Aleksandra Mir

I Want To Be The Prez

Presented at the Inaugural David and Yuko Juda Foundation Award, London, 7 September 2018


In 2007 I spent several months in the microfiche archives of the NYC Public Library, researching and photocopying 10,000 covers of the two tabloids Daily News and New York Post, the outcome of their combined cover stories of 15 years leading up to the end of the millennium.

I then selected 240 of the most poignant covers which were made into large scale Sharpie drawings during my show Newsroom 1986-2000 at the Mary Boone gallery in 2007 and where I worked live in front of the public together with 17 assistants for two months in a revolving installation that simulated a Manhattan newsroom. Each day, there was old news and new art on the walls.

In 2012 Hurricane Sandy flooded the Chelsea gallery district and in the matter of minutes, the remaining 120 works became wet mush. From pulp to pulp. The idea to re-create the destroyed drawings was recently evoked, as when revisiting the old stories in the original archives, they appeared to have achieved new relevance, for example this 1999 cover announcing Donald Trump's Presidency, at the time considered a joke.

And this is merely 1 of 87 Trump covers in my archive, to be compared with the total of 13 covers devoted to the entirety of the AIDS crisis over its most critical 15-year period when 75,000 New Yorkers died of the disease.

The startling correlation between the past, present and future is not something I as an artist could ever create or predict. But as events unfold, it is worth noticing the blueprints right in front of our eyes.

Aleksandra Mir, 2018