Ivanka Trump criticises art exhibit of lookalike vacuuming breadcrumbs

Public encouraged to throw crumbs for ‘Ivanka’ to clean up at Washington museum

A spectator tosses crumbs for an Ivanka Trump lookalike to vacuum at Jennifer Rubell’s art exhibit ‘Ivanka Vacuuming’ on Tuesday at Flashpoint Gallery in Washington. Photograph: Sait Serkan Gurbuz/AP

A spectator tosses crumbs for an Ivanka Trump lookalike to vacuum at Jennifer Rubell’s art exhibit ‘Ivanka Vacuuming’ on Tuesday at Flashpoint Gallery in Washington. Photograph: Sait Serkan Gurbuz/AP

 

Ivanka Trump and her brothers have criticised a new art exhibit featuring a lookalike of the US president’s eldest daughter.

The exhibit at a Washington museum shows an Ivanka Trump lookalike pushing a vacuum cleaner and invites spectators to throw crumbs for her to clean up.

The art piece by Jennifer Rubell, titled Ivanka Vacuuming, opened on February 1st and runs until February 17th at the Flashpoint Gallery.

The public is encouraged to “throw crumbs onto the carpet, watching as Ivanka elegantly vacuums up the mess, her smile never wavering”.

A large text description of the work hanging on the gallery wall describes Ms Trump as “a figure whose public persona incorporates an almost comically wide range of feminine identities — daughter, wife, mother, sister, model, working woman, blonde”.

Ms Trump has criticised the installation. Photograph: Sait Serkan Gurbuz/AP
Ms Trump has criticised the installation. Photograph: Sait Serkan Gurbuz/AP

It calls the act of throwing bread crumbs onto the carpet for her to vacuum “surprisingly pleasurable”.

But Ms Trump and her brothers Donald Trump jnr and Eric Trump criticised the exhibit on Tuesday as a sexist attempt to humiliate her.

“Women can choose to knock each other down or build each other up. I choose the latter,” Ms Trump, a senior White House adviser, tweeted alongside a link to a story on the exhibit.

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

Eric Trump, on Fox News, called his sister a “powerful woman who has done more for women than probably anybody in Washington DC”.

The exhibit is presented by the CulturalDC arts organisation, and executive director Kristi Maiselman said her group is always happy to present “timely boundary-pushing installations” like this.

The gallery text declares Ms Trump to be a “contemporary feminine icon” and an avatar for the complexities of modern femininity.

Ms Rubell, a New York-based conceptual artist, said in an interview on the CulturalDC website that the experience is meant to draw observers and crumb-throwers into a complicit relationship.

“Here is what’s complicated: We enjoy throwing the crumbs for Ivanka to vacuum. That is the icky truth at the centre of the work. It’s funny, it’s pleasurable, it makes us feel powerful, and we want to do it more,” she says.

“Also, we know she’ll keep vacuuming whether we do it or not, so it’s not really our fault, right?” – AP