If you had to guess, how many feet of wall space would be needed to document the lies Donald Trump and cronies have told about the 2020 election? Well, I won’t keep you in suspense. The answer is 50 feet. That’s how long a Brooklyn public art piece by artist Phil Buehler is, whose installation is called the Wall of Liars and Deniers. The wall, which went up before the midterm elections, is on display on Grattan Street in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn.
BKreader’s Jessy Edwards reported (https://bkreader.com/2022/11/07/bushwicks-50-ft-wall-of-lies-returns-this-time-calling-out-election-deniers/): “At the start of October, Buehler began the process of compiling the false statements he wanted displayed on the wall. In 2020, he was able to use a fact-checked Washington Post database of Trump’s lies and misleading claims (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/07/13/president-trump-has-made-more-than-20000-false-or-misleading-claims/). This year, he had to compile the data himself in an Excel document, from dozens of different news sources and reports.”
“It probably took five or six long days, weekends and nights, compiling this,” Buehler said. He said the wall simply presents the mistruths in a visual medium. “I didn’t make up any words on the page,” he said of the “lies and denials,” which are sourced and dated in the mural. “If you wanna check it, you can go check.”
“I read this book called The Dictator’s Handbook, and if Trump could read, I’d have said he was going word-for-word from this book,” Buehler told The Guardian’s Veronica Esposito. According to Esposito, the banner is “Comprised of the tens of thousands of lies Donald Trump has made since being elected president, and culminating in Trump’s big lie, the project’s aim is to break through the desensitization that has inevitably set in after years of wall-to-wall coverage of Trump’s political career.
“It’s really corrosive on our democratic system, that people stop believing in free and fair elections,” said Buehler. “It’s truly a danger to our democracy.”
In the summer of 2020, Buehler prepared another installation called the Wall of Lies, which “documented some 30,000 lies Trump told while in office – it was an offshoot of a plan to spend a week reading out all of Trump’s lies on Radio Free Brooklyn that had been shelved due to the Covid pandemic,” Esposito reported (https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2022/nov/08/the-wall-of-liars-and-deniers-trump-fake-election-rhetoric).
According to Esposito, “The original Wall of Lies looked a little like a pixelated abstract painting, with each color-coded lie comprising its own little rectangle. It towered well above the heads of onlookers, who would spend time poring over the lies and taking photos of them. Eventually it was vandalized with graffiti attributed to the Proud Boys, including the slogans ‘Vote Trump or Die’ and ‘Stand Back & Stand By,’ which Trump famously said to the Boys during the 2020 presidential debates when asked to distance himself from the hate group.”
The wall doesn’t just single out Trump. It has infamous comments from many Trump sycophants including Rudy Giuliani, and Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
“These people have internalized that they can just keep saying these things,” Buehler said. “It’s turning the Republican Party into a bunch of opportunists. That’s who Trump is attracting, the biggest opportunists out there, this whole generation of opportunists.”