The word of the week in Washington got a full-blown public display on Saturday night as an artist projected it on the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Video footage shows that an artist projected the word “SHITHOLE” surrounded by a stream of animated poop emojis onto the wall of the hotel. The projection ended a week in which uttering the word “shithole” in public suddenly became common after President Trump reportedly used it in a meeting.
The video posted on Twitter shows the sequence of phrases that were projected onto the front steps of the hotel: “Not a D.C. resident?” / “Need a place to stay?” / “Try our shithole” / “This place is a shithole.” And then the one word—“SHITHOLE”—in capital letters was projected surrounded by poop emojis. Later in the projection, the artist issues a stark warning: “The president is distracting us from politics that are harming us” / “Stay vigilant.” The video ends with the projection: “Pay Trump bribes here” with an arrow pointing to the entrance of the hotel.
The projection is the work of Robin Bell, who posted it on his Twitter account. This is not the first time Bell has made politically charged projections onto Trump’s hotel in Washington. He had already displayed the “Pay Trump bribes here” message before, for example. Bell has also gone beyond the hotel, projecting #SessionsMustGo and “I thought the KKK was OK until I learned that they smoked pot”onto the Department of Justice building.
In a long profile of Bell last year, the Washington Post’s David Montgomery described him as a “hit-and-run editorial writer.” At the time, Montgomery noted that “Bell’s projections now come regularly enough that during especially volatile news cycles, it’s like sensing mayhem in Gotham and looking out for a bat signal.”