The Front Room Gallery is proud to present the third quadrennial “Ballot Show”, which focuses on the American electoral system, and the overall notion of voting with a ballot. “The Ballot Show,” held every 4 years since 2004, is inspired by the American election, and contemplates our antiquated electoral-college voting process.
Historically political art has often been associated with repression. This exhibition, however, is motivated by the idea of making a choice, and what it that choice represents. Steven Gagnon’s diptych, “Hope” and “Progress”, parody the famous Shephard Fairey portrait of President Obama, and feature an unopened six-pack of the hipster beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon, as one component and the following serigraph image of the cans empty and smashed. Jason Clay Lewis’s neon sign “Inner Peace $100, Blow Jobs $20” is about a more basic choice.
Many of the artists in this show have gone outside of their wheelhouse to create works specifically for this show. Ethan Crenson will be doing a performance at the opening in which he will tattoo people with their party affiliation on their hands knuckles a la “Knight of the Hunter”.
Veteran political artists Marshall Reese and Nora Ligorano’s video of a cast ice “Melting Middle Class” might be chilling, and it might be true. Lori Korchek and Mike Bade have been traveling across the country with a replica of the Oval Office desk, asking Americans to take a seat as Commander in Chief and tell them “what good they would do for America.;” The will have the actual desk as part of performance/installation with the video in the gallery. Emily Roz’s polaroid grids of actors portraying The President in Hollywood movies leave us with the impression that “Presidential” might just be a look.
During this time of overt partisanship “The Ballot Show” is not about looking at the candidates, it is about looking at the system that created them, and us.