On a Porch | Collaboration with Rodney McMillian
Los Angeles, California

A collaborative performance by Los Angeles based artists Rodney McMillian and Olga Koumoundouros explore questions of history, politics and aesthetics through a site- specific wall drawing, movement, sound and sculptural installation. The artists recite two texts - Emma Goldman’s Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty (1908) and Martin Luther King’s Beyond Vietnam speech (1967). The artists resuscitation of these texts engage their interest in historical memory and what Mcmillian terms - history as a readymade.

The artists read:

“What is patriotism? .....The usual contention is that we need a standing army to protect the country from foreign invasion. Every intelligent man and woman knows, however, that this is a myth maintained to frighten and coerce the foolish. The governments of the world, knowing each other's interests, do not invade each other. They have learned that they can gain much more by international arbitration of disputes than by war and conquest. Indeed, as Carlyle said, "War is a quarrel between two thieves too cowardly to fight their own battle; therefore they take boys from one village and another village, stick them into uniforms, equip them with guns, and let them loose like wild beasts against each other."

“I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin to shift from a 'thing- oriented' society to a 'person-oriented' society. When machines and computer, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.... America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from re-ordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war.”