29 Dec 2010 /

social work: politics, police, and the law in art

By matthew david rana

In the first of a series of essays, artist and writer Matthew David Rana visits two works by Amy Balkin and Alex Wang, respectively, which expose exclusionary legal practices by offering the inverse, communality. In so doing, the works put into tension the relationship between law and the democratic ideal of universal justice. First published in 2009.

“In 1969, stand-up comedian and doctor of musicology Lou Gottleib deeded the 31 acres that comprised the Morning Star Ranch commune near Sebastapol, California, to God. Facing allegations that the commune was violating health and safety codes pertaining to organized camps, Gottleib claimed that the transfer of the deed was based on a “direct, wordless, heart-to-heart message” from God that “we all belong to the same planet and its name is...”

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