Filed under: Creative Activism
January 20 to February 18, 2012
Live 24-hr continuous performance
Reception: 7pm, Friday, January 20
EIDIA House Studio
Clark Stoeckley’s 24-hour live performance will portray a day of Private First Class Bradley Manning’s tortured imprisonment—commencing at 5pm on Friday the 20th and concluding at 5pm on Saturday the 21st. This performance will be recorded, and the documentation will be projected in Plato’s Cave for the remaining duration of the exhibition.
14 Dunham Place, Basement Left
Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY
Now an international figure with a huge following, Private First Class Bradley Manning has been ‘detained’ in solitary confinement since May 2010 for allegedly passing classified video and documents to WikiLeaks, blowing the whistle on war crimes in Iraq. During his imprisonment at Quantico Marine Base in Virginia, Manning was subjected to psychological torture. He was placed on a Prevention of Injury assignment, which meant that he had to sleep in only his boxer shorts, with no blankets or pillow, and was woken up every 5 minutes by guards. His treatment has been described as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid” by State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, who resigned shortly after making those comments. He stood by his opinion stating “exercise of power in today’s challenging times and relentless media environment must be prudent and consistent with our laws and values.” That same week Clark Stoeckley emblazoned a former U-Haul truck with signage that read “Release Bradley Manning”, “WikiLeaks Top Secret Mobile Information Collection Unit” along with the WikiLeaks hourglass logo. He then drove it around the White House, and was quickly arrested and interrogated by Secret Service without ever being charged with a crime. His WikiLeaks Truck has been a staple of Occupy Wall Street since day one, delivering food and supplies to the revolution in New York, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, Newark and Bradley Manning’s trial at Fort Meade in Maryland. Using multiple personas and costumes Clark Stoeckley mixes humor and political activism into a conceptual ‘stew’ that tackles head on, distorted and dishonest news headlines, to provoke action, comic relief and debate.
For PLATO’S CAVE, EIDIA House founders Paul Lamarre and Melissa P. Wolf curate invited fellow artists who create installations along with accompanying editions for the underground space; PLATO’S CAVE. EIDIA House Studio boldly states that it does not function as an art gallery, but collaborates with the artist to create provocation in art forms, keeping within an ongoing discipline of aesthetic research.
Clark Stoeckley is a New York City based artist, activist, and performer working in wide variety of media and under several monikers. Stoeckley is a recent graduate from Brooklyn College’s Performance and Interactive Media Arts program and now teaches painting, drawing, and digital art at Bloomfield College in New Jersey. Though widely covered by the news, the WikiLeaks truck and Stoeckley’s work is rarely noticed by art writers. However, the artist was featured in the December 2011 ARTnews in an article titled “The Joke’s on Us”, describing a hoax lecture about New York City pranksters that Stoeckley presented, dressed in NYPD Vandal Squad Task Force police garb. His art has shown in the Pratt Manhattan Gallery, Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and the Detroit Institute of Art. Stoeckley maintains that the works he is most proud of are those visibly engaged in everyday life—experienced on our streets.