Hindsight is Always 20/20 R. Luke DuBois Gallery Visit
Hindsight is Always 20/20
Rowan Wed Arts1001
The exhibition Hindsight is Always 20/20 was a series of 41 prints by R. Luke DuBois. There is one print for each of our 41 presidents, and each of the prints are based on the State of the Union address from each president. Each print is in the form of a eye chart (one that you would go to the doctor and read). But the words used in the eye chart were the most frequent 66 words if you took out extremely common words such as; his, hers, I, am, the. The beginning of the exhibition started with our first president, George Washington then the grey arrows would show you the 41 prints in chronological order around corners, rooms, walls and ended with George W. Bush right next to Washington.
Hindsight is Always 20/20 was started by DuBois after visiting the University of California Santa Barbra. There he saw a database that held all presidential documents including these speeches. This exhibition’s idea was to question list that we are given. This came from the way the world thinks of lists and puts so much trust in a list. It also gives us another way of looking at the speeches that every president has delivered. While walking through you can get the main points and problems of the United States during those years of the president through the first word on the eye charts.
In almost every chart there was at least one word related to war words such as; war, terror, guns, bombs. This artist I feel can relate most to our text in place projects because he reordered and placed the text to see how people would react to that type of list. He took some common words that were most like hear not only frequently during the president’s State of the Union but in the rest of the speeches that they made. He placed them in a way that really would not be thought of, something every person can relate to. The way set up kind of gives you an uneasiness just like when you go and take you eye test. When you first walk in you really don’t know what to think.
The piece of work I decided to look as was George W. Bush 2001-2009. I chose this one because it is a president that I know and I know the event that went on during his presidency. This was a print just like the other 40 prints, in a form of an eye chart. A white background with tying on tope with the top word being the largest and boldest on the print. Bush’s eye chart contained;
TERRORIST AL QAIDA
REGIME HUSSEIN MASS HOMELAND
MARRIAGE COALISTION ACCOUNTS 11TH MEDICINE
PRESCRIPTION REGIMES IRAQIS MATH INSPECTORS MURDER
HOPEFUL LEADING PAYS TECHNOLOGIES YOUNGER CAMPS TERRORISM
CULTURE ATTACKS GRATEFUL EXTREMISTS DOCTORS PRISON PROTECTING IRAQS
EMPOWER READING PATIENTS FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS CONFRONTING CHENEY ALTERNATIVE DESTROYED
BIOLOGICAL DELIVER DISEASES BORDERS DEPENDENT KILL KILLED TRAIN SENIOR ADDICTION
BRINGS KILLERS DENY DEFEAT TYRANNY COMMANDERS DISARM RETREAT CHANGING SAYS UNPRECEDENTED
Of course Bush’s years largest word was terror since that is all we faced or fought during his presidency. This artist made the print for the same reason as the rest. To really question the list form and the significance we put in lists. It really makes you think, does the speech still have somewhat of the same meaning as it had when it was put together with no words missing and when it was not in a list?
They also had a computer system going that created an eye chart for Obama. When I visited it was only a few days after he was president elect but his chart consisted of;
TAXES ENERGY OIL
HOPE JOBS WAR HEALTHCARE
GREEN GUMMIBEARS DANANDLISA BYEBYEBUSH AMERICA
IRAQ FREEDOM ALTERNATIVE LIBERTY UNEMPLOYMENT FUTURE
GLOBAL GAS DECMOCRACY REBUILD HOUSE SCHOOLS PEOPLE
BUILD MISTAKES WORK CONGRESS DIRECTION MIKANDMELANIE LOVE GEORGIA
WILL AFGANISTAN IMMIGRATION RUSSIA SOCIAL COMMUNITY OVERCOME HEALTH JODY
RON_PAUL MIKEISALOSER TOGETHER SECURE SAM ASSASINATION WRONG OBAMA TODAY MIDDLECLASS
UNITY CLASS NEW NATION MAVORICK CRISIS JOETHEPLUMMER ROW EXPIERENCE PLANS
Although some of these were not serious responses you can see how much hope there is for our president as of right now. From this project of DuBois we will be able to see how similar our new president’s State of the Union is from what some of the public feel it should be.
I would tell a friend about this exhibition only if they were more into politics because I feel it is very political. Although all he did was take the exact words from the State of the Union address. I would like to know how they felt about the exhibition so I would recommend it so I could have someone else who interpreted. It would be interesting to see how other people look at the eye charts and how different the way they interpret them is from me.