The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art presents Almost Presidential, an exhibition of new work by five artists who examine the American political landscape from an unfamiliar angle. Featuring sculpture, drawing, photography, and video by Pio Abad, Deborah Aschheim, Cintia Segovia, and exhibition curators Marisa J. Futernick and Rebecca Sittler, Almost Presidential highlights artists whose previous bodies of work have challenged the visual and rhetorical representations of former presidents and their legacies. In the run-up to the 2020 U.S. Federal election, the exhibition looks at vice presidents and failed presidential candidates, investigating names forgotten to history, or reduced to one-liners or supporting roles outside the spotlight.
What happens when these physical embodiments of collective political hopes and dreams return to daily life and become civilians again? What traces do they leave in our political imaginations? How do they inform assumptions about future candidates or impact how we see ourselves and each other through a political lens? Though our national histories are often written with the victors in mind, failed candidates can also have a substantial impact on intangible ideas surrounding “electability” and how we visualize presidential power in the United States.
Presenting a timely exploration of political rhetoric, failure, and gendered dynamics within the U.S.political system, these five artists combine fiction and historical fact into an active survey of material, text, and image.