Poor, dear Valerie. Your analogy of the catapult builder would be appropriate if the catapult builder lobbied the politicians of the day to make sure there were sufficient conflicts for him to profit from his craft. Today’s “military industrial complex” (term coined by a retired military Republican president) makes sure sufficient conflicts exist to ensure a princely income stream for them and their shareholders. This might have existed in ancient days, but it’s now evolved to an art form, involving lobbyists, compliant Congressmen, and other stooges.
This installation marks the first time F-111 has been presented at MoMA as it was initially exhibited at the Castelli Gallery in 1965. From seeing it personally in the past, and from studying detail images in textbooks and slides, I felt I had garnered at least a basic understanding of the work’s important political message about the economic implications and consequences of war. But it was not until we finished installing and I first stepped inside the intimate environment created by the vividly colored wraparound panels that I really registered the painting’s immersive effect.