All Categories - George W Bush Monument

George W Bush Monument

 
 
 
Check out the great documentation of the show, thanks again VVORK!

(all content below belongs to VVORK)
 
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Yea, you read correctly - 'Fotofestival' not 'Photofestival'
 
A photograph of The George W. Bush Monument has been included in a public exhibition curated by VVORK.com as part of the 3rd Fotofestival in Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg.  The exhibition will be available from September 5-October 25 2009 in Mannheim, Germany. 
I'm also super excited because a couple of my favorite artists are also included in the show - The Bruce High Quality Foundation and Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, definitely check out their work! 

It's a huge honor to be included in such a prestigious exhibition, and I owe many thanks to the curators at VVORK (Aleksandra Domanović, Oliver Laric, Christoph Priglinger, Georg Schnitzer) and everyone who organized the exhibition.

Thank you,

Broc

Text from the Fotofestival website:

"Totale Erinnerung - Blog 3D, 2009

The labyrinth functions as an analogy to the world of images in the age of Flickr, YouTube, and cell-phone cameras, where there exist endless variations of an image one beside the other. The frequency of duplicates, copies, conversions, and reinterpretations demands a new way of dealing with the notion that we can orient ourselves toward images.

The labyrinth is a site of confusion and at the same time memory. Similar repetitive impressions lead to a loss of orientation.

The installation Totale Erinnerung (Total Recall) makes reference to the environment of the labyrinth. The Alte Meßplatz in Mannheim is characterized by a wide variety of architectural styles from the last two centuries, yet is does without any kind of memorials or monuments. Our selection of works that examine monumentality uses this site of emptiness. The comparison of similar monuments allows the viewer to recognize heterogeneity in an ostensibly homogenous series.

Alongside works by contemporary artists, indiscriminate stock photography, vacation pictures from Flickr, photos from auction houses, as well as works by photographers for the photo agencies Reuters and the Associated Press will be shown.

There is no clear path through the labyrinth. The visitor defines his or her own path and thus constructs a dramaturgy of the images."

(Below is the image that was included in the exhibition)
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Hey everyone,

The George W Bush Monument was recently published in the Public Art Review, 'the world's leading journal devoted exclusively to the field of contemporary public art.'  It was included in the 'U.S. Recent Projects' section of the special 20th Anniversary Issue (issue 40, spring/summer 2009) titled "Here to Stay: Public Art and Sustainability."  (You can purchase an issue here)

Thank you to Jack Becker and everyone at Public Art Review for including this project in their prestigous journal!

The text of article reads:

"While Barack Obama was getting sworn into office in January, one artist sought to instantly memorialize his predecessor. Broc Blegen, a student at the University of Minnesota, showed up at the inauguration with his "alternative to the traditional model of figurative presidential monuments": a portable, inflatable 20-foot George W. Bush Monument.  Referring to the materials, Blegen said that "airbrushed vinyl and air convey a less durable political legacy" than that of presidents who get memorialized in stone.  The material choice also reflects the "comedic and informal nature of President Bush, which may be one of his enduring qualities."  The artist inflated the statue behind the Lincoln Memorial in the moments that the 43rd president was becoming history, so as to immediately confront people leaving the historic inauguration ceremony.  Blegen was not taken aback when some "felt the need to act violently" toward his "instant monument," throwing shoes at it and even toppling it in imitation of the famous fall of the Saddam statue in Baghdad.  What did surprise him was his piece remaining on view for over an hour and a half before officials ordered it taken down.  Blegen says it was stranger still that, despite stringent security restrictions, he and his cohorts got to the Loncoln Memorial carrying "a small generator and two large boxes," without ever being stopped or questioned.  Blegen wants to inflate the monument at several locations across the country and abroad - sites that were important parts of Bush's life and presidency.  In doing so, he says, it will provide a physical context to discuss George W. Bush and his term in office.  See more at www.georgebushmonument.com."
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In a personal tribute for former President Bush, I presented the Monument all day in the front yard of my house in Minneapolis. 

The monument could be seen from a busy street; many cars, trucks, and city buses slowed down to get a good look at the Monument.  Some even pulled over and walked up to get a closer look!

The response was pretty interesting, very different than the response I got in DC.   Almost nobody threw their shoes, nobody tried to take it down.  Since it was a much more private location, most people saw the monument alone or with a couple others, so there was no mob mentality...and no audience for people who wanted to be stir things up a bit.  (Maybe the Minnesota nice mentality helped a bit too).  But viewing the Monument privately definitely altered the experience, and people could have a more pure reaction.      

A lot of people laughed, some people shook there heads, some looked a bit confused, it was pretty good people watching.

The best moment of the day though was a reaction from a girl who was walking home from class at the U of M.  She stopped on the sidewalk, and asked me, "Do you know what this is?"  I was thinking, well, go check it out, you have eyes right?
But I answered, "It's a President's Day tribute for President Bush."
She gasped and gave me the most disgusted look, turned and walked away. She could not imagine why someone would want to commemorate President Bush. The way she carried herself was just so funny...she was so disgusted, ha.

But thanks to everyone who stopped by to see the Monument on President's Day, thanks to my friends who stopped by too, it was a fun day!

 

"President Bush monument erected in Dinkytown front yard"
by Emily Kaiser

Check it out!

 

Stay updated on the latest Monument sightings and get tips on where the next inflations will occur!

 

The Monument made a big splash on Inauguration day!  

Both republicans and democrats seemed to appreciate the Monument (although the democrats seemed to have much more fun with it!).

In the next days I'll be scrounging youtube, flickr, and other places for reactions to the Monument.  I will post stuff to the website asap, I am also working on my own video of the event, I will have it up as soon as possible.  If you have video or pics, please contact me so I can organize all he media in one place.  Also, I would appreciate any feedback from the event, so write me a response and maybe it will make it onto the site (with permission of course)

But I'll write a little recap of the day (for me), for those who weren't there, or weren't able to stay the whole time...check back in a bit

Thank you to everyone who contributed to make this all happen.  Special thank you for my dad, Bill Blegen.  Without him this project would not have been inflated in DC.  And again, thank you to Landmark Creations for helping me create this beautiful Monument.

 

Dear President George W. Bush,

Thank you

Love,
Broc