Notary Bulletin

Smithsonian Exhibit Features Notary Public At Work

With Notaries continuing to gain national and international recognition, the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. is featuring an innovative exhibition by video artist Ali Kazma that’s all about notarization.

The work, titled “O.K.,” consists of seven synchronized video channels showing Notaries stamping hundreds of documents at breakneck speed. According to the museum’s description, it is difficult to tell whether the video shows one Notary or many. It is considered the Turkish-born artist’s most ambitious project to date.

“O.K” will be on display at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden until April 2012.

While viewers may make a link between the work and the ‘robo-signing’ crisis, the project was created in 2010 before the improper notarizations and other misconduct exposed by the crisis came to light. The project actually reflects Kazma’s fascination with work processes, from mass manufacturing to intricate hand labor.

But the work’s focus raises awareness about the process of notarization, the challenges of performing it correctly to protect consumers, and the sheer volume of notarizations that occur across the globe every day.

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

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