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February 8, 2012 Formal Analysis: May 1, 2011

The work of art, May 1, 2011, creates many questions when first observed and the artist himself can give the answers, but everyone will understand it in their own way. May 1, 2011 is a mixed media installation created by Alfredo Jaar, which is currently located at the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art. This installation includes two television screens that are placed in between two smaller, white picture frames mounted on the wall. Beginning from left to right, the first photo frame is completely empty, the first television screen is white as well, the second screen shows the image of President Obama and his national security staff after the killing of Osama bin Laden, and the final picture frame is a diagram that is labeling Obama and all other figures in the photo. This incredible piece of art is aimed to symbolize how censored, we as a country, are from government issues. In the photo of Obama and his national security staff, everyone is leaning forward with intensity. In the photo, blurred, printed images are scattered across the table and there were also no images released with proof of the killing. All of these clues make the viewer question and wonder if there is something being hidden. The televisions are strategically placed on the wall beside each other, but both are slightly angled inwards towards one another. This is meant to symbolize the killing footage and other images the government sees that the public is not able to see. The empty picture frame to the left of the empty screen reiterates that there is nothing there and that the public is being left out.