Severn Eaton 2016 trump tower Performance Piece

In late 2016 Severn Eaton created and dawned a set of KKK style robes made out of underwear, and walked onto a crowded escalator in trump tower with the intention of taking photographs inside the building. Obviously, he was escorted into custody quickly. This piece is clearly mostly conceptually aimed, but visually it is bizarre as well. Eaton has a theme of anachronistic imagery, especially in clothing and commercial items. Some of his works almost look like 60s pop-art because 0f his collage-like works where different contemporary items, past clothing, and varied race and ethnicity subjects are combined. Conceptually, I think this piece is hilarious and poignant. The guy behind him (not sure if he’s secret service, or just some guy) made me laugh. It feels like there is obviously an element of humor, or at least mockery in the piece. I dont think this detracts from its seriousness. In articles I read about it, there seemed to be a lot of public backlash and offense taken. I think that makes his act both more successful and attention-drawing. It is especially important to create an open public dialogue about serious, and life-crushing issues. I find it offensive that people would want to stifle that artistic dialogue.


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