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  • Fiona Prior

The Don and the Showgirl

Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian – the photo opportunity

There has been much ‘to do’ about Childish Gambino’s video ‘This is America’ (2018). It is racist, cynical, nasty, narcissistic, violent and frightening. No, this isn’t a criticism but rather a description. ‘This is America’ is a cultural artefact that has been made by a knowing creative with the intent of revealing/presenting a truth. If interested, please see more here. It is very much as described and you will be saddened.

image: For the Love of God (2007), by Damien Hirst. Courtesy of the artist.

With similar intent is Damien Hirst’s ‘For the Love of God’ (2007), a diamond-encrusted skull that I felt nailed a certain, frightening value system way beyond the illicit diamond trade. Social statements made by artists are as old as opinion. Almost a century ago the Dada Movement was building artworks on the belief that the art deserved by a world that had permitted the horrors of World War One was, well, latrine-worthy.

image: The Fountain (1917), by Marcel Duchamp

Why that little prelude? Truly disturbing this week and not an artistic statement about a dystopian, cartoon world is a photograph taken off Kim Kardashian and Donald Trump at the White House. Mr Trump is a man who has ridden celebrity to the nth degree and whose name has become ubiquitous; first through the erection of a tower and then as presenter on a Reality TV show where he episodically fires contestants. Kim Kardashian is a fellow reality show star whose name may be even more well-known than Trump’s own.

The White House should house the most influential human beings on the planet and the convergence there of Kim Kardashian and Donald Trump was inevitable and/or horrifying depending on your view-point.

Populism, polls, ratings, and rants, I can’t help noting that those who find Post-modernism, Semiotics and Post-structuralism inappropriate critical additions to our school curriculum should please take a reality check and come on down to the art room.

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