Anish Kapoor Among 200 Leading Artists Launching Movement Against Right-Wing Populism

The 'Hands Off Our Revolution' movement pledges to react with radical art.

Anish Kapoor. Courtesy of Adam Berry/Getty Images.

Over 200 leading international artists, writers, and curators—including Anish Kapoor, Wolfgang Tillmans, Steve McQueen, Laurie Anderson, Ed Ruscha, Matthew Barney, Rosalind Krauss, Okwui Enwezor, Iwona Blazwick, and Catherine Wood—have publicly expressed their support to the “Hands Off Our Revolution” movement.

Spearheaded by the artist Adam Broomberg, the movement was launched in reaction to recent events like the Brexit vote, the refugee crisis, and the election of Donald Trump as President of the US.

The website of the initiative, which will stage exhibitions and events addressing those issues in collaboration with institutions all over the world, went live today.

On its landing page, a statement reads:

We are a global coalition affirming the radical nature of art. We believe that art can help counter the rising rhetoric of right-wing populism, fascism and the increasingly stark expressions of xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia and unapologetic intolerance.

We know that freedom is never granted—it is won. Justice is never given—it is exacted. Both must be fought for and protected, yet their promise has seldom been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp, as at this moment.

As artists, it is our job and our duty to reimagine and reinvent social relations threatened by right-wing populist rule. It is our responsibility to stand together in solidarity. We will not go quietly. It is our role and our opportunity, using our own particular forms, private and public spaces, to engage people in thinking together and debating ideas, with clarity, openness and resilience.

“What is important is that it is not just seen as America’s problem, or Europe’s problem, so we are planning shows in Mexico and Lagos,” Broomberg told the Guardian. The first announcements of exhibitions will be released in March.

“We artists are united in our mission to counter small minded prejudice. Our art affirms our humanity and we insist on inclusion of all and for all. We call for action by people of good conscience to stand against the abhorrent policies of the governments that claim to represent us,” Anish Kapoor said in a statement.

Artist Mark Titchner said, “NO to the society that demands we all be alike. NO to the coercion to consume and conform. NO to the poisoned world that drives its people to flee into introspection and solitude. NO to the dislocation, depression and anger this breeds. Art is for empathy. Art is for loving your brothers and your sisters and yourself. Art is for a chance to live.”

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics