01 I Should Be In Charge | Bob and Roberta Smith

01 I Should be in Charge.jpg
01 I Should be in Charge.jpg

01 I Should Be In Charge | Bob and Roberta Smith


Title                 I Should Be In Charge       
Artist               Bob and Roberta Smith
Year                2011
Medium          Four-colour offset lithograph
Dimensions    71 x 56 cm
Edition            100

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What I mean when I say “I should be in charge” is that “you should be in charge”. We should be in charge. What motivates me is politics, but our politicians are ghastly. The last politician I liked was Michael Foot, the Labour leader in the 1980s. He was an intellectual. Margaret Thatcher ate him for breakfast in 1984. Ever since then, liberal and left-wing politicians in Britain have been disingenuous cabbages.

—Bob and Roberta Smith, I Should Be In Charge (Black Dog Publishing, 2011)

Taking the issue of representational imbalance in government, Bob and Roberta’s painting Esther’s Law is the starting point for You Should Be In Charge. Recently part of a group show curated by Bob and Roberta Smith at the New Art Gallery Walsall, Esther’s Law is inspired by Jacob Epstein’s sculpture of his daughter Esther, of which Bob and Roberta say “in the sculpture Esther looks like she does not want to be interpreted by her father and seems to stick a sharp pair of scissors into the male hegemonic world”.

Esther’s Law, Smith’s vision of a truly proportional system of government, states that the same proportion of women, those from diverse communities, and those living with disability that exists in society should be represented in Parliament—what Smith refers to as "real proportional representation".

I Should Be In Charge was created to coincide with the exhibition Bob and Roberta Smith: You Should Be In Charge at WORK, 1 April–3 June 2011.