In the frame

Coco Fusco’s Tin Man Trump travels to China amidst trade war

Coco Fusco's Tin Man of the Twenty-First Century arrives at China's Anren Biennale Courtesy of Tettero, Anren Biennale 2019 © Coco Fusco/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Trump has touched down in China—or at least Coco Fusco’s version of him has. The artist's Tin Man of the Twenty-First Century has invited both laughter and criticism at the second Anren Biennale in Sichuan province, which opened earlier this month. The work depicts the US president as a ten-foot-tall rendition of the Tin Man—the (literally) heartless figure who tags along with Dorothy and her gang in the The Wizard of Oz. In the midst of a fruitless trade war spurred by the sculpture’s subject, its arrival on Chinese soil speaks to a dead end fiscal journey down a most discomforting yellow brick road paved by faulty foreign policy. Fusco says that Trump's assumption of power has affected international affairs "profoundly". The president's "brazenly nationalistic approach is being copied by other leaders and his lack of regard for bilateral relationships signals the end of an era of diplomacy among world powers.” O, if he only had a heart.