Gear Up for the High Line’s Pre-Election Performances

You can join in.

Zoe Leonard, I want a president (1992). Photo Timothy Schenck, courtesy of Friends of the High Line.

If you’re looking for something to treat your pre-election nerves, we may have just the thing: an array of performers will take to the High Line two days before the US presidential election for an afternoon of readings and performance.

The festivities begin Sunday, November 6, at 1:00 p.m., and on the roster are: Morgan Bassichis, Justin Vivian Bond, Mel Elberg, Malik Gaines and Alexandro Segade, Sharon Hayes, Layli Long Soldier, Fred Moten, Eileen Myles, Pamela Sneed, and Wu Tsang. It’s free and open to the public if you RSVP here.

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The program coincides with the display of Zoe Leonard’s banner I want a president (1992), which is hanging on one of the pillars below the Standard Hotel through November 17.

Zoe Leonard, <i>I want a president</i> (1992). Courtesy of Zoe Leonard.

Zoe Leonard, I want a president (1992). Courtesy of Zoe Leonard.

“I want a dyke for president,” reads the banner, going on to wish for a person with AIDS for president, and one who had an abortion at 16, and one who’s been “sexually harassed and gaybashed and deported” and many other varieties of president who don’t fit the usual profile.

“I am interested in the space this text opens up for us to imagine and voice what we want in our leaders, and even beyond that, what we can envision for the future of our society,” said Leonard in a statement. “I still think that speaking up is itself a vital and powerful political act.”

Leonard wrote the text in 1992, when Myles ran for president as an independent against Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Ross Perot.

The text has proven to be an enduring favorite, with artist, photographer, and activist Mykki Blanco reciting it in a recent video.

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