Activist organization Decolonize This Place believes “the museum can be made responsive to people rather than to the dictates of capital, that it can foster creativity and memory rather than functioning as a tool to launder the reputations of the ultra-wealthy.”
In the wake of Warren Kanders’s resignation from the board of trustees, the eight artists wrote to the museum curators permitting their work to remain in the galleries.
One protestor promised, “If you take peace from the people, we take peace from you.”
An altered replica of the Whitney Museum’s spring guide, released by the collective (D)IRT, was created in an effort to educate museum visitors about the Whitney’s relationship to gentrification, diversity, and controversies surrounding its board.
The protesters occupied the C subway line from East New York to Chelsea, and were confronted with large police forces at the final stop. One protester was arrested.
The students drew parallels and connections between the museum’s board of trustee’s vice chair and other board members at their universities
Over 100 artists, including participants of the upcoming biennial, have added their signatures to an open letter released earlier this month calling for the removal of the weapons manufacturer as a vice chair.
Protesters were challenged by disgruntled museumgoers, youth organizers performed a Dabka, and activists gave impassioned speeches about Whitney vice chair Warren Kanders’s association with Palestine through weapons companies.
Two Sudanese students, along with an activist greatly involved in curtailing the gentrification of Brooklyn, offered impassioned teach-ins on their causes at the potluck.
One activist called the protest an opportunity for museumgoers to consider “the role that our cultural institutions play in our everyday decisions and choices, and the effect that that has.”
In a public letter released today, a group of theorists, critics, and scholars joins activists and members of the Whitney staff in the demand to remove Warren B. Kanders from his position as vice-chairman of the museum’s board of trustees.
Community control of cultural institutions, which would replace board members, could reshape cultural life in the United States.