The Assassination of Judy Garland

A Metaphorical Portrait of America August 2013 

All text and images on this website are Copyright © to Carl Gopalkrishnan 2019 unless referenced or credited to other creators 


"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore". - Noel Langley, spoken by Judy Garland, The Wizard of Oz, 1939
The Assassination of Judy Garland - A Metaphorical Portrait of America - is a personal reflection on the post 9/11 era, this time focusing on American political mythologies. It was a visionary experiment around the decline of empire which (from 2020 seems to have come true sadly).
It continued the story from my 2006 exhibition Sedition and Other Bedtime Stories.  I used the life of actor/singer Judy Garland (1922-69) - the narrative arc of her life - as a metaphor for what is happening in American political culture. The only interview about this exhibition that hot the mark for me was by Laura Beckman in Tikkun Daily Berkeley, CA, USA in 2011.  I also wrote an article for The Qouch (article) "Thoughts on the Assassination of Judy Garland (Series of Paintings 2008-2012)", for The Queer Psychoanalytical Society, USA, April 16, 2013
The artworks drew analogies with French medieval epic poetry - the chansons de geste - as a metaphor for the American political narrative elements which are not unlike the Middle Ages when chansons de geste described the Christian/Islamic conflict of the Crusades. This time I wove these elements together using a queer lens by adapting iconic Hollywood and Broadway musicals. Aesthetically I also mixed up folk art with pulp airport paperback coverd of the 50s and 60s. It was a way to explore qualities I admire and those that I fear in one lens. Another theme I wanted to explore in the exhibition was how we have changed the way we contextualise images from the internet, especially when they are used in international conflicts.
Images from this series were presented at the Hitting The Target workshop at The University of Surrey in 2012 to support reflection on new technologies and capabilities for intervention. The progressive American Jewish Tikkun Magazine's online edition published a revealing interview about my paintings in A Star Is Born: Metaphorical Portraits of America in 2011. In Dec 2012 a painting was selected for the collaborative 2012 London International Creative Competition (LICC). In April 2013 the Queer Psychoanalytical Society published my thoughts on these paintings for their publication The Qouch.
Download Tikkun Magazine interview 2011
Download The Qouche Article 2013

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