Kompromat (Russian: компромат; "compromising material")

Kompromat, 2017

Kompromat, 2017

Back in January of 2017, just two months into Trump's presidency, Buzzfeed published an article with a link to the full dossier, that makes allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives as well as claims of sexual acts performed in Moscow documented by the Russians. We would consider this blackmail in America, but in Russian politics, this is known as kompromat

Kompromat (Russian: компромат, short for компрометирующий материал, literally "compromising material") materials about a politician or public figure that have been gathered together and used in the media to generate negative publicity. Public relations officials publicize the material which is sourced from a myriad of security services (or sometimes forged). We may be new to the world of kompromat in America, but in Russia, this is a characteristic feature and is what helped make Putin president in 2000.

With all of this going on and whether the kompromat towards Trump is fake news or not, DaSilva thought it appropriate to brand the White House with the "Kompromat" light graffiti. The use of the color red also plays a significant role in this work because in Russia, red signifies something beautiful, good, or honorable. The Kremlin (house of the Russian President) in Russia sits adjacent to The Red Square, the most important square in Russia. In using red to write the word "kompromat", DaSilva plays with the importance that the color red holds in Russia, connecting it to a word that is quite literally the opposite of good, beautiful, or honorable.