Other rock stars may be eager to align themselves with President Obama, but former Pink Floyd mastermind Roger Waters is a little more old-school than that. He's teaming up with… Dwight D. Eisenhower! And he's taking their joint peace mission to the streets. And/or walls, as is his wont.
This weekend, Waters is behind a series of guerrilla art installations at busy intersections in New York City and Los Angeles, where a quote of Eisenhower's that the rocker is particularly fond of will be both projected and pasted onto the nearby pavement. The saying of Ike's that Waters likes goes like this: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
The handwriting in which Eisenhower's quote has been rendered is unmistakably the work of longtime Waters collaborator Gerald Scarfe. It's being represented in both projection and chalk drawing form, and also being rendered in the medium of "wheat pastings," which we believe to mean giant biodegradable posters.
Soon enough, the proper authorities will surely be demanding: "Tear down this scrawl!" Or maybe the birds will just eat the posters and the rain will take care of the chalk. In any case, you'll have a limited time to enjoy the Waters/Scarfe/Eisenhower handiwork.
The projections were first seen in the street last night in Manhattan's Union Square, and New Yorkers can find ponder Ike's words again tonight from 9 to 2 at the corner of Broadway & Houston, or tomorrow evening during the same time frame at Stuyvesant & 3rd Ave.
In L.A., of course, "foot traffic" is a thing of legend and myth, so the projections may be aimed a little more at drivers than pedestrians. Tonight, they'll be seen at 9957 S. La Cienega Blvd., where the words of peace and concern will presumably be seen by thousands of weary air travelers exiting LAX via busy Century Blvd.. Tomorrow night, the writings will be more centrally located in downtown L.A. at 912 S. Broadway, a block away from the Orpheum Theatre.
It's unlikely you'll find Rog showing up at any of these installations, though we do half-hope to catch sight of once-and-future foil David Gilmour running around with a chalkboard eraser, a can of plaster, and a stack of JFK handbills.
Why Dwight? Waters was quoted in a recent interview with David Frost as saying: "I was reading an op-ed piece in the New York Times by Bob Herbert and came across this quote. It made me think, we need we hang onto words of these wise people from our past…"
Speaking of the words of wise people from our past—by which, of course, we mean classic-rock lyrics—Walls be appearing "In the Flesh" soon enough. Not wanting to make it seem too much like a promotional stunt, Waters' publicist are tastefully refraining from mentioning in conjunction with this art project that the star is taking a complete run-through of 1979's The Wall out on tour this summer. We, of course, are under no such constraints, and can point out that the 30th anniversary tour will have the first of its 36 North American dates Sept. 15 in Toronto before wrapping up Dec. 13 in Anaheim.
- Roger Waters
- Dwight D. Eisenhower