Hugh Atkin is back. The Australian video artist with an oversupply of time and interest in American politics has released an extremely nice video of Mitt Romney driving around and musing about his internal contradictions. All fake, of course – all re-purposed clips.
The project began a few months ago, with a remix of Romney lines set to “The Real Slim Shady” and titled “Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up (feat. Eminem).” Atkin explains what happened next:
It did well at the time and has been viewed just under 4 million times. I wanted to do a follow-up. My general idea was to do a video where the “real” Mitt Romney did stand up and answer the question “who is the real Romney?”
I started with the idea that the constant repetition of the question “who is the real Romney” might spark an existential crisis for Governor Romney - that he might start do doubt who he really is.
My original concept was to do “Mitt Romney by Terrence Malick” and have a tormented and elliptical monologue from Romney as he walked through the corn fields of Iowa. That ultimately proved to be a bit too sombre and esoteric to have much appeal and I decided that Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” provided a better frame to explore the same basic idea.
Whitman’s poem seemed particularly apt:
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
I tried to have Governor Romney quote those words, but that proved not to be feasible. Nevertheless, I liked the idea of Romney ultimately celebrating his contradictions; that by taking divergent positions and speaking in different voices, Romney represented all of America.
A list of sources is here.