The protests in Hong Kong and Ferguson, like so many others, were both characterized by a strong presence of artists. In China, dissidents plastered the streets with posters, erected sculptures, installed interactive artworks, and even live-sketched the demonstrations. In Missouri, artists embellished the flimsy plywood boards that had been tacked on shop windows with bright drawings and inspirational slogans.
Members of both communities are now rallying to save these creations. Yesterday, police in Hong Kong dismantled the metal barriers in the central Business District that had protected the Umbrella Movement’s make-shift camp — but not before the Art Preservation Group carried out a last-minute sweep to save as many pamphlets, drawings, paintings, and sculptures as they could. “We will keep them temporarily in our storage and then plan what’s next,” Sampson Wong, of the Umbrella Movement Visual Archives and Research Collective, told The Straits Times.
In Ferguson, the Missouri History Museum and the Regional Art Commission have announced their plans to preserve the plywood paintings made by a group of about 100 artists working through Paint for Peace STL, the Columbia Missourian reported. Speaking with the newspaper, Director of Library and Collections Chris Gordon explained that the museum hopes to collect them for research and a possible exhibit.
Since it wouldn’t be in the true spirit of protest if there weren’t at least a few voices of dissent, not everyone’s on board with preserving these ephemeral but powerful works. In Hong Kong, many museums that were asked to keep some of the artworks rejected them because they were “political.” And in Ferguson, one BBQ joint owner whose business was burned down said this: “It’s not the history you’d want to remember.”
But you only have to browse archives of protest art from the civil rights era and Vietnam War demonstrations (like this one and this one) to see how valuable they are. Preserving modern mementoes of resistance will offer future generations an important window into the discontents of our own.
Those who want to visit the museum muse have a surgical, KN95, N95, or KF94 face mask.
This week, another Benin bronze is returned to Nigeria, looking at the Black Arts Movement in the US South, Senegal’s vibrant new architecture, why films are more gray, and much more.
It is precisely Moon’s openness to using any source that makes her work flamboyant, captivating, odd, funny, smart, uncanny, comically monstrous, and unsettling. And, most of all, over the top.
Tensions between resistance to Surrealism as cultural imperialism and the embrace of it as a universalist vision of freedom unfettered run through the show.
Weisman Museum of Art Presents Highlights From the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection
An exhibition at Pepperdine University in Malibu chronicles the achievements and contributions of African Americans over the last five centuries.
Imagining the photographic print as a singular art object.
Decolonize SAM says the museum is “putting property over people” by implementing harsh measures against the unhoused community in lieu of alternative efforts.
The residency program awards 17 visual artists a year of rent-free studio space in New York City. Applications are due by February 15.
David Reeb’s painting was removed due to political pressure from the local mayor, prompting backlash by other artists.
Thomas was a major artist who in her lifetime was unjustly denied the acclaim she merited. This show is a brave beginning.
For years, Fueki has been quietly creating a singular body of mind-bending work that has never fit into the New York art world.