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Wall Off Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio  (all photos courtesy Hope in Focus, via Mijente)

In the wake of Donald J. Trump’s official coronation as the Republican presidential nominee for 2016, the art of wall building is reaching new heights. On Tuesday, Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was cordoned off with a concrete wall half-a-foot tall, complete with razor wire and “Keep Out” signs. Built by Los Angeles–based street artist Plastic Jesus, the tiny, beautiful wall is a reference, of course, to Trump’s divisive promise to build a giant wall on the US–Mexico border to keep “foreigners” out.

Plastic Jesus shared a photo of his baby wall, which is also engraved with his recent motto, “Stop Making Stupid People Famous,” on Instagram. It’s only his latest piece of public art protesting the nominee — earlier this year, he made a series of printable “No Trump Anytime” parking signs. The Walk of Fame wall was apparently taken down this afternoon.

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, hundreds of protesters today built a 15,000-foot banner around the perimeter of the Republican National Convention, blocking a chunk of the main entrance. Dubbed “Wall Off Trump,” it was made of fabric stenciled with patterns of bricks and chain-link fences, graffitied with slogans like “No One Is Illegal.” Some sections of the banner were being worn like tunics by activists linking hands, forming a human barrier.

Wall Off Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio

Wall Off Trump was a collaboration between various activist groups, including Iraq Veterans Against the War, the Other 98%, the Ruckus Society, Design Action Collective, Working Families Party, and Mijente. The Indiegogo campaign funding the project surpassed its goal of $15,000. In downtown Cleveland, organizers were offering free paint and stencils to anyone who wanted to graffiti anti-Trump messages on the fabric wall.

“If Trump is set on building a wall, we’re going to give it to him,” Marisa Franco, director of Mijente, an organization supporting the rights of Latinxs and Chicanxs, said on Mijente’s blog. “But we’re [sic] be walling off his hate. We won’t go quietly as he campaigns to put us back in the closet, back across the border, or to the back of the bus.”

Wall Off Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio

Wall Off Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio

Wall Off Trump at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio

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Carey Dunne

Carey Dunne is a Brooklyn-based writer covering arts and culture. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Baffler, The Village Voice, and elsewhere.

18 replies on “In Response to the RNC, Artists and Activists Go Wall Out Against Trump”

          1. thanks, don’t worry, people can see things differently, my poem just a spontaneous response, guess a little cliched,just my my humble opinion. I’ll add though that Danold Duck Trump is a bigger disaster for Americans, and less so
            for rest of the world. Us in the UK esp. due to our governments’
            perpetual need to do US’s bidding.

            Yet Clintons aggressive attititude to the rest of the world will
            drag us with them into antagonising the rest of the world – the Muslim
            world – and put us at even more risk on our own streets, and when we go
            abroad on holidays to other countries.Both have the capability of creating a lot of damage.
            It is good that people can question this, and I guess too that artists can address complex issues than can hopefully challenge and engage, responding to social issues that will have an impact on the world. All the best.

  1. I will bow to no one in my antipathy for Donald Trump, but I think we have to ask ourselves, other than stating the obvious or as a mode of self-expression (one of the few freedoms we still have in a vastly diminished democracy prior to Trump), what do demonstrations like this accomplish? Who, or what is changed? I would suggest very little, if anything. Trump and his supporters, like immature, spoiled brat children, thrive on attention and opposition, and not only will this not change a single person’s mind, like Plastic Jesus said, even though he also is adding to the focus on Trump, “Stop Making Stupid People Famous.” There isn’t much more within the system one can do but vote for Hillary, many of us holding our noses as we do it, but turning this thing around will take actions far more serious than self-indulgent and safe public groupthink.

    1. There is no way I can hold my nose tight enough to keep out the war-criminal stench. I think artists need to deal with the other psychopath, not just Trump. Focusing on Trump simply makes them agents of a person who may be even more destructive and dangerous, although admittedly it’s hard to tell.

      As for the practical effects of anti-Trump demonstrations, I’d guess they help Trump, since as you say part of his shtick is to provoke opposition. But whatever — just don’t forget that Trump isn’t the only monster in the room.

        1. I don’t think we can tell without a formal war-crimes trial, along the lines of the Nuremberg trials, with sworn witnesses, cross-examination, and the most severe penalties for lying and obfuscating. Clinton claims that she was given bad intelligence in 2002, that is, she’s claiming innocence through incompetence and ignorance. I certainly think that’s possible, although she does not strike me as incompetent or ignorant to that great an extent. There is also the fact of her persistent hawkishness in many other areas. The prospect of her coming to power in the world as it presently is is scary. But then, so is Trump.

      1. I can’t disagree with you, and though I said I’d vote for Hillary, I must admit it was a rhetorical device and I haven’t yet decided I can. As far as what the system offers us, it really doesn’t matter. I’ll know what to do at the moment I get there. There are lots of reasons to vote (or not), and making Trump President could act to facilitate an accident waiting to happen in a doomed vehicle which is going slower now than it will be in the future.

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