Modern Art might be the worst thing to ever happen to art. The most popular pieces require little skill and focus more on the statement they make than an actual appreciation for a practiced and perfected form of expression.
You’ll recall famous “modern art” pieces such as “Piss Christ,” which was a crucifix being placed in a jar of urine, and “Fountain” which was just an upside-down urinal with some writing on it.
Today in D.C., the tradition of useless “art” continues at the Flashpoint Gallery simply called “Ivanka Vacuuming.”
According to the press release for the display, the “performance art” displays an Ivanka Trump lookalike as she vacuums up a square of carpet on a small stage. Nearby is a pile of crumbs nearby onlookers can throw toward the Ivanka mockup, who will then proceed to vacuum the crumbs up with an unwavering smile on her face.
The meaning behind the display is easily grasped, and rather shallow:
Inspired by a figure whose public persona incorporates an almost comically wide range of feminine identities – daughter, wife, mother, sister, model, working woman, blonde – Ivanka Vacuuming is simultaneously a visual celebration of a contemporary feminine icon; a portrait of our own relationship to that figure; and a questioning of our complicity in her role-playing. The public is invited to throw crumbs onto the carpet, watching as Ivanka elegantly vacuums up the mess, her smile never wavering. This process repeats itself for the entire duration of the performance.
Kelsey Harkness at The Federalist had a very good take on how the real exhibit is the people who go to throw the crumbs:
Anyone who cares enough to go see “Ivanka Vacuuming” or watch the spectacle on its livestream is likely too blinded by his own hate to realize the joke of the whole thing is actually on them. It’s not Ivanka’s vacuuming that’s the problem, but the heart of the person who feels pleasure from bullying and humiliating others.
It’s more than “icky” to feel this way. It’s immoral. That is why, for “Ivanka Vacuuming,” the real exhibit worth going to see is the people throwing the crumbs, not the person picking them up.
It’s hard to take any other “interpretation” seriously, especially with the figure in question. The press release says there is a myriad of interpretations to go with it, however, I’m wondering if any other famous figure would be put up in the place of Ivanka in such a way, say, like Chelsea Clinton.
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