The Great Seal, 2016-2018
The Great Seal is an interactive installation exploring the intersection of art, propaganda, religion, and politics. Participants step onto an imagined political stage and assume the role of keynote speaker at the annual summit of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), an organization of millions of American evangelical Christians who consider Jewish rule over the so called “Holy Land” a precondition for Christ’s second coming. As participants can choose to perform actual speeches delivered by American and Israeli politicians and clergy at CUFI summits, they stand on a rug emblazoned with The Great Seal of the United States proposed by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, a design that links through settler-colonial myths the United States and Israel. Although the form is playfully employing the conventions of the presidential teleprompter and the karaoke sing-along, it foregrounds the disturbing force of messianic ethno-national authoritarianism. Participants are confronted with the vulnerability to power and audience manipulation. The Great Seal is the first chapter in the Judeo-Christian trilogy.

* All the footage seen on the teleprompters is documentary materials I recorded during the 2015 and 2016 CUFI summits.

Interactive installation/performance. Teleprompters, microphone, touch screen, speakers, 12x12 feet custom printed rug, HD video, HD monitors, 20 minute experience. Video documentation (3 min)

Activation Event of The Great Seal at EYEBEAM, NYC, June 2018

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