The Finger of Blame


In 2007, artists Geoffrey Cunningham and Carla Repice took to the streets, armed with an office desk, a red phone, and a stationary pad. They traveled to different American cities and towns, set up on a street corner, and waited for people to stop by. Their mission? To ask people what their biggest problem was and who was at fault.

The new art book Office of Blame Accountability (it’s also a traveling museum exhibit) is a compilation of these finger-pointings. Simple, elegant, and devoid of commentary, each page records a different person’s problem. Some are political–both American political parties are targeted. Others are personal, some humorous (“I blame everyone for not getting along”) and some harrowing (“I blame myself for my daughter’s death in a car accident”).

A final space on each page, “my role,” challenges each person to account for his or her own culpability in the blame. It’s a fun, challenging, and intense mental workout as Rosh Hashanah approaches: Who do you blame? And who’s blaming you?

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