“CANCEL THE RENT,” a five-stories-tall projection onto a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper read on Saturday night, March 28. The guerrilla projection, beamed from a nearby apartment on 31st Street, started with friendly reminders like “Wash Your Hands” and “Don’t Touch Your Face” before escalating to a list of demands directed at the local, state, and federal governments including “Free Care for COVID,” “Healthcare for All,” “End Bail,” and “DC: More Aid to NYC.”
The guerrilla action is the work of the activist collective the Illuminator, which has made projections onto urban landscapes its trademark strategy. Formed during the Occupy Wall Street protest, the collective has since orchestrated several interventions in New York and in other cities around the world.
“These are not radical demands,” said Emily Andersen, a member of the collective, in a statement sent to Hyperallergic. “These are requests for basic needs, needs that must be fulfilled if we are to survive not only this current outbreak, but the fallout that is soon to come after.”
“The system we have been operating in has exacerbated the severity of this crisis, and we cannot go back to business as usual,” Andersen continued. “We need change. We need federal aid now — help with medical supplies, testing, rent and debt relief.”
Last week, the New Dealers Alliance (NADA) circulated a petition dubbed #CancelRent, which calls on individuals to press their local representatives to support a sweeping rent and mortgage forgiveness act in the New York Senate. Gallery owners told Hyperallergic that a mass shutdown of small and artist-run galleries in the city is imminent if the local government doesn’t implement a rent moratorium.
“We have to move faster and go further,” Rachel Brown, another member of the Illuminator said in a statement. “The government needs to guarantee food stamps and paid sick leave for all. NYC needs to provide emergency housing to people on the street. We need to protect the most vulnerable in our society now. No strings attached.”
“Additionally, our government needs to cease its sanctions around the world, especially in Iran,” Brown said. “These sanctions are accelerating the spread of the virus through shortages of medicine and equipment.”
Arriving amid increased anti-Asian racism and continuing discourse about the inhumanity of its prison system, this documentary is a strong historical gut punch.
A “show within a show” at the Whitney Biennial pays homage to the visual and literary art of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, whose life was cut short through an act of brutal violence.
The Newark Museum of Art Presents Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection
Photographers Antony Armstrong Jones, Milt Hinton, Chuck Stewart, Barbara Morgan, and more capture a breadth of legendary and local musicians and performance artists. On view through August 21.
Social media persona Sad Beige Werner Herzog presents a seemingly endless array of sniffling tots stuffed into gray, brown, and tan knits.
A new Bronx location for the Universal Hip Hop Museum is set to open its doors in 2024.
Art and photographs, publications from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, posters and more are set to cross the auction block on August 18.
Researchers at the University of South Florida have created a tool that can potentially help hone human concentration through the creation of art with only the power of the mind.
The settlement comes after Tate prevented an artist who exposed sexual harassment by one of its largest donors from co-curating an exhibition.
Let’s be honest: On a best bathrooms list, no one wants to be number two.
Advocacy groups are pushing for a 5% royalty in resales, which would pertain even after the artist dies, in which case the funds would go to their estate.
This week, the Getty Museum is returning ancient terracottas to Italy, parsing an antisemitic mural at Documenta, an ancient gold find in Denmark, a new puritanism, slavery in early Christianity, and much more.