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Liberal Advocate (For The Collective Portrait of Obediah Dogberry)
Silkscreened T-Shirt and Inkjet Print. 2006.
Everyday life and exhibited at the Rochester Contemporary Sibley Window.


The Rochester artist Bleu Cease implemented a public art project in Rochester, NY for his MFA at the Visual Studies Workshop, that included a timeline, signs, etc, about Obediah Dogberry (aka Abner Cole), a freethinker in upstate New York in the early-mid 1800’s, who published a newspaper, the Liberal Advocate. For a segment of the project, he asked several artists to produce a portrait of Obediah, as there is no existing portrait of him.

For my interpretation, I took the actual logo from the Liberal Advocate (available as .pdfs online), modified it slightly for legibility, and screen printed it on a t-shirt. It updates the history that the project is based upon (t-shirts could be a contemporary venue for expressing beliefs and opinions, as the Liberal Advocate was in its day), and it personalizes it (I am now the Liberal Advocate), collapsing historical documentary and subjectivity. I wear the t-shirt in my everyday life, collapsing art and life, and sent a print to Rochester for the exhibition.