During her tenure as United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton set up an email server at her home in Chappaqua, New York, that she used for all work and personal emails during her four years in office. This drew controversy which helped Donald Trump secure the 2016 presidential elections. Although these are among the most important political documents of our time, almost no-one has read them, as they remained hidden in full view.
During Venice Biennale 2019, the artist and poet Kenneth Goldsmith has displayed all 60,000 of Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails in an exhibition taking place at Teatro Italia which, at the beginning of the last century was the second and largest cinema on the island. HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails reflects on the intermingling between the private and public spaces in the age of mass digitalization. The exhibition is organized by the curatorial team Francesco Urbano Ragazzi.
Kenneth Goldsmith's latest exhibition is the first public appearance of Hillary Clinton's controversial e-mails in printed format. Using the techniques of appropriation and collage, the artist presented almost 60,000 pages of documentation, printed in double copy and displayed inside an environmental installation which converts in a lo-fi format some of the furnishings of the Oval Office in the White House.
Dealing with the notions of privacy and transparency, propaganda and democracy in Western politics, Goldsmith transformed the language of digital bureaucracy into a work of literature, creating an anti-monument to the folly of Trump’s smear campaign against Clinton.
The building of Teatro Italia in Venice has been converted into a supermarket by Despar in 2016. The show recreates the original function of the venue by using its big cinema screen to project video and films. The programing includes a selection of works from UbuWeb, a portal which Kenneth Goldsmith founded in 1996 to diffuse avant-garde films and poems online, providing an essential meeting point between analogical and digital culture.
Taking place every day from 6 to 7 p.m., the program includes works by Peggy Ahwesh, Sophia Al-Maria, Johanna Bruckner, Alex Da Corte, Cheryl Donegan, Shadi Habib Allah, Bek Hyunjin, Lev Manovich, Alix Pearlstein, People Like Us, Christine Rebet, Sabrina Röthlisberger, Sara Sackner, Leah Singer, Stan VanDerBeek, Jennifer West, and Jordan Wolfson, among others.
The exhibition HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails will be on view in the gallery and in the lobby on the second floor of Teatro Italia in Venice until November 24th, 2019.
The exhibition is part of an ongoing series investigating the physical manifestation of the document in the digital age. It will be accompanied by the catalog featuring texts by Kenneth Goldsmith, Francesco Urbano Ragazzi and the philosopher Emanuele Coccia will be made available.
Featured images: Kenneth Goldsmith, HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails, curated by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi, exhibition view, © Giorgio De Vecchi. Gerda Studio 2019.
Miami, United States of America