09/19/2013 03:17 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Is Capitalism Working? An Art Project Is Out To Decide Once And For All

Is the following statement true or false? "Capitalism works for me!" Go on, choose. It's art.


Still mulling it over? You have a little time to decide, because on September 20, artist Steve Lambert is bringing the big question in blinking, bright lights to the center of Times Square. Lambert is inviting opinionated passersby to vote and express their (extremely boiled down) views on today's economic system. If your position is a bit more nuanced than the installation allows, feel free to strike up a dialogue with the other participants and go from there. Anything's possible.


You may recognize Lambert from a 2008 project in which he distributed a fake New York Times declaring the end of the Iraq war. The politically inclined artist and SUNY professor employs humor and pop culture as a means of tackling those serious subjects that are difficult to broach. "The word 'capitalism' is a red flag," Lambert writes in his statement. "And for good reason -- pretty soon either some dude is talking your ear off about 'The System' or aggressively confronting you about taxes. Ugh."

And yet, we still must discuss capitalism and its efficacy in today's world. If we're going to do it, Lambert asks, why not just do it? In his words: "For 50 years it has been unacceptable, politically, in the United States to ask what is basically a straightforward question." What do you think, New York? Can you handle it?


"Capitalism Works for Me! (True/False)" will show will show as part of FIAF’s 2013 Crossing the Line festival and is co-produced by Times Square Arts. The piece will be on view Friday, September 20 from 12–5pm on Broadway between 46th and 47th Streets and Sunday, October 6 through Wednesday, October 9 from 12–7pm on Broadway between 44th and 47th Streets.

Interviews from Capitalism Works For Me! True/False in Boston from Steve Lambert on Vimeo.