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

Natascha Sadr Haghighian

A Crossing

A rubber raft filled with passive world leaders, their arms locked in unity. This image—an uncredited mashup circulated online—combines a photo-op of western politicos at the Paris Charlie Hebdo march with a more recent tragedy: the deaths of hundreds of… More

Ron Athey

Polemic of Blood

Ever since a suicide attempt at age 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 53-year-old performance artist reflects… 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?” In her Artist Op-Ed, Chilean hip-hop MC and activist Ana Tijoux looks at la violencia del cuerpo en… More

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.” Taking his name from the slave who… More

James Bridle

The Siege on Citizenship

“The cloud renders geography irrelevant,” writes James Bridle, “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