Artists respond to Maine Gov. Paul LePage (republican) ordering his Department of Labor to remove a mural depicting the state’s labor history from its lobby during the middle of legislative session.
Inadvertently, the move also made the mural larger than life — literally. Late at night on April 2, a group of three artists calling themselves “BrokeFix” visited Maine’s capitol building in Augusta. Running a projector out of their car, they projected a large image of the mural onto the capitol’s edifice for almost two hours.
The artists said they had been experimenting with “Photo-Bombing” — a type of non-destructive graffiti and street art — and used the mural controversy as a test case.
The BrokeFix members said they will likely photo-bomb more locations around Maine, but they also need funding for their next project. As a temporary fix, a local gallery offered to set up a similar projection of the labor mural on its grounds, and the artists said they were eager to accept.
“We would enjoy an event where a narrator told the story and history of these events depicted in the Maine labor mural and explained the significance of how those events of the past have fed into the present situation to give us many of the rights we currently take for granted,” the group said.
The artists criticized the partisan and ideological divides in politics, but also took a strong stance against the notion that labor unions bear responsibility for U.S. economic problems. “Even if the most severe of allegations against the labor unions were true, the money cost to the taxpayers is negligible when compared to the taxpayer cost of supporting the true parasites of our social, political and economic systems,” through corporate tax breaks, too low of capital gains taxes, and absurd tax cuts for the wealthiest amongst us, they argued.
Pointing to recent union protests in Maine and Wisconsin, among others, and the uprisings in the Middle East, the group added:
“The weight of futility that our society places upon the individual is a meaningless illusion that disappears as soon as you realize that your own two hands can lift it away. Power exists within you as soon as you choose to use it.”
Time to use people’s power against oppressive conservatism, regressive republican party, and anti-commonweal libertarianism.