Attempted murder (1968)   Leave a comment

On June 3, 1968, Valerie Solanas shot Warhol as well as art critic and curator Mario Amaya at Warhol’s studio.[26] Before the shooting, Solanas had been a marginal figure in the Factory scene. She authored the S.C.U.M. Manifesto,[27] a separatist feminist attack on males. Solanas appears in the 1968 Warhol film I, a Man. Earlier on the day of the attack, Solanas had been turned away from the Factory after asking for the return of a script she had given to Warhol. The script, apparently, had been misplaced.[28]

Amaya received only minor injuries and was released from the hospital later the same day. Warhol however, was seriously wounded by the attack and barely survived (surgeons opened his chest and massaged his heart to help stimulate its movement again). He suffered physical effects for the rest of his life. The shooting had a profound effect on Warhol’s life and art.[29][30]

Solanas was arrested the day after the assault. By way of explanation, she said that Warhol “had too much control over my life.” She was eventually sentenced to three years under the control of the Department of Corrections. After the shooting, the Factory scene became much more tightly controlled, and for many the “Factory 60s” ended.[30] The shooting was mostly overshadowed in the media due to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy two days later.

Warhol had this to say about the attack: “Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there – I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television – you don’t feel anything. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it’s all television.”[31]

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Posted November 14, 2011 by christianaprisilfa

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