Pascal Lièvre, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay
Patriotic 04:05, Color, Stereo, SA, FR, 2005
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.