Amid the final days of the Trump administration, Russian-born conceptual artist Andrei Molodkin has projected a video of his political artwork, White House Filled with the Blood of U.S. Citizens, onto the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC. In the large-scale video, blood is seen flooding through an acrylic model of the building.
As the title suggests, this (real) blood was donated by US citizens – more specifically, volunteers at the American Church in Paris, France, where Molodkin is based. “The use of human blood is required to interrogate the existing political system,” the artist explains in a statement. “The White House is the symbolic heart of ‘Western’ democracy, and here we see it as it is, fueled by the blood of its citizens.”
Though the artwork was first produced in 2019, intended as a forewarning of things to come, it’s gained a new significance in the first weeks of 2021. The January 6 storming of the US Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters – which left five dead – makes the artwork particularly relevant, suggests the multimedia artist Robin Bell, who staged the projection in collaboration with Molodkin, CulturalDC, and the London-based art collective a/political.
“In the wake of insurrection,” Bell says, “we’ve heard sentiments expressing that these actions don’t reflect America. Yet, our country has systematically upheld white supremacy. This artwork demands that folks challenge the inherent inequality and collectively work towards a just future.” White House Filled with the Blood of U.S. Citizens was projected just one mile from the US Capitol building itself.
Molodkin has previously worked with real blood, as well as oil, for several artworks, including when he represented Russia in the 53rd Venice Biennale. Working with a/political in 2019, he invited exhibition attendees to donate blood that was then used to spell out banned lyrics, protesting the censorship of drill musicians in the UK.
Robin Bell has previously taken aim at Trump by projecting insults onto the outgoing president’s hotel in his hometown of Washington DC. Revisit Dazed’s interview with the artist – after he lit the hotel up with the word “shithole” in 2018 – here.
View Robin Bell and Andrei Molodkin’s White House Filled with the Blood of U.S. Citizens video below.