In September 2012 Jeff Gates, in his guise as the Chamomile Tea Party, purchased ad space on Washington D.C.’s Metro system to strategically display two of its posters at busy Metro stations both close to the Capitol and K Street (the epicenter for the nation’s lobbyists). Gates was the first artist to buy ads in the subway system. The 2012 general elections were nearing their final, fevered pitch. And the ads were meant to bring the posters’ messages to a larger audience. Congresspeople have been known to take the Metro from time to time. But, their staff always do. It was a reminder of the state of American politics and what voters should be thinking about before they cast their votes.
Each ad dealt with the gridlock that is strangling progress and fruitful dialogue about issues that affect all Americans. The hope was that these public displays would encourage conversations by citizens with their friends and fellow commuters about the rancor that is so prevalent in American political discourse.
Reviewed: “The Chamomile Tea Party” at Curator’s Office (Washington City Paper, November 2, 2012)
Subway Posters Aim to Return Civility to Politics (Washington Post)
Ads Pushing Civility in Politics (News Story and Interview with Washington, DC’s Fox Affiliate, WTTG)
Anti-party-politics-as-usual posters up in DC Metro (BoingBoing)