not only by the witnesses in the Franklin case, but by tens of thousands of others whose stories have yet to come to light. At a very young age, and already in the hands of a trafficking network, Schirmer was inducted into a tax-funded medical and behavioral experimentation program. Her work in this show centers around her experiences as “Madeline”, one of the names assigned to her as a subject inside the program.
Detail: "I Deliver My Head"
My drawings and paintings visually describe the process of dissociation, a naturally occurring and adaptive response to traumatic experiences. Most people may have experienced what is known as highway hypnosis, the feeling of having arrived home without having paid attention to every turn or stop along the way. Others may know of someone who could not remember the details of a car accident or other traumatic moment. The psychological mechanism at work in both cases is dissociation.
According to declassified documents, during the height of the Cold War, dissociation and its attending amnesia became the focus of ongoing government behavioral and interrogation research. Attempts were made to manipulate dissociative responses, to condition subjects to predictably experience amnesia for specific events or activities. The goal was to eventually produce a functional split personality whose alter aspects could be called upon to perform tasks without the host personality’s awareness.
Born into a family involved in criminal activity, at the age of three I was sold into one of these programs. Throughout my childhood I endured periodic conditioning sessions at a number of facilities including hospitals, universities, and military bases. In order to induce an effective dissociative state, and to insure compliance, the conditioning often involved torture and sexual assault. My art documents my experiences as an unwitting child and adult experimental subject in these still largely unexposed programs.