Two Statuary Studies
Two Statuary Studies HD Videos, 4:31 and 5:20 TRT, 2008
In 2008 Chris Kubick and I were commissioned by the Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum and Library to create a piece for their online exhibition celebrating the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Our prior work producing speculative audio portraits of artists, Art After Death, had led the Rosenbach to us, and they hoped we would produce a similar narration of Lincoln through spirit mediums. Our choice instead was to study the odd history of statue-trading between the US and Mexico: in the 20th c. three bronze statues of Abraham Lincoln were given by the U.S. to Mexico (still in situ in the cities of Tijuana, Juarez, and Mexico City) and three bronze statues of Benito Juarez were given by Mexico to the U.S. (located in San Diego, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.) With limited travel time and production resources, our project focused at the San Diego/Tijuana border, where we hired two performers, a professional Lincoln presenter and a professional mnemonist, to speak to, and at these sculptures.
The videos document commissioned performances at the site of the monuments, offering improvised perspectives on the real and imagined relationship between Juarez and Lincoln.