Parade of the Old New

A panoramic history painting, acrylic on 40 x 60 inch corrugated cardboard panels. Total length 130 feet (39.5m) It is an allegory of the American body politic. The title is taken from a 1938 poem by Bertolt Brecht that inspired the theme of this work; now more than ever, we are not finished with the past and the past is not finished with us. The project was launched with Trump's inauguration and continued until he was defeated at the ballot box. It begins with the president's triumphal entry into Washington DC. Beyond stretches a country where the Mexican border walls meets Japanese internment camps from the 1940’s at a vanishing point. It chronicles the desecration of public lands for profit, the battle of Charlottesville, the arrest of undocumented workers across the country and the detention of asylum seekers at the border. It illustrates the toll of COVID 19, the work of the nurses, the breadlines, young people painting "Black Lives Matter” mapping a road ah ead, the storming of the Capitol and finally the flickering light of what might be a new beginning.

Watch my discussion of this work with Brecht scholar Tom Kuhn