The New Civil Liberty


These are a continuation of the appropriation of advertising campaigns as a vehicle for socio-political statements. By sneaking in under their radar, viewers at least have the opportunity to view a message that they may previously have never given a first glance.

I have been appropriating fashion advertising, specifically GAP, which is a vehicle for promoting homogony in society — and inserting Arabs who have been immigrating to America for the past hundred years. My idea is to show Arab-Americans to be as much a part of today’s society as any other ethnic group. But as the American conflict with Iraq developed, so did anti-Arab sentiment in this country.

An alarming number of Americans came down on the side of fear and blind patriotism, unaware that measures like the Patriot Act would not only affect the rights of suspected Muslim terrorists, but every person in this country. While my need to address the concerns of anti-Arab bias is great, my need to address the actions of the current administration is equally pressing. These works deal not only with Arab bias, but also with the willful undermining of American civil liberties.

It is important to note that the “GAP” style was chosen not because of any particular policy of the corporation (I have no issue with the company), but because GAP is the paradigm of casual mainstream American style and promotes conformity in its advertising.