In the Crosshairs
The first time Afghanistan came into my consciousness was as a little girl in Manila when I received a new doll for my collection, and I was very impressed by the layered clothes and thre textures. The second time Afghanistan made a strong impression on me was when news of the Taliban and their treatment of women began to surface. The Bush regime used the plight of women as an excuse for their own imperialist purposes. During the Gulf War, I researched military terms and came across "soft targets." In response I created an installation with a pink pillow with impressions of a resting head and target at it's center. In this painting, I use the target as it would appear in a computer screen. When I see the young faces of our own military men and women, I wonder how anyone could put their children into war. If they can do that to their own people how could they possibly care about the innocent people of the countries they are attacking? The most disturbing reality is that we are all part of this empire of ravenous consumption.
Johanna Poethig creates work that crosses the private and public realms. She has exhibited internationally and has been actively creating public art works, murals, paintings, sculpture, community collaborations, multi-media installations and performances for 25 years. Her public art works intervene in the urban landscape on public buildings, freeways, in parks, hospitals, jails, schools, universities, homeless shelters, and advertising venues. Her paintings, sculpture, video and installations reflect her interest in form, narrative, symbol, satire, society and our colonialist, consumerist culture. Her work is conceptually driven but interpreted through materials that best realize these ideas. She produces and participates in performance events that mix feminism, global politics, costume, props, cabaret, experimental music and video.