Recently, the idea of an art strike, or symbolic action by art institutions on Inauguration Day, has been circulating online. Until now, however, it had existed mainly as a meme, more or less a free-floating idea among people brainstorming ways to respond to the climate of hate unleashed by the election.
e-Flux has just published a call, signed by several dozen artists and art critics (including myself), that ratifies the idea.
The Facebook event page for the action is the place to go, at the moment, for updates on developments relating to the call—and presumably there will be updates as art institutions decide how they will respond to what promises to be a massive day of protest, in DC and around the country. Those wishing to add their names to the call can do so here.
The complete text is below:
We, the undersigned artists and critics, lend our support to the call for an Art Strike on Friday, January 20, 2017, the day that Donald Trump will assume the presidency of the United States.
The call reads:
#J20 Art Strike
An Act of Noncompliance on Inauguration Day.
No Work, No School, No Business.
Museums. Galleries. Theaters. Concert Halls. Studios. Nonprofits. Art Schools.
Close For The Day.
Hit The Streets. Bring Your Friends. Fight Back.
This call concerns more than the art field. It is made in solidarity with the nation-wide demand that on January 20 and beyond, business should not proceed as usual in any realm. We consider Art Strike to be one tactic among others to combat the normalization of Trumpism—a toxic mix of white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia, militarism, and oligarchic rule. Like any tactic, it is not an end in itself, but rather an intervention that will ramify into the future. It is not a strike against art, theater, or any other cultural form. It is an invitation to motivate these activities anew, to reimagine these spaces as places where resistant forms of thinking, seeing, feeling, and acting can be produced.
We address ourselves to the people who make our cultural institutions run on a daily basis, including many of our own friends and colleagues. Those who work at the institutions are divided in multiple and unequal ways, and any action taken must prioritize the voices, needs and concerns of those with the most to lose. However you choose to respond to this call, Art Strike is an occasion for public accountability, an opportunity to affirm and enact the values that our cultural institutions claim to embody.
The disruptions of J20 are just the beginning. They will resonate with the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. and other cities on January 21, and will stand as beacons of ungovernability as the darkness of the Trump era descends upon us. Let us assemble for the protracted battles that have long been underway, and those on the horizon.
Signatories (list in formation)
Noel W. Anderson
Allora and Calzadilla
Imani Jacqueline Brown
Eva Mayhabal Davis
George Baker (UCLA)
Yve-Alain Bois (Institute for Advanced Study)
Julia Bryan-Wilson (UC Berkeley)
Benjamin Buchloh (Harvard)
TJ Demos (UC Santa Cruz)
Rosalyn Deutsche (Barnard)
Darby English (University of Chicago)
Hannah Feldman (Northwestern)
Hal Foster (Princeton)
Jennifer Gonzalez (UC Santa Cruz)
Suzanne Hudson (USC)
David Joselit (CUNY Graduate Center)
Pamela Lee (Stanford)
Jaleh Mansoor (UBC)
Nicholas Mirzoeff (NYU)
Steven Nelson (UCLA)
Molly Nesbit (Vassar)
Ann Reynolds (UT Austin)
Judith Rodenbeck (UC Riverside)
Andrew Ross (NYU)
Andrew Weiner (NYU)
Brian Kuan Wood
Soyoung Yoon (New School)
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