NSFW: 100 Nude Women Welcomed Donald Trump to the Republican National Convention
Art and politics have always gone hand-in-hand, and on Sunday afternoon at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, 100 nude women gathered to welcome Donald Trump — directly interjecting one of the most controversial subjects this election season, their bodies, into the day's proceedings.
They stood facing the Quicken Loans Arena just after dawn, where the RNC was taking place, as part of a large-scale live art installation by photographer Spencer Tunick called "Everything She Says Means Everything." Holding up large, round mirrors in an empty lot as Tunick snapped away on his camera, they shone "the knowledge and wisdom of progressive women" and "the concept of 'Mother Nature' into and onto the convention center" and Cleveland cityscape, according to Tunick's artistic statement:
"By holding mirrors, we hope to suggest that women are a reflection and embodiment of nature, the sun, the sky and the land. We want to express the belief that we will rely upon the strength, intuition, and wisdom of progressive and enlightened women to find our place in nature and to regain the balance within it. The mirrors communicate that we are a reflection of ourselves, each other, and of, the world that surrounds us. The woman becomes the future and the future becomes the woman."
With all this mirror symbolism, why all the talk of targeting Trump, especially? It's important to note that participants came from all different backgrounds and were there for different reasons. As Tunick's statement says, "Republicans, Democrats, and all other political parties were welcome to take part reflecting their anger through art against the hateful repressive rhetoric of many in the Republican Party towards women and minorities. Trump and Pence are giving many in America the belief that is OK to hate."
As we've discussed, Trump doesn't exactly have a great track record with respecting women as equals. And his newly announced running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, signed abortion restrictions into law that were widely received as severe. So much so, many women began a movement to bombard his communication channels just to talk about their periods — an effort to really make their bodies his business.
More than 1,800 women wound up applying to be part of this installation, which has been in the works for three years. It's interesting to note that Tunick didn't tell them exactly where it was going to take place — the situation could have been a lot more tense had it been by a security zone, for example: "Our location was secret to keep the women safe and would only allow for a small number of participants. But 1,800 women would have shown up naked in front on the steps of the convention to make art."
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