“This is the worst party I’ve ever been to” by M. Scott Brauer (USA) exhibition opening / artist talk

© M. Scott Brauer (USA) “This is the worst party I’ve ever been to”

On 6 of September, Tuesday, at 4 pm., at Vytautas Magnus university, faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy (Gedimino str. 44), will be the opening of the exhibition “This is the worst party I’ve ever been to” by M. Scott Brauer (Boston, USA).

At 5 pm., at the hall of  Vytautas Magnus university, S. Daukanto str. 28, M. Scott Brauer will present his creative work.

“This is the worst party I’ve ever been to” (2015-2016) by M. Scott Brauer (Boston, USA)

Last-minute decorations, ill-fitting suits, bad food, too many cameras, the guest-of-honor is always late, the events are either too crowded or no one shows up, half the people are wearing khaki, everyone wants to talk about politics and religion…. The New Hampshire presidential primary is the worst party you can imagine. And it goes on for months. Starting in July 2015, I photographed Republican and Democratic presidential candidates as they hit the campaign trail in New Hampshire, from meet-and-greets in public libraries to brewery tours to balloon festivals to gun stores to small town diners to function halls to community centers to university auditoriums. All of this is done by the candidates in an effort to appear authentic and to appeal to what is often termed “real America.” But there is nothing less authentic than these campaign events. They are rehearsed and stage-managed and focus-grouped to be almost infinitely repeatable. I’ve photographed this story using a harsh and direct flash, evocative of early press photography. The campaigns usually bring in their own lighting and backdrops, and this technique is a deliberate attempt to subvert their control of the optics of politics. Shooting in this way reveals the edges of this political spectacle and allows viewers to notice what’s going on around the center of attention: cold food left on a buffet line, duct tape holding up the banners, wiring in the corner of the room, bored staffers and journalists, clips keeping the American flag in perfect posture. The work is not meant to be critical of any candidates, but rather to focus on the boredom, banality, inauthenticity, and repetitiveness of their appeals to the American public as these events are set up, performed, and taken down again and again and again.

Scott Brauer (b. 1982) is an American freelance photographer based in Boston, Massachusetts. Originally from Montana, Brauer attended college in Seattle, Washington. After college, he interned at American newspapers and the agencies Black Star and VII, and then moved to China in 2007 and began his career as a freelance photographer. He regularly works on assignment for international newspapers and magazines on stories ranging from politics, business, and science and technology to opiate addiction, mental health, and economic issues. His work has been published by Time, Esquire, Newsweek, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Globe and Mail, Le Monde, MIT Technology Review, New Scientist, Wired, NPR, and others. Brauer is also the co-founder and editor of dvafoto.com, a long-running blog about photojournalism, the world of photography, and ethics. In 2015, Brauer began writing a column on photographers’ sketchbooks for the photography magazine Raw View.


Exhibition is on display until 31 of September.

Working hours: I – VI 9 am. – 6 pm., VII – closed.