Sandow Birk & Elyse Pignolet AMERICAN PROCESSION Track 16 Gallery
In Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet’s enormous print project “American Procession”, the image plays off of the Dresden mural and the concept of Heroism by depicting an imaginary parade of figures from American history. Beginning with the oldest in the back of the line and proceeding forward through time, the personalities are those who made significant contributions to their times – for better or for worse. The project often draws from lesser-known figures who impacted American history. The two seventeen foot long prints each represent opposing sides of the political spectrum spanning US history from the colonies to the present day, and offer a way to rethink how we arrived at the current state, with vastly different ideologies on the left and the right of the political spectrum. The project consists of 3 enormous woodblock prints. Two measure 3’ x 17’ and a third central panel is 4’ x 6’. One long panel depicts Progressives from history marching to the right, while the other depicts Conservatives from history marching to the left. Both processions head toward confrontation and the central panel, which depicts a Triumphal Arch in ruins, amid the scattered debris of Americana – a police car, the Liberty Torch, bits of the Hollywood sign, an electric chair, a noose, a rural home, an old tire, while a helicopter and blimp hang over a smoke spewing power plant. The woodblocks were carved in sections by the artists in their Long Beach studio then the panels were printed using an offset printing press at Mullowney Printing studio in San Francisco. Elyse Pignolet’s Blue and White Series (or Despicable Dicks Series) This series uses the form and pattern of recognizable traditional porcelain wares and emblazons its surfaces with commentary on highly-charged issues for women – such as sexual harassment, cultural stereotypes and inequality.