October 17, 2016
Boston Campaign Headquarters: In Nothing We Trust
Pat Falco’s Campaign Headquarters at Faneuil Hall Marketplace
by Professor Suzanne Barnes
Since graduating from Massart’s Illustration department in 2010, Pat Falco has been busy ascending the art ladder of recognition. After running the Lincoln Arts Project gallery in Waltham, he went on to direct the Distillery Gallery in South Boston. His work was selected for the prestigious DeCordova Biennial in 2013, and in 2014, he was artist in residence at Boston Center for the Arts, creating a different site-specific public art installation around Boston each day during the month of November. In the summer of 2015 he created a block of painted store fronts on Georges Island in the Boston Harbor, poking wry dry fun at a variety of urban establishments.
Pat’s most recent project, “Boston Campaign Headquarters”, was installed this summer in an empty storefront in Faneuil Hall Marketplace, in the heart of historic Boston. The headquarters is dedicated to the election of candidate Nobody, filled with low budget office items like folding chairs and tables, a beat up copy machine, cheap landline phone, vintage television, jars of pens, an assortment of office supplies, and discarded take out food boxes.
Displayed within this setting is a large collection of red, white, and blue banners and signage, hand-painted in the distinctive Falco typeface with slogans like: “Yes We Can’t”, “Vote Lesser Evil”, “Nobody Cares About You”, “Good Enough for Someone”, “Even You (well maybe not you) Could Be President”, “With Liberty and Justice for Some”, “Together We Can Make America Better Wider Great Not That Bad”, “Pretend to be Heard”, and “The Silent Majority: Because It’s Too Embarrassing to Say Out Loud”. There’s even a shelf of familiar red baseball caps that read “Make America Great For the First Time”.
In making slight revisions to typical campaign slogans, Pat reveals the untruths of the originals, in the same way he’s previously applied his painted voice to the art world, relationships, and an assortment of social issues. His observations are funny, irreverent, melancholy, and true. Pat’s installation is a contemplative experience as well. Nothing is happening and literally, nobody is there. Pat’s headquarters project received some great reviews, including The Boston Globe, WBUR, and Big Red and Shiny. Although the headquarters are now closed, you can see pictures on Pat’s website.