Artists from around the country are organizing an event called “Art Strike” in which those in creative lines of work are being encouraged to skip school and/or work in protest of Donald Trump’s inauguration. The event, which was organized on social media, will take place on Friday, January 20… the same day that President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn into office.
“[This call] is made in solidarity with the nation-wide demand that on January 20 and beyond, business should not proceed as usual in any realm,” the Facebook event page reads. “We consider Art Strike to be one tactic among others to combat the normalization of Trumpism—a toxic mix of white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia, militarism, and oligarchic rule. Like any tactic, it is not an end in itself, but rather an intervention that will ramify into the future.”
But not all artists are getting on board. In fact, some are questioning the overall effectiveness of the campaign.
“This is so pointless and anyone who doesn’t realize this is completely oblivious to the current political climate and of art’s utter irrelevancy within American culture,” Daniel Keller commented on the Facebook page.
Others took on a more sentimental tone to express their disapproval.
“As a working musician who is able to reach people with my art on a daily basis, I think this is a misguided effort, no matter how sincere. Trumpism should be countered by making beauty, not boycotting it. As Leonard Bernstein said, ‘This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before,’” Laura Conwesser wrote.
But despite the backlash, several big-name artists have already pledged their allegiance to the event. Allora and Calzadilla, Hans Haacke, Joan Jonas, Trevor Paglen, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, and Artnet News’s Ben Davis are just some of the artists who will be participating in the strike.
What’s your take on the Art Strike? Do you support it? We’d love to hear your thoughts!