Washington, D.C. is a tripod holding up the great American experiment. I call the three legs, the lifers, the short-timers, and the power. The tripod is stable, for now, but the weight each leg supports is not equal. Representation Without Taxation examines the occasionally contentious, often indifferent, but always engaging relationship between these groups.
Short-timers, those who come for a political term, an internship, or on vacation are the longest leg of the tripod but they wield the least influence. Lifers, the second leg, are the most overlooked. For them D.C. is home but their concerns are usually ignored. The smallest, most powerful leg, is the politicians. Some politicians stay in D.C. for decades, others only four years. The influence the political class has over the rest of the city can be overwhelming. The city and the people living there are often pawns in a larger game.
Representation also explores how the three groups interact with the city. D.C is the embodiment of many of our vaunted American values. The National Mall is the physical manifestation of the First Amendment. The monuments, with all their historical baggage, are shrines to our past. How people interact with the city reveals much about how we see ourselves and our history. A process I find endlessly fascinating.
This project is ongoing.