The Trump campaign and consequently the Trump presidency inspired me to look at insanity manifested in society as he is evidence of my theory. An article in the New Yorker begs the question ‘whether he [Donald Trump] is crazy like a fox or crazy like crazy’ [see reference]
A man who sits in one the most powerful seats in our world has not even tried to hide his overwhelming racist, sexist, transphobic, white supremacist opinions and is getting away with it. Trump is the amalgamation of all the things wrong with our current society and those who voted for him are helping him further his agenda and could also be another example of insanity as an insidious occurrence in our society.
Trump is a perfect example of how when in positions of power, a more radical mentality can take over. This may have presented itself before however power gives someone like Trump the platform to spread their hate and insanity. This is a theme that spreads beyond trump and his supporters and across the world. The common link between insanity and power is occurs a lot in politics so this got me interested in political art.
Earlier on this year when in Berlin I was lucky enough to see a Llyn Foulkes exhibition at the Sprüth Magers gallery. The name of the exhibition was ‘Transfiguration’ meaning a change of form into a more beautiful or spiritual state meaning in this exhibition Foulkes was touching on a similar idea of transition and breaking of boundaries as I have been doing by looking at insanity as a spectrum. I see his work as possessing all the nonsensical qualities of Dada with heavy political messages through found materials and characters. For example, in this exhibition Foulkes has used Mickey Mouse as a ‘symbol of mass media manipulation in a capitalist world’ (see reference) as well as using Trump as a point of ridicule. I have thus far been approaching my theme very abstractly however I want to experiment with using political faces in a way of putting a literal and metaphorical face to insanity.
The New Yorker. (2017). Diagnosing Donald Trump, and His Voters. [online] Available at: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/diagnosing-donald-trump [Accessed 16 Dec. 2017].
Vice. (2017). Democrats Can Weaponize the Sexual Assault Allegations Against Trump. [online] Available at: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bjdv43/democrats-can-weaponize-the-sexual-assault-allegations-against-trump?utm_source=vicetwitterus [Accessed 16 Dec. 2017].