Democracy Discarded

I typically don’t donate artwork to organizations outside my community, but I made an exception for the Altered Book Fundraiser at the MarinMOCA for a few of reasons. First, even though my work is varied, to say the least, altered books are a bit outside my typical thing. Second, I wanted this piece to be in the world in this particular time we’re experiencing. Third, this museum is in the California city where my grandparents lived, near to where my mother lived all of her short 39 years and where her family goes back generations. The family members and location loom large in my story, but that I’ve never had any direct connection to them.

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This primer to teach children about democracy was published in the mid 1940’s. It typifies the way I was taught about our system of government, using analogies that kids could relate to, like making a family decision. It talks about why we don’t have a king, and why equality and one person, one vote is so essential. It is almost comical in its naiveté, given the way our system has been hijacked by special interests and shady actors. I’ve used Fusion 4000 to overlay colored transparency collages over a selection of the pages.

I made an extra set of hand-held viewers in light of COVID-19. The ‘reader’ may view the book through their chosen lens. An interesting, unintended result…the red viewers allow you to only see red, but the blue viewers allow you to read the text in its entirety.

You can bid on the book at the link above. All proceeds to go the institution. (If you see the exhibit in person, send me a photo of the installation. I’m curious to know how they’re displaying it, given the current political climate.)