Visual Arts

Safwat Saleem's "A Bunch of Crock" is a Gag Reflex, of Sorts

Safwat Saleem was baffled when the results of the latest Pew Research Center survey showed nearly one-in-five Americans now say Obama is a Muslim, and his only reaction (a gag reflex, he says) was to laugh.

The graphic designer, computer programmer, filmmaker and artist says he's trying to express the humor he finds in manipulative political campaign messages and political data in his current project, "A Bunch of Crock."

His goal: To use satire and profanity to unmask the current messages of politicians and pundits (which Saleem says result in the Pew statistic above), and show their unfortunate ties to minorities.

His fear
: The public will think he's "just another liberal brown guy talking political bullshit."
(Exhibit info after the jump ...) 

Saleem's a native of Pakistan, who was studying programming nine years ago (September 2001) in Mississippi. After September 11, he was walking home from class when he was verbally assaulted. It was in that moment, Saleem says, when he first realized that being a minority may have its drawbacks.

"A Bunch of Crock" is an exhibit of work he's collected and created since that time.

Boiled down, Saleem says the exhibit is:

- an analysis of political messages directed at the general population in an election year.
- an attempt to share what politicians truly mean when they say something.
- a collection of political posters and audio/video installations.
- a bunch of political messages.
- a bunch of crock.

He reached his fundraising goal of $1500 on kickstarter, which will help partially cover printing and equipment rental costs.

He also says he'll sell the posters (pictured above), which he created after looking through thousands of advertisements from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, and combining them with what he thinks is actually behind current political campaigns.

"A Bunch of Crock" will have its one-night opening reception at Bragg's Pie Factory, 1301 W Grand Avenue in Phoenix, on Friday, December 3. Doors open at 6 p.m..

For more information, visit A Bunch of Crock's website, and check out Saleem's video for the installation below:

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton