Is This Armory Week’s Most Outrageous Artwork? (Hint: It Involves Donald Trump)

It also involves witches.

Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley, Golden Showers: Sex Hex (2017). The film reimagines the Russian dossier that claims there is compromising video footage of Donald Trump getting peed on by prostitutes. Courtesy of Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley.
Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley, Golden Showers: Sex Hex (2017). The film reimagines the Russian dossier that claims there is compromising video footage of Donald Trump getting peed on by prostitutes. Courtesy of Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley.

At the end of Pier 90, just before you hit the VIP room at VOLTA NY, you might notice a lone piece of video art. If you stop and watch—and you may want to think twice before you do—you’ll be treated to graphic footage of a man dressed as Donald Trump acting out the more salacious details of the now-infamous, unverifiable private intelligence dossier said to detail the reality star-turned politician’s untoward ties to Russia.

“I have a long history with making performative art films,” artist Rebecca Goyette, who created the piece with Brian Andrew Whiteley, told artnet News, noting her “interest in the psychosexual.”

“Once the scandal hit, my mind was already going, ‘I have to do something with this!'” Goyette admitted. Whiteley was a natural collaborator, as the two had already staged a live performance, dressed as Trump and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, at New York’s WhiteBox for the February 2016 show “#MakeAmericaGreatAgain.”

Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley, Golden Showers: Sex Hex (2017). The film reimagines the Russian dossier that claims there is compromising video footage of Donald Trump getting peed on by prostitutes. Courtesy of Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley.

Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley, Golden Showers: Sex Hex (2017). The film reimagines the Russian dossier that claims there is compromising video footage of Donald Trump getting peed on by prostitutes. Courtesy of Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley.

Whiteley also made headlines when he planted a Trump tombstone in Central Park on Easter Sunday last year, sparking a Secret Service investigation. The new work, titled Golden Showers: Sex Hex, probably won’t make the local news, but still is sure to be a talking point among those visiting the art fairs during Armory week.

Presented by New York’s Freight + Volume, the piece is simultaneously utterly grotesque and absurd, strongly reminiscent of Paul McCarthy at his grossest. It is also certainly among the newest works on view at VOLTA: the editing was only finished on Monday, meaning that the fair agreed to screen the provocative video before seeing it in its final form.

Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley, <em>Golden Showers: Sex Hex</em> (2017). The film reimagines the Russian dossier that claims there is compromising video footage of Donald Trump getting peed on by prostitutes. Courtesy of Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley.

Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley, Golden Showers: Sex Hex (2017). The film reimagines the Russian dossier that claims there is compromising video footage of Donald Trump getting peed on by prostitutes. Courtesy of Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley.

The film begins with Whiteley, a bewigged and orange-skinned Trump clad in an open bathrobe and a cartoonish fat suit with a prosthetic penis, lounging on a bed. As the action unfolds, he suggestively eats a pizza, engages in various sex acts with Goyette, and kisses the Vladimir Putin photograph above the bed.

“It’s the most exaggerated version of Trump that I’ve done so far,” said Whiteley, who admits to watching all of Trump’s speeches and appearances to best replicate his mannerisms. “I’m obsessed with him, though.”

Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley, Golden Showers: Sex Hex (2017). The film reimagines the Russian dossier that claims there is compromising video footage of Donald Trump getting peed on by prostitutes. Courtesy of Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley.

Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley, Golden Showers: Sex Hex (2017). The film reimagines the Russian dossier that claims there is compromising video footage of Donald Trump getting peed on by prostitutes. Courtesy of Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley.

If such footage does exist, we may never see it. The aptly named Golden Showers, brings this unsavory report to life and “parodies what could be out there,” noted Whiteley.

Eventually, the two are joined by a number of other scantily clad individuals (some of whom are gender-nonconforming), and things escalate into a full-on orgy. The “Russia Dossier,” as it has become known, claimed that Russian operatives recorded video of Trump asking prostitutes to perform “golden showers” in a hotel room.

“We were really peeing on him,” Goyette assured me.

Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley, Golden Showers: Sex Hex (2017). The film reimagines the Russian dossier that claims there is compromising video footage of Donald Trump getting peed on by prostitutes. Courtesy of Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley.

Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley, Golden Showers: Sex Hex (2017). The film reimagines the Russian dossier that claims there is compromising video footage of Donald Trump getting peed on by prostitutes. Courtesy of Rebecca Goyette and Brian Andrew Whiteley.

The artists took special care to keep the sex motel where they filmed from being damaged during the messy shoot, which involved crushed flowers, spurts of mustard, and, of course, Cheetos, in addition to bodily fluids.

The work also draws inspiration from recent reports that self-proclaimed witches across the country are joining together to cast spells against the president. Several of the other actors involved were recruited from the witch community. According to Whiteley, “the idea of peeing on somebody is ritualistic in the witch community,” making the casting a natural fit.

“The characters in the film are not Russian prostitutes, but rather a queer cast of witches, taking back their power by dominating Trump,” Goyette explained. “We represent groups under attack by the administration, female, femme, transgendered, lesbian, bisexual—basically queer.”

“We wanted to use the hex as a way of saving America,” added Whiteley.

It’s a difficult film to watch in its grotesque absurdity, but it’s also hard to look away, somehow. Hearing Goyette talk about the work, this seems to make sense: “It was cathartic for us, and we want to share that comedic, transgressive joy!”

For those of you who have to see Golden Showers for yourself, it’s available on YouTube in all its sweaty, grunting, not-safe-for-work glory.


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