End of Democracy
16" x 24"
Printed on photographic paper with mat, glass and wood frame. Limited edition print 1/50. Signed by artist.
ARTIST STATEMENT - MARK WELLER
Columns from the US Capitol transplanted to the National Arboretum. These Corinthian columns sitting atop of a bare hill amongst lush green trees seems to be out of place, and the perfect metaphor for our times. These columns are one of our cherished symbols of the republic and were once located at the epicenter of democracy and our government institutions, the US Capitol building. Yet they are disconnected, discarded, “separate but equal” and forgotten. These “second class citizens” were removed from our nation’s capital during the Eisenhower administration due to an expansion of an entryway. But as I stumbled upon them, I was moved by how odd they looked and how they once represented all the promise of America; freedom, opportunity, fairness, justice; only to give a visual allegory of separateness, disrespect, forgotten, ignored and sent to the back of the bus. This contradictory monument of leftovers seems to have forgotten “Liberty and Justice for All,” and that until each of our American brothers and sisters are given full membership - with all the rights and responsibilities that go with membership -that America herself suffers, as do her people, especially black and brown skinned who, like these columns have been discriminated against. (This is a timestacked photograph of the columns captured in a reflection pool.)