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The Trump Hut: hair-based protest hopes to wig out Republican convention

Inspired by the situationists, two ad men and a Mexican artist collaborated to make a luxury hut inspired by an extraordinary follicular arrangement

In May, the ad men and artists Douglas Cameron and Tommy Noonan brainstormed ways to protest the rise of Donald Trump. They wanted to build something memorable, something that would stand out in a national landscape thats saturated with anti-Trump protests.

To comment on the growing wealth inequality that they believe will flourish even more should Trump become president, they decided to create the Trump Hut, a small inhabitable structure crafted into the shape of Trumps hair.

The inside of the Trump Hut is a total luxury experience, Noonan says. There is an extravagant ornamental rug from Ikea, champagne buckets, stools and solar powered lights.

Cameron said the project drew inspiration from the Situationist International, a revolutionary Paris-based group that used avant garde artistic tradition to influence social change.

Using the history of groups like the Situationists, we wanted to give the Trump Hut a little absurdity, Cameron said. Once we get all the luxury inside, then suddenly that makes it pretty funny and interesting to all sides. I mean, youre inside of a real estate moguls hair.

The
The hut is constructed before it hits the streets. The hair is made from hula skirts. Photograph: Douglas Cameron

They plan to set up the Trump Hut outside the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, this month.

Protests generally work best as media spectacles, and we know there are going to be a lot of bored reporters sitting around the RNC, Cameron says. The Trump Hut will become a natural talking point.

Cameron and Noonan who serve as the founding partner and the executive creative director at DCX Growth Accelerator, respectively are not newbies to this field of pranksterism, which they define as artistic guerrilla marketing and disruptive cultural stunts.

In June 2015, when their neighborhood bodega in Brooklyn, Jesses Deli, was facing steep rent hikes, the duo created a campaign to highlight gentrifications effect on small businesses. Their campaign advertised the new gentrified prices at the deli for the Artisanal Landlord Rent Hike Sale. They were two and a half times higher than before, a house-made sustainable hoagie, for instance, going for $22.59.

For the Trump Hut, Cameron and Noonan wanted to create a spectacle with a similar level of ambiguity. With protests and commentary, you want to avoid further entrenching the other side, so oftentimes humor is a really good tool, Cameron says. Ive talked to a lot of my Republican friends who would generally roll their eyes at Trump rants on Facebook or at a typical protest, but who want to follow this project.

Inside
Inside the hut is a total luxury experience. Photograph: Douglas Cameron

To make the project come to life, the pair had to outsource the project to someone who could physically conceptualize and construct the Trump Hut. Enter the sculptor Roxana Casillas, chosen, Noonan says, because she works with found objects and different natural materials really well. I had a feeling she would really be able to sculpt that hair beautifully.

Beyond her artistic abilities, Casillas had further connections to the project: though she grew up in San Diego, the self-proclaimed huge Democrat was born in Mexico, which gave her involvement extra impetus. Trump, of course, has repeatedly called for the US to build a wall on the Mexican border.

My work focuses on the inner self, she says. A big part of being who we are is our political views they reflect our values.

Noonan and Cameron showed Casillas pictures of sculptures made with hay and told her they wanted that type of rustic look. Casillas set to work. She used raffia hula skirts and lightwood to create the external structure, shaped like Trumps infamous coiffure.

Its a protest piece on how the 1% lives versus the rest of us, she says. When President Hoover was in office, there were the Hooverville towns where everyone lived in tents, and if Trump wins were all going to wind up living in Trump Huts.

While shes passionate and serious about her protest, Casillas is also an advocate of the Trump Huts comic approach to dissent. Thats why it was made with hula skirts, so it resonates a little bit softer and not as aggressive as a lot of the other protesters, she says. You know, the other side are being aggressive, but protests can be peaceful and even humorous and have the same effect.

At Noonan and Camerons request, Casillas made the project easily transportable. It is easy to take down and rebuild, and it has already been displayed at the artist Rachel Owenss exhibit, Gut Rehab, in Brooklyn.

Cameron and Noonan have larger plans for the hut.

We plan to place the Trump Hut outside of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, and you can imagine the type of reaction that juxtaposition will get, Cameron says. Here is this impressive real estate tower with this Trump Hut out in front; what a standoff!

Theyre launching a Kickstarter to seek the funds to transport the Hut to places such as Trumps 20-acre Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, and along the US border with Mexico.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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