I woke up angry today. That’s never a good sign. Last night I went out for a couple of drinks with some Marwen people. After some of them had found out that I was responsible for the show that is currently on exhibit at the alumni gallery, they proceeded to dissect the exhibition on its aesthetics and meaning. We got into some really heated conversations last night. I was told that I was a ‘young and naive’ new artist and that I really needed to do more research the next time I do a show like this one. I felt like a dissected frog on a cutting tray as they asked what my point was in doing a show about Islam. They did not understand my installation of the tent with a television in it projecting footage of Fatima reciting verses from the Qur’an. I felt like everything I said was easily dismissed. I was indeed defending myself and a culture not my own. What is wrong with that? If I see injustice, does that mean I should ignore it and mind my own business and worry about my own world? Should I make art about being a minority male in America? Why does everything have to (or seem like) be so literal? I just felt like I wasn’t eloquent enough last night to defend my causes – which totally destroys the whole purpose of the ‘Veil’ exhibition. I preached about protecting what I believe in and acknowledging those who want to destroy it, but I couldn’t even defend my cause last night! Why does the art police have to be so harsh. But at the same time, I really appreciated the criticism because any feedback is better than no feedback. And the people I argued with last night were much more experienced in the artworld than I am. But at the end of the conversation, I couldn’t decide whether I should thank them or hit them.

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