A West Coast artists’ collective traveled to New York City to surreptitiously transform a hotel suite at the Trump International Hotel into an anti-Trump art installation this week, according to The New York Post‘s Page Six column.
Indecline, the group of artists who have previously been behind such guerilla political artworks as the nude statue of Trump titled “The Emperor Has No Balls” and the transformation of Trump’s Westchester County golf course into “Trump Cemetery”, booked a one bedroom suite at the hotel owned by the Trump Organization and smuggled all their materials into the room in their luggage.
They then spent all night turning the room into an installation entitled “The People’s Prison.” They began by removing all of the furniture and wall decorations from one of the suite’s two rooms and stashing it in the other room.
Then they put up temporary wallpaper that simulated cracked concrete walls and built a five by eight-foot jail cell into which they threw used McDonald’s burger wrappers, a bunch of live rats, and a Trump impersonator wearing a MAGA hat and gold handcuffs.
They also put up a series of artworks combining the American flag and images of “revolutionary” personalities such as Muhammad Ali, Edward Snowden, the journalist Hunter S. Thompson, activist Angela Davis, philosopher Noam Chomsky, and the historian Howard Zinn.
One of the Indecline artists said that the project was initiated to “celebrate the United States’ history of activism and protest.”
“We’re going through turbulent times, specifically because of Donald Trump, who we consider to be the embodiment of every single unethical, arrogant American attitude that there is.”
They explained that the flag-based artworks, each created by a different artist, portray “people who inspire us to continue the fight in this era.”
Once the installation was complete, Indecline held a brief three-hour exhibition for the press last night to show off the fruits of their labor. Once the art critics and reporters left the hotel room installation, they worked quickly to restore the suite to its original condition.
Indecline compared the exhibit to a “Trojan horse” that they smuggled into the Trump-owned property but denied having broken any laws since they paid for the room and left it in the same condition that they found it in. They did admit that the rats might have created a problem if the hotel had found out about them before they restored the room.
“The big question is the rats,” said one, “They’re not emotional support rats. I’m sure it’s a health code violation, but I’m not sure what kind.”
Luckily for the hotel’s other guests, a post-installation census of the rats had all of them accounted for and they checked out with the rest of the room’s occupants. If only the same could be said for the giant rodent in the White House.
While the ephemeral and unofficial nature of the installation means that only a few privileged members of the press got to see their original work at the Trump International Hotel, Indecline plans on replicating their installation at Gallery 30 South in Pasadena, California during the month of April, so anyone in Southern California during that time can drop in and experience it for themselves.
For the rest of us, this video documenting the creation of the artwork will have to suffice in the meantime.