Anticipating Escalating Violence, DC Arts Center Postponed Display of Blood-drenched White House (courtesy a/political)

What might a blood-soaked White House tell us about the state of DC today? Considering multiple bloody insurrections in the US capital, the work of one artist seems to have tapped into all the blood lust.

The sculpture by Andrei Molodkin floods an acrylic model of the White House using blood donated by US citizens in France. The projection of the bloody sculpture on the facade of a theater in DC will no longer go ahead, as its local organizer, CulturalDC, decided that the image of a blood-soaked White House was a bit ill-advised.

CulturalDC’s executive director, Kristi Maiselman, said in an email to Hyperallergic that Molodkin’s work was not being censored, but is instead being relocated out of respect to the situation in DC.

“The federal government is currently experiencing a potent division,” Maiselman went on, “but the real Washington, DC community is united. We are the frontline city that marches and paints the streets and is physically there to remind the government that it serves the people.”

She added that while “Molodkin’s work is especially brilliant, it questions everyone and it isn’t there to soothe anyone’s ego.”

The decision was first made following the “Save America March” that erupted in early December and led to several stabbings and hospitalizations. In anticipation of the insurrection at the Capitol building on January 6, the work seems to have touched on a nerve. With the near constant stream of chaos engulfing DC in the weeks leading up to the inauguration or President-elect Joe Biden, Molodkin’s work became the target of right-wing media like Breitbart, who claimed that the work was designed to “confront” Trump supporters. 

Molodkin’s work in DC was being co-produced together with the London-based art and action-collective a/political, which recently produced Andres Serrano’s homage to Trump in 1,000 items.

Molodkin, for his part, says that the artwork was not intended to provoke or demean the left or the right. Instead, he intended the work to spur dialogue around the violent nature of American politics, a provocation he intended to disrupt what he sees as the radical centrism of the broken American political system more generally. 

YouTube video

One of Molodkin’s previous works is a blood-drenched music video entitled “Political Drills (The Media)” by Skengdo X AM and Drillminister, a booming and eviscerating drill track that deconstructs the nature of media and politics.

“I wanted to reveal how the blood-soaked system of global politics operated,” Molodkin told Hyperallergic about his latest project intended for DC. “Growing up in a militarist state, I saw the hypocrisy of socialist political ideology first hand, but what I see today in American politics is a level hypocrisy unseen since Soviet times. The two ideologies, oblivious to many, go hand in hand.”

Dorian Batycka is an independent curator, art critic, and DJ currently based Berlin. Previously, he was curator of contemporary art at Bait Muzna for Art Film (Muscat, Oman), assistant curator for the...