Roscoe, Cassie, and Edie

Cassie: “‘You are required by law to respond to the 2020 Census. The Census Bureau estimates that completing the interview will take 10 minutes on average. This collection of information has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget.’

This statement appears on the official US Census 2020 ‘Notice of Visit,’ which is what we leave if you don’t answer when a Census Enumerator knocks on your door. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. Participating in the US Census once every 10 years is a mandatory, not optional part of living in the United States, like stopping for red lights. But not everyone knows that.

As a Census Enumerator, I am paid $19 an hour to visit addresses and attempt interviews. It is US Census policy to attempt an address in-person SIX times. Let’s call that an hour of Enumerator time—and that doesn’t include the time of my supervisor(s) or the numerous postcards, mailers and notices printed off for you. Refusing to complete the census is against the law and costs at least $20 of taxpayer money.”

Lexington in the Time of COVID-19 is an artwork about people practicing social distancing at a time of a deadly virus. And also offering kindness.

Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova capture photographs at the periphery of American culture, where drag queens, discarded couches, and abandoned motel signs exist.