In an obnoxious attack on Ivanka Trump, a female “conceptual artist” created an exhibit at a Washington, D.C. gallery called “Ivanka Vacuuming” where the audience is encouraged to throw crumbs so an Ivanka lookalike can vacuum them from a carpet.
Jennifer Rubell, unsurprisingly a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Fine Arts who lives in New York City, created the nasty hommage for CulturalDC as it marks its 20th year of “creating affordable, sustainable artist spaces in the Washington, DC, area.”
As Kelsey Harkness notes at The Federalist, the lookalike in “a pink dress with bows and stiletto shoes vacuums crumbs off a plush, pink carpet. To make the spectacle interactive, onlookers are encouraged to take crumbs from a pedestal and throw them at her to vacuum up.”
The press release for the exhibit states:
Inspired by a figure whose public persona incorporates an almost comically wide range of feminine identities – daughter, wife, mother, sister, model, working woman, blonde – Ivanka Vacuuming is simultaneously a visual celebration of a contemporary feminine icon; a portrait of our own relationship to that figure; and a questioning of our complicity in her role-playing.
Kristi Maiselman, Executive Director of CulturalDC, boasted, “Jennifer’s insightful work is perfect for the artistically savvy and civic-minded DC crowd. We’re always happy to provide a platform for timely, boundary-pushing installations like Ivanka Vacuuming.”
Harkness notes, “The irony, of course, is that the exhibit reflects every stereotype feminists claim to stand against, oversexualizing Ivanka’s body and ignoring her hard work. (One can only imagine the feminist rage if it were, say, Michelle Obama on display.)”
Rubell commented on her work: “Here is what’s complicated: we enjoy throwing the crumbs for Ivanka to vacuum. That is the icky truth at the center of the work. It’s funny, it’s pleasurable, it makes us feel powerful, and we want to do it more. We like having the power to elicit a specific and certain response. Also, we know she’ll keep vacuuming whether we do it or not, so it’s not really our fault, right?”
In all likelihood, Ivanka has gotten accustomed to being attacked before, whether by so-called feminists like Jessica Valenti in 2016, who wrote, “You don’t get to power an administration that’s going to hurt people’s health, lives and families & not hear back from those people,” and “Also, it’s infantilizing & sexist to argue that Ivanka should be shielded from public criticism,” or Saturday Night Live mocking her by creating a mock ad with a perfume called “Complicit,” or by noted feminist Joan Walsh, who attacked Ivanka for wearing a “girlie” dress while attending the G20 summit, writing:
With big bows on her sleeve. I mean, I don’t mean to sound sexist — it can be dangerous to comment on what women wear — but the fact that she sat in for her father in a dress that was so incredibly ornamental was such a contradiction in terms. And I think that what we see is that in patriarchal, authoritarian societies, daughters have great value — they are property. And the message that she is sending about her own value, about her place in the White House, and about the place of women in this administration, I think, are really pretty frightening.
Not only is the “Ivanka Vacuuming” exhibit open to live audiences, it is being livestreamed until February 17 every evening between 6-8 p.m. EST.