Neil Goldberg

It’s confusing to try to promote your art while the world is going up in flames. Can you imagine some mid-career artist in Berlin in 1933 being like, “Isn’t it crazy about the Reichstag? Anyway, hey, I’ve got a new solo show coming up.”? But, hey: I’ve got a solo show coming up, at Cristin Tierney Gallery, from October 25–December 15.

I’m calling the show VOTE IN THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS so that at least every act of promoting it will contain a call to modest political action. Also, I think my art is kind of like the midterm elections: it focuses on things that go overlooked or are considered unworthy of attention; it is sometimes overly local.

I realize that this title might preach to the choir. But I don’t think everyone in the choir voted in the midterm elections. I know I missed a few New York State primaries.

The show will focus on a collection of index cards on which I’ve been writing passing thoughts and reflections for the past two decades. Although rooted in my particular subjectivity and circumstances, the cards are meant to offer an opportunity for identification and disidentification, and to provide a starting point for tangents, detours, or entirely different cognitive routes. The one I wrote today was: “How my therapist told me not to trust my gut.”

On most days that the gallery is open, I’m going to use the cards as prompts for conversations with anyone who stops by, plus scheduled guest artists, writers, performers, activists, and community groups from across the city. You can come and go and participate or not participate as you like. It might sound trite, but talking to each other in person feels especially important right now. Even if it’s the choir talking among itself.

I realize that voting in the midterm elections is a bare-minimum step in a larger, hopefully much more profound struggle to address issues that have long preceded this political moment. If you want to do something more: I’ll be skipping my performances at the gallery on the two Saturdays before Election Day so that some friends and I can knock on doors in a nearby swing district. If you’d like to join us, please e-mail me at

You can think of canvassing as a form of social practice art if you want. (But must you?) If that isn’t your thing, I can set you up with something else: phone banking, data entry, gofer work at a local campaign office, etc. If any of this feels like too much, then, again: just make sure to vote in the midterm elections. And please come to VOTE IN THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS.