Monument to the Unelected
2008 and ongoing
Monument to the Unelected is a series of plastic election signs bearing the names of every major-party candidate who ever ran for the office of president and lost. It was created by artist Nina Katchadourian for the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in 2008, and has been exhibited during every presidential election cycle since then. These are not historical signs; each sign made for this project has been designed to look contemporary, even if it advertises a candidate from a previous century. Many of the signs borrow directly from real election signs the artist has observed and documented in different parts of the country. Like familiar political lawn signs, these signs are printed on corrugated plastic using the same commercial production methods.
At the moment when the country is deeply preoccupied with a major national election, Monument to the Unelected presents a view and a reminder of the country’s collective political road not taken. Monument to the Unelected has been exhibited since 2008 on public sites, in front of private homes, as well as in museums and galleries, almost always spanning the time both before and after the election. This year, after the election results have been determined, the 59th loser’s sign will be added to the group by a first-time voter.
Nina Katchadourian: Monument to the Unelected will be on view in Transformer Station’s front lawn, and concurrently at moCa Cleveland.