Art & Politics in America
Deconstructing the West Wing
Matthew Hong

Art sometimes manages to cross the line into politics, and vice versa. Earlier today, this line was crossed then redrawn as 16 prominent artists, authors, performers, architects and others from the Committee on the Arts and the Humanities submitted an open letter of resignation to the president in protest of his response to the recent Charlottesville incident which many understood to be condoning of the behavior of hate groups such as the white supremacists.

There are those who believe art is created through a certain self reflection, a minimum requisite of peering into the soul. Politicians rarely deal in this process. Governance, however, at times having trouble looking into its own heart, should at least take a look into the eyes of its citizens. Or to use a term politicians may understand better, its constituents.

This past week America has seen another chapter in the continuing exchange of a nation that has not moved any closer to being unified since the swearing in of the new administration.

The resignation of these individuals serving on this committee comes on the coat tails of the resignations of numerous members of the business council. (Yes, sometimes art does follow commerce.) The concern now is that with the already diminished number of conscientious individuals leaving the cabinet or advisory committees, we are left with those, not only unconscientious and unqualified, but extremely irregular for the responsibilities entrusted them.

We may remember Charlottesville as the little battle ground of a modern American civil conflict. We can thank the former members of the Committee on the Arts and the Humanities for bringing the discourse into the arts arena. Now we can reflect twice before erecting any statues of this particular lost cause leader. And if we ever do, I would have to nominate an “artist” like Koons to conceive it; this way we could really close the ring where tragedy becomes farce, as Churchill might have described.

  • Samuel James: Nightairs

    Twenty-six species of the insect family Lampyridae, commonly known as fireflies, have been identified in the foothills of Appalachian Ohio. For a brief moment at the very end of their lives, nineteen of these species communicate with silent, bioluminescent displays of wildly diverse flash patterns and colors – a kaleidoscopic procession of light varying in precise accordance to habitat, season and time of night. (more…)

  • Ana Cavagna Martinez
    Featured Profile

    Ana Cavagna Martinez is an Argentinian artist, continuously inspired by nature, books and her philosophical studies. She has spent the last 20 years out of Buenos Aires, going through trips and moving all around the world.

    Her art is an abstract narration and sometimes depicting everything absorbed when going on walks. The scenery, the animals, the terrain, the books and her fine sensibility let her see and feel. (more…)

  • i-D
    Featured Profile

    i-D has built its reputation on being a consistent source of inspiration in fashion culture. It began as a fanzine dedicated to the street style of punk-era London in 1980, and quickly earned its position at the vanguard of fashion and style, abiding by the premise of originate – don’t imitate. (more…)

  • Miranda July: New Society
    Mar 7 – Oct 14, 2024
    Fondazione Prada
    Milan, Italy

    Curated by Mia Locks, Miranda July: New Society is the first solo museum exhibition dedicated to Miranda July’s work. Spanning three decades, from the early 1990’s until today, the exhibition includes early short films, performance, and multimedia installations. The exhibition debuts F.A.M.I.L.Y (Falling Apart Meanwhile I Love You), a multi-channel video installation July made in collaboration with seven strangers via Instagram. (more…)

  • Bastardie
    Jun 7–30, 2024
    Paris, France

    How can speech practices that trouble official languages disrupt the established social order and open up other configurations? Do they have the potential to impact the way we look or act? Its title pays tribute to Alice Becker-ho, a linguist associated with the Situationist International, known for her interest in the lexicons of gypsies and Roma. (more…)

  • Gregory Crewdson: Retrospective
    May 29 – Sep 8, 2024
    Wien, Austria

    Gregory Crewdson (*1962, Brooklyn) is one of the world’s most renowned photographers. Since the mid-1980s, Crewdson has been using the backdrop of small American towns and film sets to create, like a director, technically brilliant and colourfully seductive photographs that focus on human isolation and the abysses of society. The enigmatic scenes self-reflexively raise questions about the boundary between fact and fiction but can also be related to socio-political developments. (more…)

Visit our New Announcement Submission page > Announcement Submission page >