Sea levels are rising while hurricanes swallow more and more of the Southern seaboard and hemisphere. Each year, swathes of California are incinerated by uncaring flames hungry for this Earth to return to ash and dust. Murderous fascists and neo-Nazis march down quiet suburban streets, while egg-shaped Twitter users call them nice boys and good fathers. Kim Kardashian, once “embarrassingly obsessed with fame,” is a lawyer now because the influencer bubble is bursting (and she doesn’t think her family will survive it.) In the White House, the President of the United States has his hairline spray painted on each time he meets with dictators—or “big fans,” as he refers to such people. An impending recession will likely decimate whatever financial security young people still have. Through all this, Hillary Clinton reads emails.
In Venice, Italy, Kenneth Goldsmith, a white artist infamous for turning Michael Brown’s autopsy report into “conceptual poetry,” debuted his new exhibition with a surprising guest: Hillary Clinton.
The exhibit, titled “HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails,” is described as an mundane “anti-monument” on the gallery’s website:
The pile of papers is rather unimpressive, rebutting Trump’s efforts to make them monumental. In this way, Goldsmith creates an anti-monument to the folly of Trump’s heinous smear campaign against Clinton. In an ambient somewhere between a library, a theatre stage and an embassy, the language of digital bureaucracy is transformed by Goldsmith into a work of literature.
Perhaps Goldsmith has never heard of books—similar stacks of paper that can look unimpressive until you read them. To his credit, the exhibition was originally not a performance piece. As for Clinton’s appearance, Goldsmith was allegedly surprised, and organizers for the event thought the “possibility of her visiting was a joke.” As curator Urbano Ragazzi told HuffPost:
“Someone close to Mrs. Clinton contacted us very informally a few days before her visit. We realized that it wasn’t a joke only when we saw the security service inside the exhibition space at 9 am on Tuesday.”
Why anyone would think that a public exhibition of her emails was a necessary act in 2019 is counfounding. What isn’t? Her decision to show up and read them. While the rest of the world seems to finally have moved on from the emails that so hindered her 2016 campaign, Hillary seems unable to. Since losing, she has brought up her emails many, many, many, many, many, times, despite the press all but moving on from hate reading them for alleged crimes against the republic. It’s like being at a party where everyone has moved on to enjoying themselves, and you’re still repeating the same joke that was told three hours ago.
The world is quite literally ending as we know it. Only Tucker Carlson and the Breitbart goons still talk about this. Will that be Clinton’s legacy: Reading through 60,000 pages of internal memos? If it is, I hope those conspiracy theories about bunkers for rich former politicians are true. She’ll need one to weather the impending climate apocalypse while spending the next 20 years trudging through this farce.