John A. O'Connor: White Lies Matter: Decoding American Deceptionalism
John A. O'Connor's "White Lies Matter" is a "corrective curriculum" revealing the unvarnished truth behind American History. These didactic visual lessons use old-fashioned elementary school slates, scribbled notes and antique photographs to re-teach American history. Intended as an educational textbook, this virtual installation presents the past, present, and future of American History, blending analog process to current digital translation.
“Artist/art professor John A. O’Connor characterizes his series White Lies Matter: Decoding American Deceptionalism as “a history of American hypocrisy.” Using the image of the slate as a consistent base, White Lies Matter ranges across historical and contemporary America, touching down at flashpoints of inequality, misunderstanding, and conflict. From the gradual decay of national institutions to more immediate political crises, O’Connor’s project traverses a list of illegalities and cover-ups, oppressions and suppressions, tracing links between individuals and institutions in positions of influence. It begins with Christopher Columbus and the First Thanksgiving—mythologies that crumble very easily by now—and moves on through the contradictory and belated embedding of religion in the nation’s founding documents, to the calamitous installation of Donald Trump as its 45th president. White Lies Matter: Decoding American Deceptionalism reveals the deceptions, lies, and cynicism of America and the “fake news” and “alt- facts” that permeate contemporary society.” - Michael Wilson
Note: Michael Wilson is a New York-based writer and editor and the author of How to Read Contemporary Art: Experiencing the Art of the 21st Century (New York: Abrams, 2013).