Presale of the Falling States of America
Presale of the Falling States of America (USA Presale) is a thought-provoking participatory performance created by contemporary Mexican artist Vicente Ortiz Cortez. Inspired and created within the World Trade Center, this series challenges our perceptions of nationalism and capitalism, shedding light on the divisive issues plaguing the United States.
Drawing inspiration from Sol LeWitt's wall drawing certificates, Cortez presents 50 animations, each functioning as a certificate of authenticity for installations representing individual states and the societal challenges they face. These animations depict soil formations mirroring the contours of states, suspended above a US flag on the floor. In the physical installations, the soil directly overlays the flag, accompanied by symbolic objects addressing pertinent social concerns. Collectors are granted the privilege to exhibit their states as videos, prints, or as the tangible installations they embody. Ownership validation for all certificates is securely stored on the Ethereum blockchain, transforming NFTs into repositories of US history.
Originating from the esteemed Silver Art Projects artist residency in the World Trade Center, USA Presale draws from the profound impact of the 9/11 Memorial and the collective memories of that tragic day. It serves as a poignant reflection on the nation's current state, resonating with the observation that two decades after the September 11 attacks, the US stands on the precipice of profound transformation.
The title, "Presale of the Falling States of America," pays homage to Richard Drew's iconic photograph, "The Falling Man," evoking the metaphorical free fall that the states find themselves in. Cortez also draws influence from David Hammons' 1983 performance, "Bliz-aard Ball Sale," where snowballs were sold on the streets of New York City as a commentary on capitalism. The use of soil in this series is a nod to Cortez's earlier works, rooted in his upbringing in rural Mexico. The juxtaposition of soil and flag sparks a dialogue, questioning the societal values associated with both earth and human symbols, and revealing the cultural ideologies that underlie those values.
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