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I would like to take this opportunity to endorse the candidacy of Mr. Peanut for mayor of Vancouver.
December 10, 2006 11:35 AM   Subscribe

We need more artists in politics! In 1969, Canadian performance artist Vincent Trasov constructed a human-sized peanut costume and took on the familiar identity of Planters mascot Mr. Peanut. Five years later, Trasov took his performance art persona to the next level as he entered Mr. Peanut into the 1974 Vancouver mayoral election, running on a platform of "Performance, Elegance, Art, Nonsense, Uniqueness, and Talent." Trasov posed a "visual question" to his opponents at the debates via tap dance, received at least one celebrity endorsement during his campaign, and in the end, garnered 3.4% of the vote. Recently, Trasov (and fellow artist Michael Morris) launched the Morris/Trasov Archive, where you can find a nice collection of photos from the campaign trail online (Performance -> My Five Years in a Nutshell).

Mr. Peanut remains a central part of Trasov's art; his "Histories" place Mr. Peanut in the Bamyian Valley of Afghanistan, the Marx-Engels monument at Berlin, and at the entrance to Thebes, playing the role of Oedipus opposite the Sphinx.
posted by duffell (11 comments total)

 


Slight coincidence... I was just weighing whether or not to revise for publication an essay I wrote on why artists should tread carefully in the political realm, and then this headline was the first on Metafilter, as though it was arguing with me.
posted by bukharin at 11:41 AM on December 10, 2006


it's the monocle...i have seen it before, Tavernesque texture, fine Savile Row, ambling gait. The peanut did go to Belize during the Carter years but then we all should have.
posted by clavdivs at 11:52 AM on December 10, 2006


Not to be confused with Victoria's Mr Floaty mayoral candidate (though both may contain peanuts)
posted by Rumple at 11:58 AM on December 10, 2006


I heard Mr. Peanut walks with a cane because he has dry roasted nuts.
posted by Tube at 12:05 PM on December 10, 2006


All it takes to run for mayor of Toronto is fill in a two-page form and pay a $200 fee ($100 to run for a seat on council).

(There were 38 people on the ballot for mayor this year)
posted by winston at 1:11 PM on December 10, 2006


They stated that Mr. Floatie was not a real person. Well, of course, he's not a real person! He's a big piece of poop!

Canadians can be awfully picky about their politicians.
posted by swell at 1:54 PM on December 10, 2006


winston writes "All it takes to run for mayor of Toronto is fill in a two-page form and pay a $200 fee ($100 to run for a seat on council)."

I thought that Mel Lastman had already proven once and for all that anybody can be Mayor of Toronto.
posted by clevershark at 2:57 PM on December 10, 2006


All it takes to run for mayor of Toronto is fill in a two-page form and pay a $200 fee ($100 to run for a seat on council).

(There were 38 people on the ballot for mayor this year)


Hmm, this is reminding me of Jim Compton's departure from the Seattle City Council, and the ensuing clusterfuck of applicants to fill his seat. (For example...)
posted by duffell at 3:20 PM on December 10, 2006


We need more artists in politics! We also need more art in our legislation. This all reminds me of Augusto Boal, a theatremaker in Brazil who was elected to Rio's city council and developed some 13 laws using forum theatre techniques. His book Legislative Theatre describes the experience (and is a bit more fun than a lot of his other more theoretical works).
posted by jrb223 at 3:35 PM on December 10, 2006


I see this as yet another reason why John Kerry should have run as the cranky tree from Oz.

It sorta makes Howard Dean's scream look a lot more palatable.
posted by landedjentry at 4:26 PM on December 10, 2006


Ronald Reagan was an artist turned politician. He replaced Jimmy Carter, a peanut farmer as President.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:57 PM on December 10, 2006


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