The New York Museum Of Modern Art [MoMA] has found a powerful way to protest Donald Trump. The museum is protesting the president’s travel ban barring immigrants and refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the U.S., as well as the confiscation of over 100,000 visas.
MoMA has decided to rehang the works of artists from Muslim countries. These artists include the Los Angeles Iranian video artist Tala Madani, the Sudanese painter Ibrahim el-Salahi, and the Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. The works replaced a total of seven Picassos, Matisses, and Picabias.
Next to each work, a display states the museum’s intentions, according to the New York Times:
‘This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens are being denied entry into the United States, according to a presidential executive order issued on Jan. 27, 2017.
‘This is one of several such artworks from the Museum’s collection installed throughout the fifth-floor galleries to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to this Museum as they are to the United States.’
In addition, the Museum Of Modern Art scheduled four film screenings by directors subject to the travel ban. These include “Stars In Broad Daylight” by Syrian Oussama Mohammad exiled to Paris. Another is an experimental film “Al-Yazerli” by the Iraqi-born German director Kais al-Zubaidi.
This unique protest is perhaps the strongest by any major cultural institution against Trump’s executive immigration order. Under a secret order, the government refused over 100,000 people holding legitimate visas, even though press secretary Sean Spicer said the order only impacted 106 people.
All of the artists currently displayed in the MoMA are Iranian, except for Hadid and el-Salahi. These artists include sculptor Parviz Tanavoli, Madani, photographer Shirana Shahbazi, draftsman Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, and painter Marcos Grigorian.
MoMA also displayed Siah Armajani’s large aluminum and steel sculpture. Armajani is an American artist who was born in Iran. The museum placed the striking sculpture in the glass-walled lobby courtyard, which overlooks the museum’s garden.
What a striking protest.
Featured Image: Getty Images/Oli Scarff.
H/T: New York Times.