The discussion has brought to light the enduring lack of representation of Native artists in the art historical canon, in art museum exhibitions and in collections. However, it has also shown us a way forward.
The Walker Art Center has responded to our criticism arguing “NCAC has placed undue emphasis on the work’s material structure over its concept.” Read our new response.
NCAC has issued a statement signed by several national and international organizations, opposing the Walker’s decision to dismantle and destroy the controversial sculpture.
Mintcheva’s essay examines and argues for the value of free expression in light of recent controversies over art and racially sensitive content, as well as over cultural appropriation, which have left people to question the usefulness of an absolutist defense of free speech.
While critiquing or protesting artworks is a vital part of a healthy democratic society, cultural institutions who bow to demands to remove or destroy works that engage with contentious political or social issues endanger our ability to maintain a public sphere where ideas and societal problems can be freely identified and discussed.