Novus Ordo Seclorum

Novus ordo seclorum (Latin for “New Order of the Ages”) appears on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, first designed in 1782 and printed on the back of the American dollar bill since 1935.  Through the duality of beauty and commentary, the installation evokes a proud and mixed nostalgia, while opening a powerful dialogue about the concerns of our future sovereignty and the aesthetics of currency and its iconography.  Shumate has an extraordinary ability to toy with the viewer’s perception; it becomes difficult for the viewer to recognize what is authentic and what is a part of the performance.