The Art World Responds to the Devastating Orlando Nightclub Shooting
Vigils are being held worldwide.
The deadliest mass shooting to take place on American soil has left 50 people dead, including gunman Omar Mateen, at Pulse, a gay night club in Orlando. The world has reacted to the senseless tragedy with shock and grief, holding vigils and offering artistic tributes to the victims, many of whom were young Latinos.
Landmarks around the world, from One World Trade in New York and Los Angeles City Hall to the Story Bridge in Brisbane, Australia, and City Hall in Tel Aviv have been lit up in rainbow colors to commemorate victims of the shooting, while New York’s Empire State Building went dark “in sympathy for the victims of last night’s attack,” as announced on Twitter. The Eiffel Tower has announced plans to follow suit on June 13.
In Red Hook, Brooklyn, Pioneer Works turned its regular Second Sunday event into a last-minute benefit concert for Orlando, featuring performances from the US’s first LGBTQI choir, the Stonewall Chorale, which began in 1977 and now has 150 member choruses. They were followed by Alsarah and the Nubatones, who joined “out of a collective love for Nubian music and a genuine belief that Soul transcends all cultural and linguistic barriers,” as they state on Second Sundays’ Facebook page.
At New York’s Japan Society, where curator Michael Chagnon was giving the final tour of “In the Wake: Japanese Photographers Respond to 3/11,” which closed June 12, he encouraged visitors to hang a message of peace and hope on Yoko Ono‘s Wish Tree.
On social media, the hashtag #TwoMenKissing has sprung up, in defiance of the homophobia that led to the attack.
Artists have also rallied in support of the victims and their families, with Indian sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik taking to the beach in his native country to create a graphic sculpture with the message “OneWorld, One Message, End Terrorism.” In West Hollywood, ChadMichael Morrisette recreated the carnage in a shocking piece titled “No One Is Safe,” covering the roof of his home with 50 mannequins.
Hank Willis Thomas updated his Instagram account with an image of a work in progress titled Thirteen Thousand, Four Hundred and Twentynine, created for gun violence victims who died in the US in 2015. He appended his message with the hashtag #stopthekilling.
Elsewhere, many have gathered to mourn at candlelight vigils. “In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another,” said President Barack Obama, addressing the country from the White House. “We will not give in to fear or turn against each other. Instead, we will stand united as Americans to protect our people and defend our nation, and to take action against those who threaten us.”
See more photos of the world’s response to the tragedy below.
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.