Jaime Carrera photographer
Region: North America
Artist: Jaime Carrera
Confronting Bodies: Bob Berger, the owner of Flat Iron Arts Building
Date of Action: September 2001
Location: Flat Iron Arts Building, Chicago, IL, USA
Description of Artwork: This series of photographs commenting on political, religious and social groups was exhibited at Around the Coyote art festival in Flat Iron Arts Building. One photo depicted a bagel wrapped in a red Nazilike armband. Instead of a swastika, it was emblazoned with the Star of David. Other subjects included a Pope's miter decorated with a dollar sign, a bag of gold decorated with the Republican Party’s elephant symbol, a black panther surrounded by white cotton balls and a gay wedding couple engulfed by flames.
The Incident: The photograph of the bagel in the armband angered Bob Berger, owner of the building where the exhibition took place. “You don’t have to be Jewish to be offended by it. We are not a museum. We are not funded by any public money,” Berger said after he removed the piece without further notice, claiming that the author is an anti-Semite and the image is a hate crime.
Results of Incident: Jaime Carrera said that the artwork is about defusing the impact of certain imagery. “I wanted to suck the power out of it by using it to represent the Jewish faith, so by putting the red armband around this bagel, it’s more of a symbol of empowerment,” he explained.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times www.suntimes.com, NCAC