White Out: Erasing Trump

By Justin Hocking

I picked up my first copy of The Art of the Deal in mid-November, 2016. It was the rainiest season on record in the already-rainy city of Olympia, Washington, where I was working as a visiting professor at Evergreen State College. The post-election mood was especially dark, and one of the few creative interventions I could envision for a course called Writing and Resistance was performing erasures on Trump’s own words. By redacting and transforming The Art of the Deal with poetic and visual elements, the students found the most inventive ways to subvert, challenge and mock Trump’s bloated, egotistical brand of chauvinism. We eventually mounted an art show in the Evergreen student library, and over the next couple years I continued making my own Trump erasures on occasion. Once Covid hit, I gave myself the (admittedly preposterous) challenge of creating 100 Art of the Deal erasures in 100 days. The working title for the project is “White Out: Erasing Trump.”