‘We’re Going to Go Where He Works’: An Artist Projected a Message of Protest Against Brett Kavanaugh Onto His DC Courthouse
Robin Bell has teamed up with UltraViolet to shame the nominee, who has been accused of sexual assault.
Activist and projection artist Robin Bell has struck again. This time he targeted Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s courthouse in Washington, DC, interchanging the slogans “Brett Kavanaugh Is a Sexual Predator,” “Brett Kavanaugh Lied Every Time He Testified,” “Brett Kavanaugh Must Withdraw,” and “#BelieveSurvivors.”
Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has been accused of a sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford, allegations he has denied. Today, another woman, Julie Swetnick, came forward claiming that Kavanaugh had been present while she was gang raped in 1982.
On Tuesday night, Bell pulled up in front of the E. Barrett Prettyman courthouse in a specially modified light projection van to beam his message onto the facade of Kavanaugh’s workplace, an effort to highlight the allegations against the nominee. The guerrilla intervention was a collaboration with the women’s advocacy group UltraViolet.
“It was good to be able to help amplify other people’s voices on this one,” Bell told artnet News in a call. “We made a statement that we believe survivors, that this is who this person is, and that we’re going to go to where he works and project it on the building. It’s somewhat cathartic.”
Bell added, “I’ve been getting a lot of messages and I can tell you [the projection] really helped people who feel hurt right now and are trying to not allow someone like Kavanaugh to be in power, to continue to be in power, and get to the Supreme Court.”
At the same time, Bell added that the online reaction from opponents has been “among the most vicious” he has encountered, demonstrating the division facing America today.
Despite the hotly debated subject of the project, Bell says that raising awareness remains important. He describes a group of young passersby who didn’t immediately understand the context of the projected message. “There was some confusion, which surprised me because this is one of the biggest issues right now in this country.” he said. The encounter, according to the artist, illustrates “the reason why its important to make art about the issues of today.”
The video journalist and multimedia artist has frequently used light projections as a form of protest and civil disobedience. He previously took aim at president Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia with a projection onto the Trump Hotel in Soho, New York (the hotel has since severed its ties to Trump).
In another work, Bell spotlighted the issue of the President’s alleged violations of the emoluments clause of the US Constitution by projecting the words “Pay Trump Bribes Here” onto the facade of the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC.
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