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Tabitha Soren
Recalling Democracy: A Snapshot of History
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Who are these guys, anyway?

California Recall Jokes!!

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During the California Governor's Recall, the political fringe met the center. One year ago, a movement was started by professional political agitators to remove Governor Gray Davis from office six months after the people had re-elected the man. Their movement somehow gave rise to a deeply popular revolt. The event came to epitomize the strange ability of the extreme left and the extreme right to agree. In this case, they agreed on the need for someone new in the state house. Lefties from candidate Peter Camejo to arch conservative State Senator Tom McClintock both wanted to boot Davis out of office.

One delightful side effect of the movement to chuck Gray Davis out of office was that so many people in so little time came to suspect that they might be the next governor. One hundred and thirty five candidates paid the $3500 and collected the 65 signatures needed to earn a place on the ballot. More than 500 went to the trouble of filing papers, most of whom were disqualified for one reason or another (in one case, for incarceration) . In Santa Clara County, for example, 10 people asked for the papers for every one who filed them.

If, say, 5000 people went to the trouble of getting the papers necessary to run for governor, how many hundreds of thousands considered it if only for a moment? How many suspected that deep inside them, there lurked an excellent governor? The 135 candidates who actually put themselves forward most of them with shocking sincerity - have been treated as a small distinct class of freaks, but really, they are only the few who took that last little mental step.

Those who opposed the recall argued that it was an insult to democracy. But others came to view the recall as democracy in its purest form. In any case, its hard to imagine that the people will ever again create such perfect chaos or at least the appearance of chaos. It was a moment where California democracy decided to test its own limits and found that limits didnt exist. That discovery can be made only once. These photographs try to capture the strange energy of a unique and historic exploration.
 

 
 
Exhibit Dates: July 6 to August 14, 2004
Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, Saturday 10am to 2pm
Reception for the Artist: Saturday, July 10, 2004  6pm to 8pm
Location: The Photolab Gallery, 2235 Fifth Street, Berkeley, California. USA
The Gallery is located inside a working photolab and hosts a new exhibit
every 6 to 8 weeks. Join our mailing list to learn more about upcoming events.
Photolab Gallery is open to the public, free of charge and accessible
For more information contact Andrea McLaughlin.
 

2235 Fifth Street, Berkeley, California USA 94710
Open Monday through Friday, 9am to 6pm and Saturdays 10:30 to 2:30

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