IV / The Money Font

Anna Maria Hong, Philadelphia


I am watching a work of art dissolve its way forward. I’m told that at the RNC site in Ohio, some of the letters just keeled over, leaving “Eric anDre” up last, the name of a comedian.

Things have gotten both unimaginably worse and unexpectedly better in my span on Earth. Two rivers running fast simultaneously, and countless tiny streams. Like the path of water, the life of a work of art—a poem or song or sculpture—is not predictable.

The RNC was a bonafide disaster; their candidate recalls the malformed despots who inherited their positions after generations of genetic devolution, not those elected by an informed populace in a democratic republic. Remember this poem (oft quoted during the W. Bush Era)?

England in 1819 by Percy Bysshe Shelley

As the sculptors who conceived and installed this piece, Ligorano and Reese, point out, art starts and abets conversation, a work is not an end in itself.


This particular incarnation of The American Dream is carved into the American dollar font, a happy, jovial type that makes me think of the circus and silver dollar coins.

All of the letters are still standing. The “I” and “C”—first to go up on their pedestals—are not looking too good. People have been putting their palms on the letters, dumping buckets of run-off water on themselves, enlisting strangers to take their pictures as they pose, taking selfies.