A general strike from work and schools across the U.S. has been called for January 20, the day of Trump's inauguration. The art world is joining in with its own #J20 Art Strike, proposing in bold letters on the action's Facebook page, “NO WORK NO SCHOOL NO BUSINESS,” with a suggested shut down of museums, theaters, concert halls, galleries, studios, art schools, and nonprofits.
A number of art critics, academics and high profile artists have signed on to the strike, including Barbara Kruger, Richard Serra and Cindy Sherman.
The Art Strike action "is made in solidarity with the nation-wide demand that on January 20 and beyond, business should not proceed as usual in any realm. 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.”
Some think it could be a symbolic start of protest against Trump's policies and actions as part of a general strike and marches across the nation.
"Art must speak truth to power. Trump’s campaign, and now his administration, was befouled with the most rank racism, sexism, and homophobia,” said Tavia Nyong’o, a professor of theater and American studies at Yale University, to Hyperallergic on the subject of the art strike.
Critics of the Art Strike, like the Guardian's Jonathan Jones, call it an exercise in futility. Writes Jones: "...an art strike is just about the least effective idea for resisting Trump that I have heard. The American left is in for a long, wretched period of irrelevance if this is its idea of striking back."
Jones continues, "...the notion that museums will help anything by closing their doors, or students will scare middle America into its senses by cutting art classes, tastes not of real hard-fought politics but shallow radical posturing by some very well-heeled and comfortable members of a cultural elite."
Well, here enters a "performance art" demonstration.
In San Francisco, thousands have registered to take part in Bridge Together on Inauguration Day. The organizers' website states that "using lengths of purple fabric, we will form the first human chain across the entire Golden Gate Bridge (and beyond), as a collaborative, grassroots, community-based demonsration and performance art piece."
Participants will bring their own purple fabric and sometime between 10am-noon, everyone will stand together and connect the colors for the "performance." The bridge itself will hold 3,000 people while each side will contain more demonstrators.
The color purple was chosen for the bridge project because it signifies "unity and love in the face of divisiveness and hate," reads the website. It was also the color worn by Hillary Clinton on election night.
Mega-sized swaths of fabric recall the wrapped bridges and buildings of famed artist duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude. While a momentary gesture, the Golden Gate's purpleness, once photographed, could deliver a lasting visual statement along with political impact.
ARTFIXdaily will be closed on January 20. We will be on the Golden Gate Bridge.