Brooks Turner

A Convergence
78" x 102"

From a collage of digital images, both found and painted, the references present in this tapestry together build an open-ended and non-linear narrative of anti-fascist resistance inspired by an event in 1938 that Farrell Dobbs recounted in his book Teamster Politics. William Dudley Pelley, leader of the fascist Silver Legion of America, had just arrived by train in Minneapolis to address a congregation of his supporters. With swiftly gathered intelligence, the Union Defense Guard mobilized 300 workers in under an hour, confronting the Silvershirts in an intimidatory show of force. Pelley returned to the train station without exiting his taxi, and the Silvershirts never again met openly in Minneapolis. The particulars of this Union Defense Guard and its militant anti-fascist tactics trace to a few months earlier when Minnesota union organizers traveled to Mexico to study with Leon Trotsky, then living with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Trotsky advised that the organizers create a worker's militia to combat the Silvershirts and deter other fascists groups from organizing. The convergence of Minnesota laborites, Leon Trotsky, Diego Rivera, and Frida Kahlo represents the entanglement of aesthetics and politics. One document that informed this collage is a transcript of several conversations that took place in Mexico with most of these participants and concerned the slogan for a worker's militia.