At Whitney Museum Biennial, 8 Artists Withdraw In Protest Of Link To Tear Gas Sales

NPR, July 21, 2019

“More artists are telling the Whitney Museum of American Art they are withdrawing from the museum's high-profile Biennial contemporary art showcase currently underway in New York.

"It was a really easy decision," says artist Nicholas Galanin, who spoke by phone from Alaska, where he lives. Along with three other artists, he told the Whitney on Friday that he wanted his multimedia work pulled from the show.

Over the weekend, Galanin and the others were joined by four more artists and collectives. Many in the art world expect other artists in the show to follow suit during the coming week.

The artists are protesting the vice chair of the Whitney's board, Warren B. Kanders, over his ownership of military supply companies that sell tear gas and bullets, which the artists allege to have been used against migrants on the U.S. southern border and against unarmed civilian protesters in Gaza.

One of the pieces in the Biennial show, a short video titled "Triple-Chaser," lays out a case against Kanders, with the help of gruesome footage of a Palestinian protester getting shot. It was made by a London collective called Forensic Architecture, along with Praxis Films, a company run by filmmaker Laura Poitras.”

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