Last night, Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC played host to a temporary art installation. The words “pay Trump bribes here” and “emoluments welcome” were projected on the front entrance of the building. The project instantly captured the attention of Twitter and went viral even as it was happening.
Robin Bell Takes Credit
This morning, we learned that the projection was another project of DC-based artist Robin Bell. Bell, who works as a video journalist and multimedia artist for his own Bell Visuals, has put together projects like this before.
In November of last year, Bell put together a similar campaign to oppose the climate change-denier that Trump put in charge of his EPA transition team. He has also put together other projects in support of cannabis legalization and in support of women’s reproductive rights.
Bell Not Worried About the Fallout
In an interview with the Los Angeles Time, Bell said that he’s not worried about getting in trouble for his art installations.
He said, “When we first started doing it, we were concerned and we reached out for legal advice. But from the research we did, it was legal. The one thing we can’t do is block traffic. We can’t create an impediment on the sidewalk.”
According to Bell, his largest goal is to get people talking about the issues. But he also sees his art as a way to fight against an authoritarian government.
“I was reading this thing about when you deal with authoritarian governments, you have to create your own story,” he says. “If we’re reacting to these people all the time, they can just play us. So, part of the thing is making things that you can laugh at, that you can share, that aren’t just reacting to them.”
Photography and video copyright Liz Gorman and Robin Bell