Hayward Gallery

Aleksandra Mir

7 Jan – 4 Feb 2019

In the Pre-Presidential Library, Aleksandra Mir presented a collection of US tabloid front covers dating from 1986 to 2000. Each front cover, enlarged to two metres high, featured a headline relating to Donald Trump’s business dealings, political aspirations or personal life.

Mir’s selection of front covers from the New York Daily News and New York Post was part of a larger collection that the artist compiled in 2007 during a period of research in the microfiche archives of New York Public Library.

Together, these reproduced pages – each one copied from microfiche film which has been damaged through heavy public use over a long period of time – offered a study of the attitudes and biases of the tabloid press: what makes headline news, and why?

During the course of her research, Mir discovered that news relating to Donald Trump made the front covers on 87 occasions in the 15-year period leading up to the millennium. In contrast, the AIDS crisis, which during the same period claimed the lives of over 75,000 New Yorkers, featured just 13 times.

Presidential libraries are the official repositories of presidential papers and correspondence. Mir’s Pre-Presidential Library is an open source project that – as the artist puts it – ‘anyone, anywhere’ can research, host or develop.

Aleksandra Mir (born 1967, Lubin, Poland), a Swedish-American citizen, lives and works in London. Selected solo exhibitions include Triumph, Centro Pecci, Prato (2018); Space Tapestry: Faraway Missions, Tate Liverpool (2017); Space Tapestry: Earth Observation & Human Spaceflight, Modern Art Oxford (2017); Drawing Room, Drawing Room, London (2014); and The Space Age, M-Museum Leuven, Leuven (2013).

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