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Art as Expression and Meaning

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 6, 2000; August 25, 2002; April 19, 2004
Latest Update: October 18, 2005

E-Mail Icon jeannecurran@habermas.org
takata@uwp.edu

New Skin, or Why Rehabilitation Doesn't Work
by Michael Witkofski, UWP


Michael' Witkofski's is an imaginative idea that captures the enormity of what rehabilitation means, without going into the explicit details over which we wrangle. He conveys the pain and effort required to change that which is not acceptable to the normative expectations of society, and the pain of society's failure to acknowledge that change once it is effected. Maria Pia Lara would call this a cry for recognition, recognition of those who have been excluded by reason or by difference. And my interpretation of Pia Lara is that she would say that through his narrative cry. Michael has transformed, at least incrementally, our social awareness of the complexity and injustice of denying rehabilitation.

And please note that Michael accomplished that with a pencil drawing and handwriting on a scrap of school paper. Art is not only the province of museums. Sometimes the protest we feel within can be expressed powerfully and make others aware without needing Picasso and institutional culture. That is a powerful skill we all have available to make our voices heard.

Removing the Top Layer

Poem by Saundra Davis, CSUDH.
Inspired by
New Skin

I'd rather the top layer be removed
To reveal the inner me

I'd rather the top layer be removed
For each and everyone to see

I'd rather the top layer be removed
From the system's phony face

I'd rather the top layer be removed
To dispel myths about stereotypes and race

I'd rather the top layer be removed
To soothe the mind and soul

I'd rather the top layer be removed
Then the psyche can sprout and grow



Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata, August 2002. "Fair use" encouraged.
Copyright for paintings and poetry resides with individual artists. Paintings appear on Dear Habermas by permission.

Drawing by Michael Witkofski, UWP, New Skin, Spring 2000
Copyright: Michael Witkofski, March 2000

Poem by Saundra Davis, CSUDH.
Inspired by New Skin Copyright, Saundra Davis: March 2000