MoMA protests Trump’s ban by rehanging works by Muslim artists

  • Words: Spindle

The Museum of Modern Art has joined the protests to President Trump’s highly problematic (to put it lightly) ban on people from Muslim countries entering the US by re-hanging works by artists from those nations. MoMA has changed the layout of its fifth-floor galleries to replace works by Picasso and Matisse with those by Sudanese painter Ibrahim el-Salahi, Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid, Iranian artist Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, and Los Angeles-based Iranian video artist Tala Madani, as well as numerous others. Meanwhile, a large metal sculpture by Iran-born artist Siah Armajani now occupies the glass-walled courtyard that overlooks the garden.

Each piece comes with the following description: “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.”

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MoMA’s resistance to the President’s order is clear, and the gallery join a wide array of creative responses in protest to the ban, such as Anish Kapoor’s recreation of Joseph Beuys’ ‘I Like America and America Likes Me,’ and Jamie Hu’s illustration of the Statue of Liberty hugging a woman in a hijab. MoMA also recently opened a safe creative space for LGBTQ teens to make art and meet new friends and collaborators.