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Ivanka Trump, White House advisor and daughter to U.S. President Donald Trump, attends a Cabinet meeting at the White House January 02, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

It's complicated

Art exhibit featuring Ivanka Trump lookalike vacuuming breadcrumbs draws angry response from 1st daughter

By WITW Staff on February 6, 2019

Ivanka Trump has hit back at a controversial new art installation in Washington D.C. that features a lookalike of the first daughter pushing a vacuum cleaner while spectators “throw crumbs on to the carpet, watching as Ivanka elegantly vacuums up the mess, her smile never wavering.”

The art piece, ‘Ivanka Vacuuming’ by Jennifer Rubell, seeks to examine Ivanka’s symbolic potency as a “contemporary feminine icon” and as “a figure whose public persona incorporates an almost comically wide range of feminine identities — daughter, wife, mother, sister, model, working woman, blonde.” Throwing bread crumbs for her to to vacuum, the text description reads, is “surprisingly pleasurable.”

Ivanka, unsurprisingly, was unamused by the avant garde installation.

“Women can choose to knock each other down or build each other up. I choose the latter,” she tweeted in response to a story about the piece.

Rubell responded, also via Twitter: “Ivanka, I would encourage you to see the piece and form your own direct response. I would be happy to arrange for you to do it alone with none of the media circus that has formed around it. Not knocking anyone down. Exploring complicated subjects we all care about.”

Ivanka’s brothers, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, went further with their criticism.

“Sad, but not surprising to watch self professed ‘feminists’ launching sexist attacks against Ivanka Trump,” wrote Trump Jr. on Twitter. “In their crazed world, sexism is OK if hurts their political enemies.”

Ivanka, Eric Trump told Fox News, had “done more for women than probably anybody in Washington D.C.”

But according to Rubell, the piece was deliberately intended to be problematic in order to make audience members think about their own contradictory feelings about what Ivanka represents.

“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,” she said.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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