On Saturday, April 29, 2011 the artists Ligorano/Reese installed a temporary sculpture in the garden of Jim Kempner Fine Art, located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

Sculpted in ice and spelling out the word “Democracy” in block letters, the installation reflected on the current political state and the transience of our cultural values. Measuring 20 inches high and 120 inches in length, the word melted over 24 hours. The sculpture cracked, diminished, and ultimately disappeared, leaving as its final trace a puddle of water.

The sculpture focused on the impact of the Iraq war, how censorship, surveillance and torture are transforming U.S. society. According to Nora Ligorano, “The sculpture is emblematic of the times—our democracy is in danger of wasting away at an imperceptible rate.” Marshall Reese adds, “What stands out with this piece is that for the amount of time most people view art—1 minute or less—the sculpture won’t seem to change, yet by day’s end, it will be gone, disappear.”

NORA LIGORANO and MARSHALL REESE have collaborated together as Ligorano/Reese since the early 80’s.
They describe their partnership as follows:

ligorano_reese_large“Art that grows from the interactions of two people collaborating together arises from an alternate logic. For one thing, the work almost, always, starts out as a conversation between two of us. So the focus around making art is not about producing an object, per se, but more about relationships, engagement, language, and meaning.  

Language and meaning demand clarity, especially when it comes to articulating intention. That’s why we’re driven to create work that’s focused on the present and makes use of the technologies of our time. Our goal is to test the impact of art on social and political systems. We believe that the impact of politics cannot be divorced from culture or art, any more than the impact of culture can be divorced from politics.”