After Eisenhower by Jasmine Clark

Issue 94

After Eisenhower is directly shaped by my upbringing in a conservative military community in Twentynine Palms, California. Both of my parents served in the United States Marines Corps. As an African American female who identifies as queer, my own conflicted views of the military spurred my curiosity about its role in American life. 

President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned about the grave implications of the growing power of the military and the military industrial complex in his 1961 farewell address. Eisenhower's speech provides the framework for this project. Was his concern justified? My work explores the signs and clues that reveal the influence of the military on American culture and also the attitudes of Americans toward the military. 

In many American places, especially areas surrounding military bases, military culture is an inseparable part of the landscape. One can see many signals of how the military is intertwined in the established American patriotic, national and Christian identity. Support for the military and veterans is simplified through iconography and combined with complex and polarizing issues such as religion, race, class, patriotism, and gun culture. I find the saturation of these oversimplified messages disconcerting; however, I am also fascinated by what they reveal. These messages, in both public and private spaces, are meant to have clear meanings, but these places and artifacts suggest other, more problematic truths about American life and our relationship to our military.


Jasmine Clark lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.
To view more of Jasmine's work, please visit her website.

Airstream of Chicago

Airstream of Chicago

 
Bugle Call

Bugle Call

 
I Lift My Lamp

I Lift My Lamp

 
To God be the glory

To God be the glory

 
Punching Bag

Punching Bag

 
Dumpster

Dumpster

 
Carolina Blue

Carolina Blue

 
What Sam Wants

What Sam Wants

 
Japanese Massage

Japanese Massage

 
Palms Baptist Church

Palms Baptist Church

 
LRS-B

LRS-B

 
Home

Home

 
Chain of Command

Chain of Command

 
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman

 
Pyrite

Pyrite

 
South Second and Floyd Alley

South Second and Floyd Alley

 
Cando Country Market

Cando Country Market

 
The only thing we have

The only thing we have

 
Empty Phrase

Empty Phrase

 
A.A. Bunker Storage

A.A. Bunker Storage