Democracy: “I’m mellllting!”


by Paul Schmelzer, 5/25/08 • Over at Minnesota Monitor, we just launched RNC DIY!, an ongoing series looking at creative responses to the Republican National Convention (if you’ve got a suggestion, let me know). Here’s our first installment:

Even John McCain has acknowledged things are worse in America today than they were eight years ago, and according to artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, democracy agrees. The duo who brought us “Contract with America” underpants (signed by Newt Gingrich!) will present their work “The State of Things” in the Twin Cities during the Republican National Convention. A 900-pound, 15-foot ice sculpture of the word “democracy,” the work will melt away over the course of a day. As it does, Ligorano/Reese will stream video, audio and photography related to current sociopolitical realities.

According to The UnConvention, a collaborative project by arts groups like Intermedia and the Walker Art Center, the piece is “a testimonial to the impact eight years of extreme judicial, legislative, and executive actions have had on American democratic institutions — from the landmark Supreme Court decision ‘Bush v. Gore’ in 2000 to presidential signing statements to illegal FISA surveillance.” The work will also be “performed” at the DNC in Denver.