With this incomplete participatory exhibition, artists Alex Strada and Tali Keren ask visitors to critically engage with the U.S. Constitution and pose two questions: What 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would you propose? And: Do you think it is possible to amend an unequal system? Opening with the phrase “We the People,” the Constitution was written in 1787 by and for wealthy white male property owners, and to date, only 27 amendments have been ratified to change the document. This legacy and the embedded issues of structural racism, settler-colonial violence, heteropatriarchy, reproductive justice, and the absence of the climate are illuminated here in videos featuring legal scholars.
Central to the exhibition are sonic soapbox sculptures that build upon the history of the soapbox as a site of collective struggle, while also emphasizing listening, mutuality, and access. These objects emit an in-progress oral archive of responses to the project’s questions that have been recorded by visitors and will accrue over the course of the exhibition. The first iteration of this project was shown at the Queens Museum and YBCA’s site-specific adaptation will open with responses gathered in Queens. YBCA visitors are invited to engage by listening and by using the recording station to add their voices to the evolving oral archive.
Proposal for a 28th Amendment? Is it Possible to Amend an Unequal System? is activated through a series of public workshops Strada and Keren will develop in collaboration with YBCA. These gatherings bring people together to collectively consider, question, and debate systemic repair, radical change, and abolition to imagine more equitable futures specific to the Bay Area and beyond.