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The FBI Files

The FBI Files T T he FBI started shadowing me on 5 October 1945. They stopped, according to the abridged files I received through the Freedom of Information Act, somewhere in the early part of 1972. The special agents (SAs) wore the usual variety of cropped hair and suit and tie like the shadowers seen on TV. They’d phone on the pretext of selling car insurance, or they might inquire about enrolling in a drawing class (“Do you use nude models?”). They tapped phones. They snapped your picture at protest marches, at demonstrations for peace, at art openings or just as you were coming in and out of your studio. But, more often, they received their reports from paid special informants (SIs) or special employees (SEs): a model or two who posed for you and your class, a student who joined you for beer and pizza after class, a close neighbor whose children played with yours, a fledgling artist whom you helped get into an exhibition, a comrade in a meeting, an asshole buddy you trusted with your heart and being, a confidant whose life’s torments were deeply intertwined with your own, or a trusted friend who had sat next to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Public Culture Duke University Press

The FBI Files

Public Culture , Volume 15 (2) – Apr 1, 2003

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2003 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0899-2363
eISSN
1527-8018
DOI
10.1215/08992363-15-2-287
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

T T he FBI started shadowing me on 5 October 1945. They stopped, according to the abridged files I received through the Freedom of Information Act, somewhere in the early part of 1972. The special agents (SAs) wore the usual variety of cropped hair and suit and tie like the shadowers seen on TV. They’d phone on the pretext of selling car insurance, or they might inquire about enrolling in a drawing class (“Do you use nude models?”). They tapped phones. They snapped your picture at protest marches, at demonstrations for peace, at art openings or just as you were coming in and out of your studio. But, more often, they received their reports from paid special informants (SIs) or special employees (SEs): a model or two who posed for you and your class, a student who joined you for beer and pizza after class, a close neighbor whose children played with yours, a fledgling artist whom you helped get into an exhibition, a comrade in a meeting, an asshole buddy you trusted with your heart and being, a confidant whose life’s torments were deeply intertwined with your own, or a trusted friend who had sat next to

Journal

Public CultureDuke University Press

Published: Apr 1, 2003

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