Yesterday was Friday the 13th, which has long been a day vested with superstitions and wary glances, but with January 20th just around the corner, there are greater things to make your hair stand on end. Whether you’re thrilled or devastated – anything but apathetic – Inauguration Day has everyone coming out of the worm works, including renowned artists and critics, urging America to take a stand with them against Donald Trump’s presidency.
“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,” reads the invitation to the #J20 Art Strike, an art initiative that has brought together Cindy Sherman, Richard Serra, Marylin Minter and Barbara Kruger, among others, to protest on inauguration day.
Through resistance, collaboration and, of course, art, the collective hopes to combat a “toxic mix of white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia, militarism, and oligarchic rule,” or, to use the boiled down colloquialism, ‘Trumpism.” Art strike is calling artists to reinvigorate their art, politicize their work, and use their creativity as a catalyst for change.
“Like any tactic, it is not an end in itself, but rather an intervention that will ramify into the future,” the invitation body reads. “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.”
As it stands, over 80 artists and critics are involved in the initiative, all pledging to close up shop for the day and hit the streets in protest. It’s an opportunity for public accountability and expression, and, if nothing else, a pretty kickass squad of artists to kick up rebellion with.
Although marches and protests are a rather watered-down battle tactic (or as art critic Jonathan Jones might say, futile), art strike admits it has no expectation that closing public art venues could in any shape or form effect policy. Its sole aim it to be an impediment, an operation well within the means of the art world, and a way to gain traction.
To join, or for more information on artist participants, check out the invitation on e-flux.
[Featured image via Flickr]