Indecline, the artist collective best known for clandestinely installing statues of naked Donald Trump across America, has moved into performance art. Of course, their fierce political approach — and taste for the grotesque — hasn’t gone anywhere.
Inspired by Cardi B’s tweet-threat that she would “dog walk” Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren if she didn’t leave the Grammy winner alone, 20 white men donned T-shirts, MAGA hats and custom collars and were paraded down the Hollywood Walk of Fame by people of color and members of the queer community. Each collar, which was handmade by Brooklyn leather-goods designer DOOMEDnyc, came equipped with a dog tag baring the names of public figures the group deems racist, like David Duke, Richard Spencer, Steve Bannon and Ann Coulter. Tourists snapped photos of the spectacle, as children ran up to pet the faux dogs, and real dogs barked in confusion.
The project, titled “Hate Breed,” was a response to the even-toned manner in which people of color are expected to explain racism to white America. “So often minorities are put in the awkward position of calmly and patiently walking their racist peers down the path to empathy,” the collective wrote in a release. “Even though those afflicted by hate have the greatest right to anger, often it is only through their kindness or sacrifice that we are able to walk down ignorance until it’s worn out enough to debate in earnest.” To put it more clearly: “I will dog walk your ass right to the truth.”
In addition to the flash-mob event, Indecline made a video, cutting Sunday’s footage together with archival clips of white-power rallies and more recent events like 2017’s neo-Nazi Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA. The video is set to a cover of Iggy Pop and the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” performed by Oakland punk outfit Get Dead.
The project marks a change in Indecline’s approach to guerilla art. Since they placed the statues around New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and a handful of other cities in August 2016, Indecline has limited their work to visual art, turning billboards into anti-ICE ads, slowly updating a Dorian Gray-like portrait of Donald Trump, and transforming a room at the Trump International Hotel into a prison cell for the 45th president.