Fridericianum to Be Illuminated With Video About USA Elections
By Stephanie Siu
The oldest public museum in Germany, the Fridericianum, will reflect the dark mood of chaos in the year leading up to the United States' presidential election. On November 3 in Kassel, Trisha Baga’s commissioned eight-minute film, Hope (2020), will be projected onto the front facade of the Fridericianum, coinciding with the US vote, which the work highlights in addition to other global affairs.
The large-scale illumination of the German art museum acts as a call for action and unity amid a strenuous year plagued by a global pandemic and widespread political tensions, which Baga highlights in the video. The title embodies positive aspirations but at the same time also refers to US President Donald Trump’s political advisor Hope Hicks, who tested positive for Covid-19 one day prior to the announcement of Trump’s own positive test on October 2.
In the film, the artist is seen creating a White House model in clay that is then demolished. Various other imageries are then projected onto the fragmented ruins of the model, such as snapshots of Trump’s Twitter account, alluding to his controversial frequent usage of the social-media platform during his presidency to comment on current affairs, as well as depictions of other major events such as news stories about Covid-19 and scenes of forest fires. These visuals are accompanied by digital sounds from an unspecified data collection device, evoking the problems around unauthorized digital surveillance in the US. The juxtaposed elements serve as a reminder of the increasing polarity found not only in global politics but also among the wider society, and at the same time, suggest a new form of unity.
Born in Venice, Florida, New York-based Baga is a multimedia artist known for her performance and video installations, which explore themes of contemporary issues, popular culture, and collective identities.
The much-anticipated election season is set to officially conclude when the last polling stations close at 1 am Eastern Time on November 4. With many pressing issues at stake, including the continuing rampage of Covid-19 in the US, the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, healthcare policies, as well as international matters relating to the country’s foreign relations, the contest between Trump and the Republicans and Democratic challengers Joe Biden and Kamala Harris has become increasingly polarizing. With numerous legal challenges likely, the results of the elections might not be known for days or even weeks.
Stephanie Siu is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.
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