Steve Lambert’s June 15-21 residency with Legion Arts culminates in this exhibit, with the “Capitalism Works for Me! True/False” sign as its centerpiece.
The 20-foot-long, carnival-style sign (displayed in the Main Gallery) allows viewers to vote true or false on the statement “Capitalism Works for Me” and tallies the results on an LED scoreboard.
The sign appeared at the New Bo City Market on June 16 and the Flamingo restaurant parking lot on June 17. Voters were given the opportunity to have their portrait taken and give a short statement about their vote. That documentation is included in the exhibit, along with other videos and an opportunity to add additional pro and con statements.
The national tour began in Cleveland in 2011 and the sign has since caused a stir in Boston, Santa Fe, Los Angeles and other U.S. cities.
Lambert says the goal of the work is to foster conversation around an often taboo subject by being playful. “Start a conversation about capitalism and friends edge away slowly, and strangers even faster,” he explains. “This is what art is for. This is what art does well. It creates a space where new ideas and perspectives can be explored.”
Lambert’s previous projects include a fake edition of the New York Times announcing the end of the Iraqi War and a Firefox extension that replaces web ads with artwork. He has collaborated with groups from the Yes Men to the Graffiti Research Lab and Greenpeace.
This project was made possible in part through support from the National Performance Network’s Visual Artists Network. Major contributors include the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.