D.C.’s resident projection protest artist did not mince words Thursday night in his latest rebuke to President Trump.
Robin Bell drove his van to Trump International Hotel and projected several slides on the facade of the president’s eponymous hotel that said in all capital letters, “The president of the United States is a known racist and a nazi sympathizer.”
“This is not a drill,” the message continued. “We are all responsible to stand up and end white supremacy. #Resist.”
The message gained traction on social media as passersby took photos and posted them online.
Bell, a D.C.-based artist and filmmaker, also projected images Thursday night on the Newseum and on a Confederate statue near D.C.’s Judiciary Square.
The image on the Newseum was in honor of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman killed at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville after a man drove a car through a crowd of counterprotesters.
“Heather Heyer,” the projection read. “1985-2017.”
The animated image at the statue of Albert Pike, a Confederate soldier, in the nation’s capital showed a dotted line at the base of the statue with the words “Remove racism above line” written beneath it.
Animated scissors then mimics cutting the line.
The D.C. Council has called for the statue, which is on federal property, to be removed.
In a separate incident Friday morning in Washington, a small group of protesters draped a banner around the statue, calling Chief of Staff John Kelly, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn “modern confederates.”
Anthony Torres, a D.C. resident and community organizer who helped to make the banner, said he singled out those names because “it is not just the usual suspects in the administration who support an agenda of white supremacy.”
“It’s been reported that these men have been uncomfortable and upset about Trump’s rhetoric, yet they’ve done nothing,” Torres said. “If they were serious about their discomfort with Trump’s overt supremacy, then they would resign from their posts.”
As for the projection on Trump’s hotel, Bell has been using his art to protest throughout the Trump presidency.
He’s projected an animated version of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s face outside the Justice Department headquarters with a magnifying glass, saying “investigate Trump, investigate Russia,” in English and Russian.
In May, his protest focused on the emoluments clause of the Constitution and projected images on the Trump International Hotel, one of which said “Pay Bribes Here” with arrows pointing to the hotel entrance.
He has said that projection art is an effective form of protest because it sends a message without vandalizing property.
“That is one of the big things that I’m trying to do — using our artwork to explain these stories that are tricky,” Bell said about his emolument clause projections. “If someone can laugh and look at something, and then talk about it.”