The Great Seal
The Great Seal 2017
Interactive installation / performance
Video documentation (3 min)
The Great Seal, an immersive installation that investigates the intersection between art, propaganda, religion, and politics. The piece invites viewers to step onto a fictitious stage at the annual Washington D.C. Summit of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and assume the role of keynote speaker. CUFI mobilizes millions of American Evangelical conservatives who view Jewish rule over the land of Israel/Palestine a precondition for Christ’s second coming and the imminent Battle of Armageddon.
By using a presidential teleprompter and a karaoke ‘sing-along’ machine, participants are invited to perform speeches compiled from those delivered at past CUFI summits.
Throughout the interactive performance, the visitors will stand on a rug emblazoned with the design for the original Great Seal of the United States, first proposed by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson in 1776, and subsequently rejected by Congress. Franklin and Jefferson’s Great Seal reimagines the biblical story of the Israelites exodus from Egypt with America framed as the ‘New Zion’. The myths linking the United States and Israel as two settler colonial projects are thus embodied in the seal.