Alfredo Ghierra: At Last a Candidate to Beat Trump?

THE DAILY PIC: The Uruguayan artist is a master of electioneering.


THE DAILY PIC (#1564): Could there be a more obvious understatement than to say that our political system, like many democracies these days, is not doing a great job digging up qualified, attractive candidates for leadership?

So how’s this for an idea: If we curate coffee and handbags and cocktails, why not get “curators” to help us choose our politicians – but from our pool of most talented artists, not politicos. After all, aren’t artists supposed to be the ones good at imagining alternative visions of the world? That certainly seems to be what’s in short supply right now.

In 2015, Alfredo Ghierra, at the head of a group of collaborators based in Montevideo, Uruguay, chose to curate  himself into the job of mayor of their city. “Ghierra for Mayor” was the result: A campaign to have the Montevidean artist elected to his city’s top office – or at least a beautifully simulated campaign with that goal, that also (or maybe mostly) counts as a notable artwork, like a kind of political trompe-l’oeil. After looking through Ghierra’s campaign magazine and watching his election video, both convincing simulations of real political publicity, I certainly wanted to vote for him.

So, it seems, have the curators at the Cervantes Institute, in Berlin, Montevideo’s sister city. Starting tomorrow, Ghierra’s fictive electioneering relaunches once again in the German capital.

Could it be that we’ve at  last found a true rival for Trump? After all, his many fictions are far less convincing than Ghierra’s.
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