in News | 29 JUN 18

‘High Castle America’: Leading Artists Respond to Trump’s Travel Ban

Artists including Marilyn Minter and Richard Prince join professional organizations in criticism, following the Supreme Court upholding the policy

in News | 29 JUN 18

Marilyn Minter, RESIST FLAG, 2017. Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy: Creative Time

Artists and leading arts organizations in the US have voiced criticism of Trump’s travel ban, following the US Supreme Court decision to uphold it this week. The controversial policy will impact the mobility of those travelling to the US from seven Muslim-majority countries.

On Twitter, artist Richard Prince described the situation as ‘High Castle America’, a reference to the 1962 Philip K. Dick re-imagining of the country as a fascist state. Artists Marilyn Minter and Raymond Pettibon were also active on social media, retweeting comments critical of the policy and the administration.

High Castle America

— Richard Prince (@RichardPrince4) June 26, 2018

Leading professional arts associations have condemned the move, The Art Newspaper reports. Christine Anagnos, director of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) told the paper: ‘We believe that this is a time where the world needs more cultural exchange that fosters understanding, not less.’

The AAMD released a statement saying that they would continue to ‘encourage international cultural engagement and advocate for visas to be provided to members of the global arts community who wish to present in the United States.’

Other organizations such as Pen America described the court’s ruling as ‘a rejection of America’s commitment to open exchange’. And the College Art Association of America republished an earlier statement, calling the ban a blow to ‘the inclusive, secular underpinnings of American democracy […] The contribution of immigrants, foreign nationals, and people of all cultural backgrounds greatly strengthens our intellectual and creative world.’

When the executive order for Trump’s immigration ban was originally announced, at the beginning of 2017, it received significant scrutiny from the art world. New York’s MoMA rehung parts of its permanent collection, to focus on artists from the Muslim-majority countries affected by the policy, and with similar intent, the Davis Museum in Massachusetts covered the parts of its collection which were created or donated by immigrants.