Statue of Lincoln opposite TRUMP hotel Chicago in the lead up to historical election result.
For my 60th birthday, 1 November 2016, I had my dream holiday of a trip to Chicago, USA. Coinciding with my own historical event, on my birthday, I noted that this statue of Abraham Lincoln was being installed in Pioneer Court, in front of the Chicago Tribune offices. I guessed it wasn't in my honour and was very intrigued by it's arrival and location. The statue, "Return Visit", is the work of American realist Seward Johnson. It depicts Abraham Lincoln handing a copy of the Gettysburg Address to a modern-day man wearing sneakers and corduroys. I photographed the statue from many angles and face on might be thought to be the most ideal but I couldn't help notice also that Abe may be thought to be doffing his hat towards the TRUMP hotel. At that time I thought of it as a tongue in cheek satirical gesture and my photograph was a play on the historical Lincoln and the very current political climate at that time, particularly poignant in downtown Chicago, with a great expectation of a Clinton victory the following week. Paul Zeller, CEO of Zeller Realty Group, which owns Pioneer Court, said installation of the statue was an attempt to “lift the bar” of political discourse and remind of honesty in debate (Chicago Tribune). I think he succeeded. My photograph was an attempt at visual political satire but who had the last laugh? Did this statue do more than raise the dialogue bar in the final stages of the presidential elections? Did it in fact herald a new era in politics and remind us that we should take nothing for granted. The first Republican president may indeed have doffed his cap as a gesture of hope and good luck to his fellow Republican. Fact is definitely stranger than fiction and history is made and recorded in many different ways. This image is my recording of an historic event, with historical figures, in a city awash with history. I called the image: LINCOLN IS TRUMPED