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Hindsight is Always 20/20 and What do YOU say, AMERICA?

Maggie Mountain
ARTS 1001
12/3/08
Gallery Visit
I visited the Weisman Art Museum and saw the Hindsight is Always 20/20 and What do YOU say, AMERICA? exhibitions. They were both excellent exhibitions and deal with politics. Hindsight is Always 20/20 is the main show going on now and they both end in January.
Hindsight is Always 20/20 is a single man show and the artist is Luke DuBois. He had about 41 pieces of artwork exhibited because only 41 presidents gave State of the Union Addresses. His pieces of work were all identical except for the words on them. He used box prints, a letterpress, ink and archival paper to make every piece of work he has displayed at the WAM Gallery. There were also computers placed in the gallery to imitate how his exhibition works.
DuBois made a computer program that you can put each of the State of the Union Addresses into and it will tell you the word frequency. He got rid of words such as the, I , and the U.S because each president used them a lot. He made a Snellen chart of the words used the most by each president and made them into huge signs for this exhibition. Most showed the most common topic during that time (ex. Terror was the word used most by George W. Bush) and others were just flukes (ex. Truly was the most common word used by Richard Nixon, but it was just the way he talked). The theme is what was important in the country at the time. For the George W. Bush era is was terror and terrorists. For the Bill Clinton era it was the 21st century so his word at the top of the Snellen chart was 21st.
My favorite piece of work was called “George Walker Bush / 2000-2008.� The word at the top of the Snellen chart was Terror. This was a very important aspect of his term in the White House. I love this piece because I think it is the most relatable to me. He was the first president that I followed his politics and made me understand more about politics and how they work.
Yes, I would definitely recommend this exhibition to family and friends. I think it came here at the perfect time because it opened around the time the Republican National Convention was here. Most of my friends and family are interested in politics. They come from both sides of the political spectrum and this exhibition would be perfect because it is politically neutral.
What do YOU say, AMERICA? was also a political exhibition, but it contained government-issued posters from World War I and World War II. The 31 posters were from various artists and many were either lithograph on paper or screen print on paper. There was no particular order for this exhibit. Some of the posters that had similar themes or had the same artist were featured next to each other.
The theme of this exhibition was to exhibit the posters the government put up during both World Wars to try and get a point across to the people. There were some posters that warned you not to waste food because it was a military weapon. A couple of the posters wanted you to buy war bonds or not talk about troop movement. Basically they wanted you to help out with the war the best you could back in the U.S. This exhibition was not set up to showcase individual artist’s work, but to show how the government tried to make sure nothing went wrong back in the U.S. the best they could.
My favorite piece was called “ENEMY EARS are Listening� by Ralph Iligan. This poster was made out of a lithograph on paper. It was a picture of Benito Mussolini, Hideki Tojo, and Adolf Hitler cupping their ears as though they are listening to what you are saying. I thought it was a interesting poster that the government used to scare people from talking about the war and specifically the troops.
I loved this exhibition as well! I would definitely recommend this to my friends and family because some of the posters were so interesting. Some of my relatives probably remember some of these posters and it would be very interesting to them.

Bibliography
Moss, Yamamoto. "Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum." University of Minnesota. 26 Nov. 2008 .