$...I Know It When I See It...$ (Uncensored Einstein to Uncensored Bork)
 
        Armed with inspiration in the form of Walter Kendrick's, The Secret Museum and Walker Percy's The Message in the Bottle,  books dealing with the history of pornography, its suppression, and the nature of  language and man,  Lawless created a complex, multimedia installation at SPACES (Cleveland, Ohio), a key work in the Uncensored exhibit in 1987. Although smaller than Green Lightning this work confronted many of the same issues, resurrected the offending "images" and incorporated video technology.
        From the title down to the sources for the video clips, Lawless rips political statements out of their contexts and illuminates them with biting irony. Judge Potter Stewart's infamous inadequte definition of pornography forms the title. Passages from the Meese 1986 Commission on Pornography lifted verbatim from banned films and books were used--titillating material, considering it is a goverment document. A Mozart string quartet and quotes from Einstein and Susan Sontag were also included on scrolling text. Lawless juxtaposes the "safest, most conservative music--that of Mozart--with scenes from The Devil and Miss Jones, and comments on the frequent censorship in art as compared to music and science.
        Framing the video monitors was a wall of manufactured political posters slaped up repetively with graffiti, and superimposed on what was a timed sequence of the same neon penis figure stepping up to a podium to direct the proceedings. Although much of the work is tongue-in-cheek, it addresses the issue of censorship, tries to define the weird line between pornography and art, and wrestles with the urge for communication under government suppression.
 
                                                                                                      Amy Sparks, 1989
                                                                                                      Ms. Sparks is a writer and poet, living in Cleveland, Ohio.





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