01 . 02 . 20
PHOTOS + WRITING | AIDAN T. E. GALASSETTI
This past summer The Whitney hosted its Biennial, featuring refreshing artists whom aptly used America's cultural pulse to create novel, disruptive expressions and moving works. The exhibit poses questions that reflect sociopolitical undercurrents within our society - questions of false equivalence, failure, and the limitations of understanding.
This exhibit was especially unique in that 8 artists initially demanded their work be removed from the gallery in protest against the museum's board member, Warren B. Kanders, owner of the Safariland Group, a company that distributes law-enforcement equipment, in particular, tear gas.
The first four artists asking to withdraw wrote to The New York Times “The Museum’s continued failure to respond in any meaningful way to growing pressure from artists and activists has made our participation untenable." University High School alumni Christine Sun Kim wrote to curators that “As a mother to a 2-year-old daughter, it terrifies me that my work is currently part of a platform that is now strongly associated with Kanders’ teargas-producing company Safariland...I do not want her to grow up in a world where free and peaceful expression is countered with means that have left people injured and dead.” •