You Will Be My Witnesses to the End of the Earth
You Will Be My Witnesses to the End of the Earth reimagines our current political moment by way of the Gideons International. Who are the Gideons, and where do all those hotel Bibles come from? During a residency at ACRE in the summer of 2016, AK / OK investigated the nearby town of Boscobel, Wisconsin to research its claim to fame as the birthplace of the Gideon Bible. One fateful night in 1898, two traveling salesmen found themselves sharing a room in an overcrowded Boscobel hotel. Upon discovering that they were both Christians, they had a shared vision: to establish an association of evangelical traveling salesmen. For over a century now, the Gideons have been roaming the globe placing Bibles in hotel rooms wherever they go — over two billion Bibles and counting. To join the Gideons, you must be a professional businessman (no women allowed), and feel called as a Christian to colonize the world. In 1968, two Gideon Bibles left earth’s orbit and circled the moon on Apollo 8. This series of new work speculates on the figure of Donald Trump, our nation’s hotelier-in-chief, as a wannabe Gideon — a traveling salesman on a global mission, whose pandering to evangelicals launched him into the political stratosphere. Gideons International, meet Trump International. Just think of all the hotel rooms.