The 45 Library Collective is interested in how the typology of the presidential library can serve as a prompt, foil, or framework for artists, architects, and designers to reflect upon the last four years of life under the current U.S. presidency as well as to speculate the possibility to project, preserve, or transform these facts, memories, and affects in the future. As we navigate this “post-truth” era, the question of how we consider history is already upon us. In many ways, as with other moments of crisis, what we preserve as art or fiction may be just as telling to future generations as what is recorded as fact. What do we wish for the presidential library for the 45th President of the United States to be? What would it contain? How would we see it as an artifact and inhabit it as a space? What should be its role in shaping future histories about the time we are living in?
We put these questions to an invited group of designers, architects, and artists who subsequently responded with an image and accompanying text. This exhibition, a collection of their responses, was launched online 45 days before the 2020 Election Day. The collection continues to grow as participating artists invite others to be a part of the project as well. We are adding new submissions on a rolling basis, so check back often for new work by new contributors. Eventually, a copy of the project will be sent to the National Archives and Records Administration, the U.S. government agency tasked with overseeing the management and collecting practices of presidential libraries.
The 45 Library Collective is: Andy Campbell, Igor Siddiqui, Juliette Cezzar, and Brendan Griffiths.