Failed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton paid a visit to an art installation in Venice, Italy Wednesday, and, in a sad display, sat behind a fake “resolute desk” reading stacks of her own emails.
Clinton reportedly spent an hour leafing through the pile of 60,00 emails, piled on an exact replica of the desk that sits in the Oval Office in the White House, compiled as a way of demonstrating the possibility of an alternate reality, according to artist and poet Kenneth Goldsmith.
“HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails,” is designed to force viewers “to focus on something concrete in order to exit the impalpable toxicity of ideological narratives,” the exhibit’s curator told the Huffington Post.
“The exhibition is a way to allude to an alternative world that will never exist. We are happy that the real Hillary Clinton has been part of this image full of possibilities,” the curatorial team continued in a blanket statement to media about Clinton’s visit. “Visiting HILLARY by Kenneth Goldsmith, she has not only been in front of her emails. The exhibition is indeed the portrait of a powerful woman, but also the portrait of a historical change in our understanding of notions such as transparency, propaganda, public and private space.”
Goldsmith did not contact Clinton to tell her about the installation. She heard about it through friends, he told HuffPo, and decided, on her own to visit: “Someone close to Mrs. Clinton contacted us very informally a few days before her visit. We realized that it wasn’t a joke only when we saw the security service inside the exhibition space at 9 am on Tuesday,”
Clinton posed for photos as part of her visit, smugly telling reporters on the scene that the piles of emails were “boring,” and basking in the faux glory of her own presidential cosplay.
— The Hill (@thehill) September 11, 2019
Hillary Clinton spent an hour yesterday reading her emails at my exhibition of all 62,000 pages of them in Venice. She is pictured here at a replica of the Oval Office Resolute Desk, stacked with her emails. pic.twitter.com/V8T27klycr
— Kenneth Goldsmith (@kg_ubu) September 11, 2019
The effect was rather sad, but the incident was not entirely out of character for Clinton, who has spent the last several years excusing her loss to now-President Donald Trump, often, along with her ardent supporters, blaming the “Republican” preoccupation with her emails for poisoning her public image. Goldsmith’s installation in Venice gave her the perfect opportunity to once again suggest that her defeat in the 2016 presidential election was entirely improper.
She reportedly told gathered media that “[t]his exhibition is further proof that nothing wrong or controversial can be found on these emails. It makes them accessible to everyone and allows everyone to read them.”
She also told the curator that the emails were “just so boring.”
Of course, it’s not the content of the emails that matter. It’s the fact that Clinton used a private email address and server to circumvent a security system in place to protect the dissemination of classified information within the highest levels of government.
Her unsecured server, located in a bathroom at her Chappaqua, New York, home, was vulnerable to hackers, and her position as Secretary of State made the information contained in her emails of particular interest to foreign powers — even if the emails ultimately contained little more than wedding plans and yoga schedules (though we don’t really know, since there are still a number of emails missing).
And as if the photo opportunity wasn’t enough, Clinton took to Twitter to publicize her flight of fancy, using the pictures to hit out at her Republican opponents as if the image of Clinton pretending to sit in the Oval Office somehow said more about the GOP than her.
“Found my emails at the Venice Biennale,” she wrote. “Someone alert the House GOP.”
Found my emails at the Venice Biennale. Someone alert the House GOP. pic.twitter.com/eeXaKhy9Dz
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 12, 2019
Visitors are welcome to look through Clinton’s emails as part of the exhibit, which runs through late November.