We found this article on artnet.com about artists’ response to the election pretty interesting. Artists expressed their concerns over a divided America, and some offered suggestions about how we move forward.
For Freedoms, the first artist-run super PAC founded by Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman, uses art to inspire deeper political engagement for citizens who want to have a greater impact on the American political landscape. The artists noted: “Some data suggests that not since the American Civil War has the country been so polarized. We believe that the seeming binaries propagated by political candidates, their followers, and the media will crumble. Nothing is black and white. Even with the election over, people did not wake up on Tuesday with good will in their hearts toward their political opponents. I personally want to start finding ways to listen more deeply. The problems we face are so much more complicated than either candidate has spoken about. Elections are not about nuance and we hope that we can begin to have more complicated conversations about things like America’s role in the world, how our economy is fundamentally shifting, and what justice looks like. These big conversations demand attention and care and time and thought…hopefully these will be in larger supply post election.”
Pedro Reyes’ offered an observation and solution that challenges not only artists, but institutions: “Looking at the electoral map, I realize that I have never been in most of the red states. Curiously, there is also a lack of contemporary art institutions in those states. I think that even if it’s a small contribution, I would like to see more contemporary art institutions emerge in those states, since they are always a beacon of progressive thought. We need to stop talking to ourselves and reach new audiences.”
Shinique Smith echoes Reyes’ thoughts: “As a citizen and artist, I think we must not only make artwork that is politically active in subject matter, but that we must be present and participate outside of art world institutions to assist our communities in effecting real change.”
Read more here.