Screen prints on fifty-six corrugated plastic sheets, dimensions variable, Commissioned by the Scottsdale Museum of Art, Scottsdale, AZ, 2009
Monument to the Unelected was commissioned by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art for their 10th anniversary exhibition entitled Seriously Funny.
On my site visit to Scottsdale/Phoenix, which occurred a few weeks before the 2008 presidential election, I became fixated on the election signs that sprouted on front lawns, in vacant lots, or at busy intersections. These markers tend to crop up only during a limited time window before an election. Once the elections are over, some of those names fade into obscurity whereas others become inscribed in history.
Working from this observation, I made a series of 56 signs advertising the presidential campaigns of every person who ever ran for president, and lost. Each sign was made in a design vernacular that could have come from any time in the past few decades, even if it advertised a candidate from a previous century. At a time when the country was preoccupied with the "fork in the road" moment of a major national election, the piece presented a view of the country's collective political road not taken.
The piece was located on three different sites where signs like this are typically found: a front lawn in a residential part of Scottsdale, a vacant lot in downtown Phoenix, and a corner bordering a commuter parking lot just off a freeway off ramp in Phoenix.
Special thanks to Cassandra Coblenz, curator, and Evan Gaffney, graphic designer, for their help with this project.
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