Election Sign Rephotography

Continuing on the tradition started from the Carnival Diptychs, I attempted to apply the idea of rephotography to other subjects vulnerable to the transience of time.

Given the pivotal presidential election, the preponderous of election signs seemed the most interesting subject.

Every year there are elections, and every year signs pop up. But as many news broadcasts had reported, this was one of the most contentious election fights in recent memory. This made the war for votes extremely personal, as I witnessed in the first series of rephotographs.

A cluster of election signs gathered at the corner of Mayhews Landing and Newark Boulevard in my hometown in Newark. There were posters for candidates from the local schoolboard up to the presidential race.

On Nov.1, I photographed the cluster. Two Bush/Cheney posters were noticeably placed. On Nov. 2 at around noon, I drove past the corner, only to realise the Bush/Cheney posters had been removed, replaced by Kerry/Edwards signs.

This was early in the election and noone had even a clue as to which way the race was leaning. I photographed the altered sign cluster, and continued looking for other posters around town.

As I wrapped up my day, I returned to the corner in the late afternoon, only to find the Kerry/Edwards sign had also been removed, but this time, not replaced with a competing Bush/Cheney advertisement.

I thought the changing of the signs was indicative of the vitriolic nature of this year's election, as the presidential race was fought on even such a local battleground as a street corner in a state thought to be clearly for John Kerry.

I left the street corner and continued photographing candidate or proposition advertisements in my hometown.

I waited for one month before rephotographing the same areas in order to see what has changed. Most of the signs have since been taken down or discarded.

In less commonly tread street corners, one can still find a poster for a defeated candidate, clinging defiantly to a hope long since gone.