thisisanexperiment. no, really. it is.

Join or Die by Justine Lai

Posted in Art by thisisanexperiment on April 8, 2009

“In Join Or Die, I paint myself having sex with the Presidents of the United States in chronological order. I am interested in humanizing and demythologizing the Presidents by addressing their public legacies and private lives. The presidency itself is a seemingly immortal and impenetrable institution; by inserting myself in its timeline, I attempt to locate something intimate and mortal. I use this intimacy to subvert authority, but it demands that I make myself vulnerable along with the Presidents. A power lies in rendering these patriarchal figures the possible object of shame, ridicule and desire, but it is a power that is constantly negotiated.

I approach the spectacle of sex and politics with a certain playfulness. It would be easy to let the images slide into territory that’s strictly pornographic—the lurid and hardcore, the predictably “controversial.” One could also imagine a series preoccupied with wearing its “Fuck the Man” symbolism on its sleeve. But I wish to move beyond these things and make something playful and tender and maybe a little ambiguous, but exuberantly so. This, I feel, is the most humanizing act I can do.”

It’s a little strange to be seeing these works, and it feels even weirder to know that these people are dead and past-Presidents. Nevertheless, the thought behind it is interesting, I must say. And highly relevant methinks, given the current idol-like status that Obama begets. I guess what it all says (to me at least) is that everyone’s only human. Don’t look to any one  person or President to be your salvation. Ain’t gonna happen.

If you’re interested in seeing these works for youself, click here!

Needless to say, they are NSFW.

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