Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Pascal Lièvre: Patriotic

Ramsay, Lièvre: Patriotic

Playing with well-known pop music is a recurring element in the work of the Canadian artist Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, whether he is making a cover of a Madonna hit (Live to Tell), 'popping-up' an ancient song (I am a Boyband) or singing along with TATU (Audition Tape). Patriotic revolves around passages from the controversial Patriot Act, which was ratified by the US Congress after 09/11. Together with the French artist Pascal Lièvre – who previously used president Bush’s speech on the 'Axis of Evil' as the starting point for making a superkitsch music video – he chose passages from the bill that extensively dealt with the safety of the United States and the struggle against the archenemy: terrorism. This collaboration resulted in a sugary-sweet, many-voiced ode to the US, with a clear homo-erotic ring to it. Patriotic teems with bombastic, graphically represented rhetoric and singing soldiers in bogus uniforms. They are singing their lines at the tops of their voices, to the music of Celine Dion’s Titanic-hit My Heart Will Go On. The irony is unmistakable: this is a perfect parody to the genre of 'war propaganda'.