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Arnolfini - est 1961

A Reading Room display of a new artist’s bookwork based on a 10,000 mile road trip and the history of the US Presidency.

In 2014, Marisa J. Futernick drove nearly ten thousand miles across America, visiting all thirteen of the nation’s Presidential libraries along the way. 13 Presidents is the result: an artist’s book that combines photographs from the journey with a suite of short stories. Mixing fact and fiction, each President from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush is a protagonist in this collection of unexpected portraits.

To coincide with this year’s Presidential election and with the publication of 13 Presidents, we will be presenting a selection of photographs from the project in our Reading Room. Shot on analogue film, they depict the everyday details of the towns that these men are from, including the homes where they were born, and their final resting places.

Additionally, on the 22 October Futernick will give a live reading in our Dark Studio accompanied by a 35mm slide show, followed by an informal discussion with Arnolfini Assistant Curator Phil Owen.

13 Presidents weaves together personal narrative with wider cultural observation, forming a vision of America that is both invented and true.

Marisa J. Futernick is an artist and writer based in London. She was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1980 and raised in Hartford, Connecticut. Futernick attended Yale University; Goldsmiths College; and the Royal Academy Schools, London. She has published several books, including How I Taught Umberto Eco to Love the Bomb (RA Editions and California Fever Press, 2015) and The Watergate Complex (Rice + Toye, 2015). She has exhibited widely, at venues including the Whitechapel Gallery, London; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Jerwood Space, London; Outpost, Norwich; Morton House, Mexico City; Yale University, New Haven; and BolteLange, Zurich.


13 Presidents is published by Slimvolume in September 2016.