The first time I heard of Sarah Palin was on Facebook, shortly after John McCain announced her as his running mate for the 2008 US Presidential Election. In the weeks following, I learned more about her than I would ever have cared to know. Perhaps it was because I was living outside the US or maybe it was because I first heard about her on a social networking site—whatever it was, to this day she is for me a personality that is not real, one that exists only on television or the Internet. However, unlike other personalities of a similar stature, what makes Sarah Palin different is that, to the neutral observer, her persona is such a parody of a parody. She is like an infinite mirror, an echo chamber of herself, hermetically sealed and wrapped in shiny Sarah Palin wrapping paper printed on recycled paper. She will always be a flat surface to me. So it was with this idea in mind that I decided to find out how other artists thought about her.

The ten artists in this exhibition accepted an invitation to create a work of art using Sarah Palin as its theme. As this project has unfolded over the past three months, I have learned two things from these artists: Sarah Palin can not be taken seriously and Sarah Palin is a disturbing political force. These two states are reflected in each of the artworks in the exhibit. The viewer is presented with a joke or one-liner that is easily absorbed while also being shown the dark reality of arrogance, specifically the arrogance of political ambition, and thereby given the opportunity to ponder the implications of those simultaneous states. Sarah Palin is at once entertaining and repulsive.

I am very grateful to all of the artists who chose to participate in this project. This is the first collaborative exhibition by nfdu PROJECTS and is for me an exciting new direction for the website.

John Jenkins

June 20, 2010