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"I’ve Got the Best Words"

Details wall drawing (20x12ft) “I’ve Got the Best Words”, 2016. Evanston Art Center, Evanston

Based on linguistic research and google searches around the language and words used by both candidates in the upcoming elections this work addresses the notion of language as something elusive, fleeting, troubled, tainted and at times powerful, ultimately questioning word’s power to align themselves with authenticity and meaning. And when are words ever “just a few words”? “Words matter when you run for president,” as Hillary Clinton reminded her opponent during the first presidential debate. Clinton was clearly admonishing Donald Trump for a season of off-the-cuff remarks and tweets which have been routinely misleading, false, hateful, derogatory, inflammatory, juvenile, and—most recently—“lewd.” Trump’s counter, at once boastful and inscrutable, is that he has “the best words". For example, Trump used most first person singular pronouns (I, me, my) while Clinton was more likely to use first person plural pronouns (we, us). Trump used twice as many empty words (e.g. anybody, everybody, nothing, thing) as Clinton. “I’ve Got the Best Words” traces the meaning and meaninglessness of the language in political campaigns and its fleetingness. Layers and layers of words staining and smudging each other, signifying and obscuring, erasing and inscribing.

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