Emily Lazerwitz

The President’s Daily Brief – April 6 1968, 2020

Hand tufted wool rug hung on butcher hooks

80 x 100 cm


American artist and mathematician Emily Lazerwitz explores the intersection of art, craft, technology and language in her political textiles. Predominantly, she creates intriguing pieces where language is broken down to its core. Eventually, she then transcribes them, with the legibility present, yet seemingly abstract.

Importantly, Emily Lazerwitz’s marks key historical moments in her political textiles. As an example, we see this in her latest work, ‘The President’s Daily Brief – April 6 1968’, made this year. Emphatically, the rug takes as its source, an excerpt from the US president’s daily brief in 1968. In particular, Lyndon B Johnson’s government made this statement on 6 April. This occurred on a day of rioting following the assassination of Martin Luther King. Importantly, her work always plays with dark humour, and for her this piece is more explicit.

Additionally, Emily describes – “I was reading through the daily briefs from 1968 as a way to reflect on what is happening today. This phrase really struck me and felt apt as a response to the present status quo.

Lazerwitz made this new work once she was able to access her studio during lockdown. She started reading through the President’s Daily Briefs from 1968 – a pivotal year in American politics and the Civil Right’s Movement. Crucially, Lazerwitz used this to make an effort to understand and gain perspective on the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and the Trump Administration’s response. Lazeritz came across the phrase ‘There is nothing significant to report at this time’, whilst reading through these briefings. To Lazerwitz, it encapsulates all her feelings about how the government was responding to Black Lives Matter as well as the pandemic.