In what can only be called a bizarre turn of events, a defense contract that is trying to turn a South Boston theater into a combat-helmet assembly plant has compared what it is doing to what its artist neighbors do for a living.

From the Boston Phoenix:

Ops-Core’s decision to compare itself to artists seems quite strange, especially when considering founder David Rogers’s February letter to Midway artists which referred to them as “self delluted [sic] bullshiters [sic] and drama queens who useart as an excuse to justify and rationalize their pathetic existence [sic].” Perhaps Ops-Core has had a skull-crushing change of heart: Above stock photos of smiling artists at work, the pamphlet’s comparison continues [the bold is my emphasis]:

Since our inception, we have been designing, sewing, and custom assembling protective products here with our other creative neighbors. Our work is no different than a fashion designer making a line of dresses, a ceramicist making bowls or dishes to sell, or a painter making multiple prints of a popular design. We consider our products to be works of art, and so do our customers. The processes that are required to make our products require the same type of space and creative atmosphere as other artist businesses in the community.

That’s right. It’s all about the military-industrial-artistic complex. I think Andy Warhol warned us about that.

h/t @gregorg

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

5 replies on “WTF: Defense Contractor Tells Artists, “Our Products Are Art, Too””

  1. seems like everyone clearly knows what doesn’t count as art.
    anyone want to clarify “what is art?”

  2. I’m not sure why this is so surprising. Even if we don’t agree with the underlying philosophy in this man’s claim, he’s simply trying to elevate the labor that goes into the production of military helmets with the labor that goes into other enterprises, like art production. Clearly his point here is more about the bitterness of not receiving the same level of cultural recognition that he perceives art to get…as skewed as that might be!

  3. Of course it’s art, everything is. When you wake up to take a shower, or walk to the coffee shop, or even when you’re just sleeping, it’s all art. Just living is art. 

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