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God Bless Americans

For the past few weeks, Valley schoolchildren have taken perhaps the first field trip in history to feature the phrase, “I am an accused terrorist spy and I am a patriotic American.” We would expect no less from the Icehouse, Phoenix’s favorite venue for the out-there of the art world. Helen Hestenes’ space reaffirms its avant-garde status with the première of the “I Am An American: Video Portraits of Unsafe U.S. Citizens” installation by artist/filmmaker Cynthia Weber, which opens to the public at 7 tonight following a period of school tours.

The exhibit showcases the lives and stories of Americans impacted directly or indirectly by the war on terror. These include survivors of Hurricane Katrina, the children of illegal immigrants, and the aforementioned accused terrorist spy. In spirit, the exhibit embodies H.L. Mencken’s famous quote: “The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime. He is a good citizen driven to despair.”

Fri., Oct. 3, 7-10 p.m., 2008


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