Walker Art Center

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Artist Op-Eds

Examining the thinking of artists as citizens and change-makers, this series of commissioned opinion pieces features provocative reactions to the headlines by contributors including Ron Athey, James Bridle, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Ana Tijoux, Dread Scott, and others. Taking inspiration from artistic and political leafletting throughout history, each op-ed is also available as a print-on-demand pamphlet. As with any forum for urgent conversation, the views reflected here are those of the artists and do not necessarily represent those of the Walker Art Center.

In This Series

Untitled (Blog)

Postcommodity — 2043: No Es Un Sueño

Why does the term “native” lose meaning south of the border? And why are some white people calling themselves “nativists”? The indigenous art collective Postcommodity (Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, and Kade L. Twist) melds poetry and… More

Gary Simmons

Forward Ever, Backward Never

Gary Simmons created Everforward—a pair of gleaming white boxing gloves embroidered with the words “Everforward” and “Neverback”—in response to troubled times: the killing of Yusef Hawkins, recession, the AIDS epidemic, the Crown… More

João Enxuto & Erica Love

Critical Administration: On Artstrike and Institutions

What will the relationship between art museums and their publics look like following recent global events like Brexit and the US elections? Weaving together the January 20 Artstrike and Liberate… More

Naeem Mohaiemen (Text) & Hans Haacke (Images)

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Campaign

“Flood a gallery, embalm an animal, smash an object—critics hail these gestures as having the power to ‘shape worlds.’ But when artists sit down with museum administrators and read a list of demands for labor rights, this work… More

Gordon Hall

Reading Things

North Carolina’s discriminatory transgender bathroom bill, the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, police killings of African Americans across the United States, and the soaring murder rate among transgender women of color: artist Gordon Hall responds to… More

Jack Whitten

A Circle of Blood

Paris. Beirut. Charleston. What is art’s role in the face of heinous violence? Jack Whitten links his experiences growing up as “a product of American apartheid” to the deaths of so many, including Eric Garner, Aylan Kurdi, and Darren Goforth. More

Natascha Sadr Haghighian

A Crossing

A raft filled with passive world leaders. An online mashup combining a photo-op of western politicos at the Charlie Hebdo march with the deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean, it’s an apt metaphor for an EU refugee policy that’s hopelessly adrift.  More

Ron Athey

Polemic of Blood

Ever since a suicide attempt at 15, death has been a constant companion for Ron Athey—even more so since 1985, the year he tested positive for HIV. Until it wasn’t. Healthy on the 30th anniversary of his diagnosis, the artist reflects on the “post-AIDS” body. More

Ana Tijoux

La Cultura de la Basura

“Where are the videos showing a woman in her role as sister—or protector, or economic head of family, or devoted daughter, or grandmother dignified in her old age?” Chilean hip-hop MC and activist Ana Tijoux looks at la violencia del cuerpo en la musicaMore

Dread Scott


“If you’re the head of an empire and see that an unarmed youth is gunned down by the police and your advice is for people to be calm,” writes Dread Scott in his essay on Michael Brown’s death, “your rule is illegitimate.”  More

James Bridle

The Siege on Citizenship

“The cloud renders geography irrelevant, until you realize that everything that matters, everything that means you don’t die, is based not only on which passport you possess, but on a complex web of definitions of what constitutes that passport.” More