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Ed Bereal: With Liberty and Justice For All? - 3D virtual exhibition by Viking Union Gallery

Ed Bereal: With Liberty and Justice For All?

The United States of America was envisioned by its white colonial founders as a united nation with liberty and justice for its people. But throughout its history, its governments, institutions, corporations, and civilians have proven that the liberties and justices afforded to the American people are conditional on their capital, race, gender, sexuality, and creed. The works featured in the virtual exhibition, With Liberty and Justice for All? illustrate Ed Bereal’s perspective of these realities. Ed Bereal (b. 1937) is an American artist living, inquiring, and creating in Bellingham, Washington. Bereal’s long-standing critique of systematic injustice, embodied in each of these works, deals especially with racism, American imperialism, and capitalist consumerism.

In seven of the ten pieces included, Bereal’s original caricaturistic figure known as Miss America can be seen creeping into the picture plane with her skeletal steel fingers and crown of nails. Her gown of shredded stars and stripes whips around figures and exposes her as the fetishized American dream. Miss America represents an illusory, idealized nation dreamt by the most privileged in American society. These works beg the questions: Whose liberty and justice? And how do we secure those rights for all?

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