Paul Ramírez Jonas
Artist in the Public Realm

Public Trust, 2016



    MATERIALS:  A 16 foot marquee, sacred and civic texts, oaths, 950 promises from private individuals,  84 promises from public figures, graphite, and paper. 

    How serious are the promises we make to one another, the vows we take, or the pledges made by our civic leaders? For 21 consecutive days, in three Greater Boston neighborhoods (Dudley Square, Kendall Square and Copley Square), Public Trust asked participants to examine the value of their word. Participants declared a promise that was recorded in a drawing they could keep. They were also asked to give their word in a way that is consistent with their beliefs, such as swearing on a sacred text. That promise was then published on a 16’x16’ marquee board and seen in context with promises made by politicians, scientists, economists, and weather forecasters, all chosen daily from headline news. Thirteen local Boston artists helped facilitate the process.