Sam Durant; (from 2007). Now up on Paula Cooper Gallery building West 21st Street. pic.twitter.com/MCsO19xk1G— Jerry Saltz (@jerrysaltz) December 3, 2016
The current social and political climate is reminiscent of the civil rights era, during which the fight for racial equality and social justice reached its peak.
An art installation in New York has made the parallels between then and now even stronger by recreating a famous sign calling for the end of white supremacy.
According to The Huffington Post, back in 1963, a protester wrote the words “End White Supremacy” on a sign and carried it during a march in New York.
In 2008, artist Sam Durant — known for creating large-scale light boxes — found an image of the sign. He scanned and cropped the sign’s message, and then transformed it into one of his masterpieces.
In a move that illustrated how far America had come since the civil rights movement, New York City’s Paula Cooper Gallery first displayed the light box in 2009 after America elected its first black president, Barack Obama.
However, as the nation seems to have regressed since that historical election, the piece has been restored to send a drastically different message. The sign was reinstalled in response to the election of Donald Trump whose campaign rhetoric mainstreamed racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, all the while invigorating white supremacy.
Gallery owner Paula Cooper emphasized the importance of using whatever resources you have to combat the influx of fear and hate.
“We should, as spaces available and open to the public, do whatever we can to resist and overcome whatever abominations are about to confront us,” said Cooper. “How we best do that is the question.”
Cooper followed her own advice by reinstalling this powerful sign, and it’s up to others to decide how they will contribute to the fight against the negativity Trump has brought upon us.
Cooper reportedly doesn’t know how long the piece will be on display, but we suggest heading over to view it and sharing your photos on social media to show the world that white supremacy has no place in American society.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @blackvoices