Monument To The Unelected

Nov 11, 2016 1 comments

Drive past Lefferts Historic House, in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, this week, and you will be confronted by a crowd of political signs resembling those typically displayed on street corners before every election. You might think these are leftovers from the Hillary/Trump campaigns that somehow got dumped at one place, but if you read the signs, you’ll find names from yesteryears such as John Quincy Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Al Gore, and Fremont. The oddest part is that all these names belong to candidates who ran for President of the United States and lost.

The series of signs is an installment art called “Monument to the Unelected” by artist Nina Katchadourian. The art piece was originally commissioned in 2008 by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art for their 10th anniversary exhibition entitled Seriously Funny. Since then, the signs have been making brief appearances every four years for a few weeks leading up to every presidential election.


Photo credit: Reddit

“On my site visit to Scottsdale/Phoenix, which occurred a few weeks before the 2008 presidential election, I became fixated on the election signs that sprouted on front lawns, in vacant lots, or at busy intersections,” says Nina Katchadourian. “These markers tend to crop up only during a limited time window before an election. Once the elections are over, some of those names fade into obscurity whereas others become inscribed in history.”

“Working from this observation, I made a series of 56 signs advertising the presidential campaigns of every person who ever ran for president, and lost. Each sign was made in a design vernacular that could have come from any time in the past few decades, even if it advertised a candidate from a previous century. At a time when the country was preoccupied with the "fork in the road" moment of a major national election, the piece presented a view of the country's collective political road not taken.”

Over the years, “Monument to the Unelected” have appeared on different locations — the front lawn of a residence in Scottsdale, a vacant lot in downtown Phoenix, and a corner in Phoenix. This time, they appeared in the front lawn of the 18th century Lefferts Historic House, in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. It will remain there till November 13.


Photo credit: Hyperallergic


Photo credit: Hyperallergic


Photo credit: Hyperallergic


Photo credit: Hyperallergic

2009 03 27_Monument to the Unelected_0612

The "Monument to the Unelected" in 2008.

via Hyperallergic


  1. so all those signs have to pulled up each time she cuts her grass? man that's dedication.


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