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Contact: Genesis Cosme
Xavier Cortada Studio and Projects
“I Rebuke You” by Miami artist Xavier Cortada invites citizens to animate, engage in their democracy
(MIAMI, FL. Jan. 6, 2021) – On the day Congress met to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college win, with many Republican lawmakers challenging the results in some of the states that Biden won, Miami artist Xavier Cortada launched the “Office of the Citizen of the United States” as his latest performative art piece. “I Rebuke You,” the Office’s first participatory work, is a platform for citizens to engage with and reclaim their voice in the democratic process.
“I Rebuke You” invites citizens to condemn those elected officials who ignored the Constitution and objected to the results of the Electoral College. Participants are asked to take a photo or video of themselves using the “I Rebuke You” downloadable background images as a backdrop while speaking their mind and/or reciting the quote below:
“Senators and Members of Congress, as Citizen of the United States of America, I Rebuke You for objecting to the results of the Electoral College without cause whatsoever. Our fellow Citizens overwhelmingly elected Joe Biden president. Please apologize to the American people for breaking your Oath, defiling the Constitution and weakening our Democracy.”
The artist asks participants to share the photo or video on social media including the hashtag #IRebukeYou and tagging those elected officials who are trying to steal an election and commit sedition.
“Americans have somehow forgotten that power emanates from us,” Cortada said. “We must regain our sense of self within the instrument of government. When elected officials defy the rule of law, democratic ideals, or the will of the people, it is our obligation to jump into the public sphere and regain control of our social order.”
According to the Washington Post, fourteen out of fifty-one senate Republicans oppose counting some of Biden’s electoral votes. Although the challenge is unlikely to succeed, the delay reflects the motivations of some elected leaders to satisfy partisan politics over the choice of voters.
“This participatory art project invites us to utilize our social media spaces to intensify our sense of public purpose, civic duty, and connection to one another,” he adds. “By assuming the mantle of citizen leadership and abandoning the weaponry of partisanship, citizens are encouraged to animate democracy, celebrating those who represent our will and admonishing – even rebuking – those who deny us.”
Interrupting the democratic process, a mob of rioters stormed and breached the Capitol and temporarily put a stop to Congress’ Electoral College deliberations. The domestic terrorists were fueled by Trump’s rhetoric and the effort of the elected officials to steal the Presidential election.
“There is no law and order without justice,” Cortada said. “There is no rule of law without an independent judiciary and democratically-elected representatives. There is no democracy without an engaged citizenry.”
For more information about Cortada’s “I Rebuke You” or the Office of the Citizen of the United States, please visit www.cortada.com/IRebukeYou.
Xavier Cortada is an artist and professor of practice at the University of Miami Department of Art and Art History. Over the past three decades, the gay Cuban-American artist has created art at the North and South poles and across 6 continents, including more than 75 public artworks and dozens of installations, collaborative murals and socially engaged projects. The crux of Cortada’s work finds itself rooted in a deep conceptual engagement of his participants. Particularly environmentally and socially focused, the work Cortada develops is intended to generate awareness and action towards issues of global climate change and social justice. Learn more at www.cortada.com.