deana haggag

deana haggag.png

[chicago & baltimore]

intro’d to Deana here:

Donald Trump would propose a budget that seeks to increase military spending by $54 billion while altogether eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

It’s been argued (even occasionally in cost-benefit terms that would theoretically convince a president who calls himself a businessman) that the arts generate $135.2 billion for the United States economy each year—but the true necessity and power of the arts are both impossible to quantify and impossible to underestimate, and, advocates argue, something the Trump administration clearly views as a viable threat.

“We need the arts because they make us full human beings,”

and we are all artists.. if set free

sociologist Eve L. Ewing wrote in The New York Times. “But we also need the arts as a protective factor against authoritarianism.”

“I am not an artist, I never have been, but I’ve come to understand who I am through the arts, as a curator and as a person,” Haggag said. “Also, my parents are from Egypt, so there are ideas about colonialism and blackness and being African and being American and, growing up, when

I didn’t have language for those things, there was always an artist who could help navigate that for me in his or her work.

not voiceless.. no need to train for ie: legible ness

Understanding myself as a black woman, a brown woman, an Egyptian, and an American has been through the lens of all these amazing thinkers.”

I’ve thought about that a lot: Why put any skills or efforts into protecting this thing when there are a million other fights? When millions of Americans could potentially die if certain things are repealed and cut? Weirdly, they were talking about this on, of all places, The View, in the midst of a discussion about the controversy over Dana Schutz’spainting of Emmett Till. Joy Behar made the point about how they want to defund the arts because they know that it [has] power. The reason the federal government wants to defund arts is that

the arts have the power to make people think for themselves,

and in every moment when there’s been a fascist society they try to remove the arts because they know that a painting can wage war.

It was just a beautiful way to put it, and incredible that this discussion was happening in that kind of mainstream space, where women on a television talk show were admitting that artists have the power to ignite a kind of thinking and to compel movements. And when it comes to discussions like the one set off by Schutz’s painting, I worry that we’re losing nuance in the conversation. We, the community of artists in the world, that’s our job: to bring nuance to light, to open up different ways of looking and seeing. And so part of the job of supporting artists is supporting that, too. The arts, the national parks, public broadcast: We’re just all part of a team; we have to be on the defense all the time so that things like housing and nutrition can be on the offense.

also: How do we advocate on behalf of artists in other ways that are compelling, beyond just cutting someone a big check? We’re thinking, for instance, about the things that artists are using this money for. If you get a grant, does that mean you get bumped off your health care? I’m thinking about levels of debt that all Americans are collecting in this economy: college debt, credit card debt. What is an artist’s relationship to that now?

a nother way.. sans made-up money.. for all of us..

I was living in Egypt during the uprising under Mubarak, and just watching arrest after arrest.

They go for the artists first. They go for the journalists, writers, painters, and photographers. That’s who you lock up if you don’t want people to know what’s happening.

So that’s why I think if we don’t protect what they’re making now, it is a slippery slope, and we will lose by the time we need these images to go to the general public. No matter what these artists are working on now, whether or not it has an overt political sensibility, we need to protect them and their freedom

free art ists.. aka: all of us.. today we have the means to facil that chaos..


let’s do this firstfree art-ists.

for (blank)’s sake


2014 – Deana starts at 2 min

3 min – museum – intentionally nomadic..  my mother: has bigger commitment phobic than i do..

5 min – they made greatest decision – 2011 ish – to go underground and really evaluate their mission

7 min – we were met with – don’t get a building

11 min – to speak on behalf of all contemporary art with our own individual voices is a little problematic for us..

12 min – we went and talked to galleries.. we needed these galleries and we needed their audiences.. and we needed their taste ..

again minimize the kind of bureaucratic crap between you and your main audience

B ness

how do you also minimize the distance between a master artist and everybody else..

13 min – minimizes need for resources.. by maximizing access to resources.. to rent free of charge..

2 convos to facil

find/follow Deana:

link twitter

keeps me active.


art people.. et al