Left Right Left Right
Not on view
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Print Committee
Rights and reproductions
© Annette Lemieux
Left, Right, Left, Right consists of thirty photolithographs—three copies each of ten images—which Annette Lemieux appropriated from journalistic sources dating from the 1930s to the 1970s, printed on thick museum board, and mounted on wooden sticks that lean against a wall. Each picture depicts a raised fist, some belonging to famous political and cultural figures including Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Nixon, Jane Fonda, and Miss America. Others are anonymous—for example, the fists of a sailor or a preacher. The images and their protest-sign format suggest a demonstration. But the object of grievance remains unspecified, and even the very activity of protesting is called into question. Several of the images are flipped, so that the same fist appears raised in opposing directions, and the use of photographs from various decades injects difference into what appears on first glance to be a unified front. While demonstrations are often framed in the black-and-white terms implied by the work’s title (“left, right”), Lemieux indicates that protests—and the political and ideological issues that occasion them—are more complex, encompassing contradictions and opposing views.