“Ode to Putin,” one of three living statues commemorating the misdeeds of President Trump, part of the Trump Statue Initiative by Bryan Buckley (All images courtesy of Hungry Man Productions)

Living statues have always been a bit uncanny, but a new initiative by director Bryan Buckley pushes them into the realm of political commentary. The project, called Trump Statue Initiative, makes temporary monuments paying mocking tribute to various actions taken by President Donald Trump, including his attempts to protect statues of confederate generals and other divisive historic figures.

“Ode to Putin,” detail view

This week, three living statues appeared around downtown Portland, concurrent with the protests there and a jarringly fascistic response on behalf of the federal government. The first statue, “Ode to Putin,” conveyed a Black Lives Matter protester being dragged into a van by federal officers, mimicking actual occurrences that are taking place around the protests. While the Left seems to lean heavily into the narrative that Russian interference handed Trump his 2016 victory, it’s worth noting that he also embodies racist, ignorant, fascist, and pro-capitalist values embraced by an alarming cross-section of the US populace.

“Ode to Putin,” detail view
“Some Federal Property We Can Attack,” installation view, in downtown Portland

A second statue, called “Some Federal Property We Can Attack,” showed federal officers and Trump standing by a mailbox. Buckley told The Oregonian that the display addresses Trump’s attacks on the US Postal Service.

“I Just Wish Her Well Frankly,” installation view

The third living statue, all part of a traveling road show that is moving around the country, is titled “I Just Wish Her Well Frankly,” and highlights Trump’s relationship with proven and convicted sex offender Jeffery Epstein and others involved in sexual abuse scandals.

“He would put out good wishes to her [Ghislaine Maxwell], but has yet to send out a good wish to the 14 or 15-year-old girls that are now adults and struggling through being molested and essentially raped,” said Buckley, in an interview with The Oregonian. “… We will be everywhere he goes, right up to election day.”

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Sarah Rose Sharp

Sarah Rose Sharp is a Detroit-based writer, activist, and multimedia artist. She has shown work in New York, Seattle, Columbus and Toledo, OH, and Detroit —...

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