More than a dozen highly respected artists across America joined forces in an urgent attempt to sway the public vote before the US election day. The Enough of Trump campaign, organised by advocacy group People for the American Way, is displaying works across billboards, at protests and as projections in their attempt to keep Trump out of office.
Carrie Mae Weems is just one of the artists involved in this politically fuelled project.
At first look, Weems’ Enough of Trump poster appears to be one of the calmer pieces being auctioned. A cloudy blue sky fills the paper, only being interrupted by the words ‘Remember to Dream’. Although simplistic, they certainly visually encompass the collective’s message: significantly standing out from the seemingly serene backdrop.
The phrase ‘Remember to Dream’ references Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech calling for equality and freedom, suggesting that Weems perceives this election as a battle fought on similar issues as Luther’s civil rights movement. During Weems’ thirty-year career as an artist in New York, she has consistently addressed themes of cultural identity, political systems and consequences of power. It seems only fitting for her to include an homage to Luther King Jr. and a message of solidarity in this work. This defiance was echoed from Weems in a recent interview, in which she stated, “we should never be afraid of opposition.”
The viewer’s eye moves to the smaller instruction: ‘Vote 2020’. Despite being a very direct command, it’s comparative size to the above text causes this message to read more like a hopeful plea. It is not overt, aggressive or eye-catching, but simply enforcing the idea that Weems believes this election is more than just politics: it is a matter of dreams from the past and hopes for the future.