Artist Adds Hillary Clinton Sign to Tribute to Failed Presidential Campaigns

Nina Katchadourian designed the signs herself.

Nina Katchadourian, Monument to the Unelected (2016). Courtesy of Nina Katchadourian.

Around noon on November 9, artist Nina Katchadourian planted an “I’m with Hillary 2016” sign in the ground in Brooklyn, completing her Monument to the Election, a graveyard where the headstones are the campaign ephemera from failed presidential bids.

The corrugated plastic signs memorialize the likes of Mitt Romney and John McCain, all the way back to Aaron Burr, who was defeated in the contentious election of 1800. With the unexpected results of November 8, which saw Donald Trump claim victory despite losing the popular vote, Hillary Clinton joined their ranks.

An important vehicle for expressing one’s support for a candidate, lawn signs for Trump may have been overlooked by pollsters looking to predict the election outcome, but for Katchadourian, they are a medium. “These are not historical signs; I’ve designed them all from scratch,” she told local Bronx television station News 12. “What I want is that it looks like anyone of these historical candidates could be running for office now.”

Nina Katchadourian with her piece<em>Monument to the Unelected</em> (2016). Courtesy of Nina Katchadourian.

Nina Katchadourian with her pieceMonument to the Unelected (2016). Courtesy of Nina Katchadourian.

She wants to remind viewers of the many other paths our country could have taken during its history. “Of course, it’s a project about politics and history, but it doesn’t take a position on who should win any given election,” said Katchadourian to the New Yorker.

Katchadourian first staged the piece in 2008 in Scottsdale, Arizona (it was a commission from the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art), and revisited it at indoor locations in Connecticut and Brooklyn in 2012. The current display, at Lefferts Historic House in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, is its first public appearance in New York.

Nina Katchadourian adds a Hillary Clinton sign to her piece <em>Monument to the Unelected</em> following Donald Trump's unexpected win. Screenshot from News 12, via YouTube.

Nina Katchadourian adds a Hillary Clinton sign to her piece Monument to the Unelected following Donald Trump’s unexpected win. Screenshot from News 12, via YouTube.

Although Clinton’s loss is a major disappointment to many in New York, Katchadourian  is already looking ahead to the future, telling Hyperallergic that “I’m really committed to showing this four years from now, no matter what.”

Nina Katchadourian’s Monument to the Election is on view at Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park, 452 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, November 4–13, 2016. 

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