For Rice + Toye, London-based American artist Marisa J. Futernick has created a site-specific installation: The Watergate Complex. During a cross-country research trip to visit all of the Presidential Libraries in the US, Futernick became interested in the Watergate complex, situated in Washington, DC. This is the location of the notorious 1972 break-in to the Democratic National Committee’s campaign headquarters, an event that became synonymous with the subsequent cover-up scandal involving the administration of President Richard M. Nixon. The scandal, and the name itself – Watergate – have become embedded within our cultural history, even resulting in the suffix ‘–gate’ being commonly used to denote a scandal. In contrast, the Watergate stands as a banal and unassuming building. It still contains much sought-after apartments, and renovations are currently taking place to re-open a hotel and office space. Other than a small plaque marking its status on the National Register of Historic Places, the Watergate continues to go about its daily business.
Futernick, with Rice + Toye, has also produced a publication, to be read alongside the installation, weaving together fact, presidential trivia, and fiction to narrate the Watergate scandal.