While Trump appears to have sparked a progressive uprising in the art world, there remains a battle between a grassroots struggle to redistribute power, and those who place institutional preservation at the center.
The most incandescent of invectives now feel like simple statements of fact.
Let’s be real: galleries are feudal systems for hoarding wealth, property, and people that cannot be reformed with momentary or incremental adjustments.
Though we may be eager to be move past the year’s events, the reality is that they will persist. Artists share practical applications for ritual, deeply introspective thoughts on survival and approaches to remedying inequity.
Wonder Woman’s use of her ancestor’s objects as they were intended (despite bits of metal feathers breaking off, alert the museum’s conservators!) offers a vision of why museums should exist and continue to keep all these things.
I and other arts program specialists found it to be a space that causes fear of retaliation, targeting and silencing, and where leadership lacks accountability.
We love representation, the power of signifying, and the incisiveness of well-argued critique, but by themselves, these tools won’t effect structural change.
Institutional trauma is real.
I developed the bad habit of falling asleep at night to reruns of Governor Cuomo’s daily COVID briefing performances.
Emails started to change toward the end of March: “I hope this message finds you well, despite it all,” wrote people who would otherwise never express any interest in my personal life.
While some imagine that Noguchi would be proud to have his work displayed at the White House under these circumstances, I would bet that he is turning in his grave.
The money gave me the chance to prioritize my writing — something that I wish didn’t feel like a privilege but does — and it gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going.