Martin Firrell
War Is Failure
2020
In October 1967,
The Mobe
(National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam) organised an anti-war march to include the exorcism and levitation of the Pentagon.

It was claimed that rituals and mantras would make the Pentagon rise 100 feet into the air, turn orange and vibrate.

The levitation was intended to undermine, psychologically, the Pentagon's authority.

The 'War Is Failure' artwork quotes visually from a button badge created at the time to publicise the planned levitation.
'War Is Failure' re-expresses the anti-militarist position that war is both immoral and ineffective. (Historically war has proven a poor producer of lasting regime change). War is always a failure and therefore has no authority.

In answer to a question from the artist about the levitation, the Canadian-American activist
Judy Gumbo
wrote, '
Abbie
(Hoffman) and
Stew
(Albert) said we raised the Pentagon 6 or 3 or whatever feet off the ground. I believed them. Why not?'

'War Is Failure' is part of socialart.work, a mass public art project by public artist
Martin Firrell
calling for greater social justice.

The project aims to create debate about power and gender, women's equality and masculinity, alternative forms of economic and social organisation, black power, and solidarity between people from different backgrounds and ethnicities.

It includes posters, publications and events supported in 2018-19 by the artist's residency with leading Out of Home media company
Clear Channel UK.
Part Of
Counter Culture Rising
Medium
Digital billboard
Displayed
UK, January 2020
Download
Hi-res image
Acknowledgement
'The Pentagon Is Rising' from the
Labadie Collection, University of Michegan

Residency
Artist in Residence, Clear Channel UK
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