Kitsch Speech

digital collage, print on flag, installation

Kitsch Speech is a visual research into the literal combination of typography and images, specifically kitsch images, and the deconstruction of language that comes with it. The focus on political speeches is related to Clement Greenberg's text 'Avant-Garde and Kitsch' (1939), where he explains that dictatorial regimes use kitsch in their communication with the people as it is much easier for them to understand than avant-garde. The resulting work is a flag illustrating a fragment of Obama's inauguration speech from 2009. Inside the flag, each word is made out of (or illustrated) through kitsch or cliché elements, underlining the rhetorical strategies and the interpretability of the words used in the speech.

"For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace." - Obama's 2008 Inaugural Speech