I want a dyke for president
Zoe Leonard: speaking up as a vital and powerful political act
Leonard poem on the High Line in New York City.
‘I want a dyke for president. I want a person with AIDS for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance…’. One of MACBA’s latest acquisitions is Zoe Leonard’s most famous work, a poem that is a cry for social justice. This American photographer wrote it in 1992 when her friend the poet Eileen Myles decided to back Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign. In collaboration with the artist, the text was printed and distributed by feminist collectives in support of AIDS. During Trump’s 2016 electoral campaign, the poem began widely circulating again and its reproduction on a huge poster right under the High Line, Manhattan’s elevated park, went viral on the social networks. As the artist said: ‘I still think that speaking up is itself a vital and powerful political act.’