Washing the Charging Bull on Wall Street with the Golden Rule
As the United States Congress deliberated over a Financial Reform Bill in the spring of 2010, I wondered if the Golden Rule has any place on Wall Street. I began washing the iconic Charging Bull with a cloth that said LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. As I was scrubbing the bull clean, a group of Japanese tourists started rubbing the bull along with me.
Table Talks on the Golden Rule as a guiding principle on Wall Street.
I asked financial industry insiders to do a self-evaluation of how effectively current financial practices fulfill the needs of the community and to consider the feasibility of the Golden Rule as a new code of conduct on Wall Street. This Table Talk was a soul searching and sincerely personal conversation.
I hosted two Table talks in the gallery open to public participation. The first Table Talk was on the relationship of the Golden Rule to our free market system. The second one was on a different perspective on investing; considering the Golden Rule as a guiding principle as we invest in our future: children, education and health care. Everyone was truly thoughtful, self-reflective, resourceful and did not try to blame "Wall Street." I was moved as I listened to everyone struggle with the ethical issues of how hard it is to walk the talk. As we talked, we wrote and drew notes directly on a white table cloth. The Table Talk conversations were recorded, photographed and filmed by Keith Moreau.
While I was looking for financial experts to participate, we decided to take my art down to Wall Street. Angelisse Karol, Storrs Hoen, and Keith Moreau and I carried the table cloths with the Golden Rules down to the Stock Exchange. We stood with the banners on Wall Street as we talked with the public about the financial meltdown and the potential role of the Golden Rule in financial reform.
This Wall Street participatory performance was created while the U.S. Congress deliberated over a Financial Reform Bill and while my art exhibit All the rest is commentary… was on display at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan May – July 2010.
All the rest is commentary... exhibited at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan
All the rest is commentary... presents the Golden Rule from 12 world religions as a core vision of global human relations. This series of printed linen table cloths typographically unifies these translated versions of the Golden Rule as authoritative messages. My exploration of this universal tenet magnifies inherent meaning and searches for new content and questions.