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Clare Charles Cornell

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May, 2003. - ‘THE UNITED STATES may be at war -- both with al Qaeda and in Iraq -- but the military still knows a domestic threat when it sees one: gay linguists in training.’ Washington Post Editorial Wednesday, April 16, 2003. - On November 14th, 2002 CBS News reported that nine Army linguists, including six Arabic and two Korean translators, were dismissed from the military because they were gay or lesbian. This came at a time when military intelligence faced a shortage of translators and interpreters for The War on Terrorism as a result of the ‘don't ask, don't tell’ policy instituted by President Clinton. The strategy is to segment a group of people and take away their right of free speech.
‘Don't ask… don't tell’ means that a gay or lesbian citizen serving in the military can not: - Tell their colleagues that their partner is going to pick up their sick child from school. - Tell their colleagues that they entered into a domestic partnership. - Tell their colleagues that their partner was just murdered.
In a speech promoting ‘the war on terrorism’ President GW Bush stated that we fight it overseas and we fight it at home. In my body of work Lingual Discharge I have recontexualized quotes from the rhetoric of the war on Iraq. These quotes include Donald Rumsfeld, President Bush and President George Bush the Elder because they represent the dominant military power structure. - Even though quotes such as ‘Make no mistake we will do what it takes to win’ were made in reference to the war on Iraq for me they also act symbolically to represent the War on American Civil Liberties. The primary objective of this war is to maintain a masculine ideal that does not include feminization or penetration of their power. - Lingual Discharge is a (re)presentation of models of military aircraft that have been redesigned to reject the codification of hyper-masculine objects of war. The military drag has been recoated with another drag that is ‘military lavender’ and designed with pearls, and pink, white and purple Australian lead crystal rhinestones. Each plane is perched upon a shaft and a leather covered base with a plaque that is inscribed with quotes such as ‘They are brutal, brutal people.’ Then each piece is balanced on a very large shiny bullet.
Currently an average of three people are being discharged for the United States military every day because they have been identified as gay or lesbian.
Clare Charles Cornell is a Multi-Media Visual Artist. His art work deals with many issues of gender, indoctrination, and masculinity. Clare Cornell explores these topics through sculpture, photography, photo montage, video and art installation works. Clare has shown his artwork in photographic series, film and three-dimensional installations nationally, as well as in his hometown of Denver, Colorado.
Clare Cornell
Denver, CO
North America


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