Screening
Dates: Friday, October 23, 10 a.m. PT–Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 10 p.m. PT

Conversation
Date: Monday, October 26, 2020
Time: 5:00 p.m. PT

Conversation recorded via Zoom.

For 35 years, artists Antoni Muntadas and Marshall Reese have collected presidential campaign television ads. And every election year, they release their updated anthology. Played in chronological order and without commentary, the ads become a chorus of the nation's patriotism, partisanship, and fear. Their latest iteration, Political Advertisement X: 1952–2020 will make its North American debut on October 23–27, available as a limited-run online screening event. On Monday, October 26, join the artists in conversation with Tanya Zimbardo, assistant curator of media arts at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

North American Premiere is co-presented with Minnesota Street Project.

This program complements the upcoming exhibition In Focus: Protest.

 Still from Political Advertisement X, 1952–2020, 1984–2020, edited by Muntadas and Reese
 


About Political Advertisement X 1952–2020

This year marks Muntadas and Reese's tenth edition of Political Advertisement. They began the work in 1984, collecting campaign ads from incumbent President Ronald Reagan and Democrat former Vice President Walter Mondale. Today, the film spans the 1950s all the way to the 2020 election.

Surveying the American campaign process from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Donald J. Trump, Muntadas and Reese trace the history of ads as political strategy and marketing technique. They write, "Democracy is under threat on multiple levels today – from dark money donations that push for interests favoring the wealthy and corporations; from technologies of persuasion, Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube that have overtaken and reshaped the media landscape; to the even more mortal danger in 2020 that is the Coronavirus."

Political Advertisement X 1952–2020 is approximately 97 minutes long.

About the Artists

Antoni Muntadas was born in Barcelona in 1942 and has lived in New York since 1971. His work addresses social, political, and communications issues; the relationship between public and private space within social frameworks; as well as channels of information and the ways they may be used to censor central information or promulgate ideas. He works on projects in a variety of mediums including photography, video, and multimedia installations. Since 1995, Muntadas has grouped together a set of works and projects titled On Translation, emphasizing issues of interpretation, transcription, and cultural translation. The series' content, dimensions, and materials are variable, and focus on the author's personal experience and artistic activity in numerous countries. His most recent projects are Asian Protocols—exploring similarities, differences, and conflicts between Korea, Japan, and China—and the new series The Construction of Fear.

Marshall Reese is a Brooklyn-based artist working in various media including video, digital, custom hardware and software, and temporary public art events. Since the mid 1980s he has collaborated with Nora Ligorano as LigoranoReese. Their work is an ongoing investigation into the impact of technology on society and the rhetoric of politics and visual culture in the media. LigoranoReese has presented seven site-specific public works at U.S. political conventions, focusing on climate and political issues. In June 2020, they launched their most ambitious public art work yet The School of Good Citizenship in Charlotte, North Carolina, coinciding with the Republican Convention. The project included over 200 artists, photographers, singers, poets, and filmmakers.