Junk mail from the White House to form new art exhibition

Copenhagen Contemporary’s latest event seeks to better understand Trump by looking through Danish MP’s inbox.

For three years, independent MP Uffe Elbæk, the former leader of Alternativet, has kept a record of the torrent of emails he has received from the Trump administration.

Now numbering over a thousand, Copenhagen Contemporary (CC) has collated them in a new exhibition opening this month, which explores US politics through an inbox’s lens.

Harassment as art
During this time, the emails Elbe received included fake news updates, takedowns of political opponents, and the odd dinner invitation – often up to three every day.

This unsolicited barrage has steadily increased in recent months, and it offers a fascinating insight into communication and rhetoric in the Trumpean age.

On September 3, Copenhagen Contemporary will host an event discussing the emails and the story they tell, exploring the changing media and communications landscape in the run-up to the US election. Selected emails will remain on display in CC’s foyer until the day of the election, November 3.

The event will include a discussion featuring Elbæk himself (accompanied by US expert Lars Græsborg Mathiasen), followed by commentary from social media analyst Katrine Villarreal Villumsen.

This is not the first time senior US politicians have found their emails promoted to works of art.

Last year, Hillary Clinton was pictured leafing through some of the 62,000 of her emails printed off by artist Kenneth Goldsmith, which were displayed at an art show in Venice. The infamous emails were a constant point of contention during the 2016 election campaign.

As communication becomes further and further removed from our traditional understanding of the term, the scope for artistic exploration and contortion will only grow. The art critic and the office drone have more in common than ever before.