CONTENT MEDIA SYSTEMS / BRADLEY MICHAEL WELCH
As an adjunct to a NON GRATA performance focusing on the theme of ‘Exploding Politicians,’ I performed “E-LEWD” in four parts at Grace Exhibition Space.
 In a suit and tie, I first worked the room as viewers entered, introducing myself and explaining my campaign for re-election to City Council in District 26 of Long Island City, Queens. I highlighted in broad terms my values and asked for each individual’s support and contact information, ultimately receiving phone numbers from approximately fifteen people.  I excused myself from the room and entered these numbers into my phone without names or physical descriptions, then texted each number the same suggestive self-portrait (‘selfie’) of my bare chest. Re-emerging, I continued to politick the in-person constituency while simultaneously developing fifteen sets of flirtatious text conversations via phone. These virtual dalliances quickly escalated yet did not affect my social manner, and I eventually followed up each with a text image of my semi-erect penis clad in underwear.  I sat in the middle of NON GRATA’s performance next to a professionally-dressed woman, smiling and waving to the crowd with her while surreptitiously texting two final images to each recipient from my pocket: one of me washing my penis in a public sink and one point-of-view image of my fully erect penis. I maintained diplomatic in-person conversation with the audience for the remainder of the evening, no longer able to discern recipients from non-recipients.  The next morning I sent the following text before deleting all fifteen phone numbers: “I’ve dedicated my life first and foremost to helping people: friends, family, the great citizens of my district and Americans all over the world. But, unfortunately, last night I made a very deep error of judgement. I engaged in inappropriate communications that do not represent my values or the dignity with which all people must be treated. In light of this moral failure I am regrettably forced to step down from office and cease my campaign for re-election, effective immediately. Thank you so much for your understanding in this difficult time, and for your unwavering support.”
It is my hope that each recipient felt, in the end, that they had been subjected to an accelerated experience of the behavior and underlying psychology so frequently evident in the personality of those who seek public office.