Last week, when Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, certain objects suddenly became haunting reminders of the American future that would never be. An unopened bottle of champagne, a “nasty woman” T-shirt, a flag celebrating the candidate whom everyone thought would become the first woman to hold the highest office in America.
One such object is the poster above, made by artist Jonathan Horowitz, which reads “HILLARY 2016” with an image of Clinton’s face alongside the preceding 43 U.S. presidents (Grover Cleveland is counted only once). It’s a vision that many expected to become a reality — suddenly transformed post-election into a melancholy reminder of what never happened.
The piece is part of The Jewish Museum’s ongoing exhibition “Take Me, I’m Yours,” comprised entirely of free art objects, created by artists including Yoko Ono, Martha Rosler, and Jonas Mekas, which viewers are invited to touch, engage with, and take home with them, thus revolutionizing the way individuals interact with art in the museum space.
Horowitz has long made art with a political bent, although his personal interest lies in the way the perception of certain public figures shifts and evolves over time. “A lot of the work is context- and time-specific, and so when the context and time change, the work changes,” Horowitz told Artsy earlier this year. Specifically, this comment was made in reference to a sculpture of then-nominee Hillary Clinton made two presidential terms ago. “In 2008, she was obviously in a very different place than she is today,” Horowitz said.
The sentiment rings true today, as Clinton is in a very different place than she was just two weeks ago.
One of Horowitz’s posters was spotted by the Jewish Museum’s JiaJia Fei in the Union Square subway station, as part of “Subway Therapy,” a space for New Yorkers to cope with their post-election feelings by expressing themselves on Post-It notes to share with their fellow dismayed New Yorkers. You can see notes reading “Love More” and “Proud to be a woman” hanging alongside the poster above.
If you are in the New York area, head to the Jewish Museum before Feb. 5, 2017, to get a free Hillary poster of your own.