But, is it not a bit ridiculous to think that this face, and this smile, this image of a person has anything to do with the policies of the candidates party? Are Politics personal? Are they even to do with people at all?
On the one hand we know that the election poster in front of us has nothing to do with what the party did, does or will do. We know that this is a mediation, a representation and a manipulation. 
But on the other hand, we look at the poster and we see a person, and whether we want to or not, we build an instant relationship with this individual. We want to believe that this image has a relationship with the party. 
We want to believe in the smile.

THE INCOMPLETE ARCHIVE OF POLITICAL SMILES

 


On every street corner, he was there, smiling at me, smiling on me, smiling through me. It was unnerving. It was a smile with designs. It was a smile that said I will make you believe that you trust me. It was the smile of power.
Why is it that politicians always smile in election posters? Why do they represent their policies with their smiling face? Would it not be more useful to use that space to actually say, in writing, exactly what it is that they will do? 
Of course not. If at all we vote, we vote for people. We vote because we think politics is about people. We vote because we feel a personal relationship with a certain candidate. And politicians know that, so they print posters with their smiling faces on.

samhopkins.org

C PRINT BEHIND PLEXIGLASS, 10 BY 4 CM, 300 SMILES IN INSTALLATION

 

2014