Ellen Sollod – Autocrats Playbook


© 2018
edition of 100
dimensions in inches: 5.5 x 4

About this piece:

A limited edition artist book delivered to 60 thought leaders across the U.S. whose actions could foster and protect our democracy. The Autocrat’s Playbook concisely describes the steps autocrats traditionally take to achieve their dictatorial aims. It was a call to action in response to the very real jeopardy that the U.S. democracy faces under the Trump Administration. The pocket-sized pamphlet references both a coach’s football play book and a pocket Constitution. The Autocrat’s Playing Card tucked in the back references both the Joker in a common deck of cards as well as the collecting of both football and baseball cards. Each book was accompanied by a personal letter, explaining why each person was selected to receive it, along with a list of other recipients. Following the tradition of the Mail Art movement of the 1960’s and 70’s, Ellen elected to take control of getting the art to her intended audience, rather than waiting or hoping for the audience to come to the art. She relied on friends-of-friends and the US Postal Service, for the completion of delivery. She received personal responses by letter or email from nearly one-third of the recipients. One copy is in the permanent collection of the University of Washington Suzallo Library Special Collections. The work was exhibited at Atlas Arts in Seattle in November 2018 as the mid-terms elections unfolded. Democrats retook the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. The threat to our democracy continues today. Related Projects Mapping Field Study: Ice Crystals of Antarctica Brush Creek Chronicles State of Play Summer Lake Sonata


watercolor, paper, glassine, thread, brads

About the artist:

Lives and works in Seattle, Washington.

Ellen Sollod is an interdisciplinary artist based in the PNW. She creates site-specific public art, multimedia temporary installations, artist books, photography and photo-based works.
Her work is represented in diverse collections, including Yale University Center for the Book, NYPL Spencer Collection, UW Suzallo Library and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Museum of Northwest Art, Bellevue Arts Museum, Museum of Outdoor Art, Jack Straw Cultural Center, NY Center for Photographic Arts, and the SE Center for Photography.


Ellen Sollod – Autocrats Playbook