Perhaps one of the most profound things about art is that it breaks the down the confines of communication. That is, art, no matter the medium, has a way of vesting itself within its audience, speaking to us in ways that traditional prose cannot. As Donald Trump transitions from a President-elect to the actual President, many have found it difficult to express their emotions during this turbulent time. Could art be the solution?
Although it is art that can shatter the confines of politics, the message of many in the art community is quite different. Instead of creating and sharing their art, many artists are calling for an art strike on January 20, the day that Donald Trump officially becomes president. According to Coco Fusco, “The time for thinking about how the imminent political shift will impact the lives and livelihoods of artists is upon us.” Closing the doors of galleries and halting projects is not a sign of defeat; but rather, Fusco and other artists explain on Hypoallergic, this is a way that some artists are choosing to show their refusal to tolerate sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, classism, racism and bigotry––themes that have been present throughout Trump’s campaign.
As we shift into this new era, it is imperative that we continue question the world around us. Art knows no partisan bounds, but artists can use it to express their ethics, their morals, and their opinions. Through all the paintings, the poems and dances that have been created to elicit these ideals, perhaps closing the doors on art may be the most powerful statement of them all. It is up to us, as artists and as viewers of art, to decide.
Alexandria Woodard, Elmira College Intern, Class of 2017