Political Artist Projects Giant Insults Onto Trump International Hotel

Kari Scott
May 17, 2017

Bell, who has come as close as one can get to being a professional projection activist, parked his van about 9:15 p.m.in an ideally situated space on 12th Street NW - across the street from the west entrance of the Trump International Hotel.

The projections range from a somber display of the actual text of the Emoluments Clause to the more cheeky "Pay Trump Bribes Here" with an arrow, an "Emoluments Welcome" message paired with an "Open 24 Hour" sign, or a compilation of flags from Turkey, China, Saudi Arabia, and Russian Federation. "This is not like politics as usual.

A tour bus pulled up, people started clapping and taking photos", Bell told the Daily News. His efforts date well before Trump's presidency, with messages of support for Black Lives Matter and poop emojis in opposition to a new Subway in Mount Pleasant, illuminations in support of abortion rights on the Supreme Court building, and projections highlighting labor rights on the World Bank building. "That's clear, I don't need to embellish".

As expected, pictures of this projection quickly went viral on the social media. The one thing we can't do is block traffic.

Monday's display didn't last long because the hotel's staff is "pretty diligent about asking to take them down", Bell said, but that wouldn't stop him from doing it again. "He said so much that they could figure it out". "We're going to keep going". (Courtesy Liz Gorman) Artist Robin Bell said he wrote up the "Emoluments Clause" for the Monday night stunt as well.

Since Trump's election and continued ownership of his stake in the project, the hotel has been dogged by criticism from ethics experts suggesting that he unfairly benefits financially from it.

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Trump signed the lease in 2014, redeveloping the signature Pennsylvania Avenue property into a luxury hotel.

Bell also projected the text of the emoluments clause, which prohibits United States officials from accepting foreign gifts, onto the hotel's facade, alongside images of the Turkish and Russian flags.

In January, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government watchdog group, filed a lawsuit claiming Trump violates the clause because he is accepting payments from foreign governments through his business empire.

"There will be a lot more projections to come", he said.

He also traveled to Harrisburg, Pa., in April to project protest messages against the president as he delivered a speech marking his 100th day in office.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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