On Friday, an artist collective known as the Trump Statue Initiative (TSI) has installed three “living statues” around Washington D.C. with live actors covered head to toe in gold and reimagining grotesque moments of selfishness from the presidency of Donald Trump.
The pedestals on the statues read, “45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, Destroyer of Civil Rights and Liberties.”
The three statues, unveiled Friday morning, depict Trump differently: “The Poser” shows him holding a Bible while police beat a Black Lives Matter protestor, “The Bunker” (installed in front of Trump’s D.C. Hotel) has Trump holding a teddy bear and watching Fox News while seated in a bunker under the White House, and “Now Go Back to School” (installed in D.C.’s Freedom Plaza) depicts him telling a young person in a coronavirus face mask to return to school while Trump holds a golf club.
Filmmaker and Academy Award nominee Bryan Buckley told The Hill that he curated the three statues. The idea came to Buckley in June after officers gassed protestors outside of the White House so Trump could pose for photos at St. John’s Episcopal Church while holding up a Bible — Buckley called it Trump’s “defining moment.”
Buckley said that statues seemed an especially apt way to draw attention to Trump now that there’s a national conversation about removing statues of Confederate leaders and other slave-owners.
The TSI says it hopes to inspire other performance artists to use their talents. The group urges everyone to register to vote on November 3, and it plans to take its living statues to less friendly areas of the U.S. to ignite conversations around Trump and his legacy.
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