Pow-wow' was an eight-year project that began on the 20th January 2001, the inauguration date of President George W. Bush, and was completed on the the 20th January 2009, the date he left office. During this time, Richard Bartle traced and documented the rise and fall of world leaders, laboriously reproducing their images on a series of small canvases through a process which reflects and measures the almost daily changes and disruptions in the political arena. Each canvas catalogues the recent political history of a specific state or republic and serves to capture each new leader''s ascent to power. Their subsequent political demise is then charted by erasing or burying them beneath the image of their successor. Political stasis is suggested in the more readable images. In others, the dense palimpsest of innumerable layers evokes a more volatile or unstable past. The images are presented with a soundtrack - the preamble to the United Nations declaration of human rights, read out simultaneously by UN interpreters in several languages - which imitates the layered and often incomprehensible nature of the images.
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