Oct 23, 2023
Black Patron KICKED From Exhibit Serving As Safe Space For Black People
- 5 minutes
Here we are, Black patron asked to leave Black Power Nap exhibit. Fallout continues for New York's MoMA Museum, Museum of Modern Art, after removing a Black visitor from an exhibit in March. [00:00:15] Well, they issued apology, museum did after security asked Heather Agyepong, British Ghanaian artist, to leave an exhibition titled Black Power Naps. Artists Navilde Acosta and Fanny Sosa created the space [00:00:31] specifically to create a space for Black people to rest. That's the heart of this. Agyepong posted this video to social media right after explaining what happened, watch. >> You will not believe what just happened. [00:00:47] I was at MoMA, I was at Black Power Naps installation, and I just got kicked out. Me and another Black guy got kicked out because a white lady came in and was laughing. And we said, I think the space is kind of centered around Black people. [00:01:06] She started shouting, saying we were aggressive. No, she said I was aggressive. You know me, I'm chill, she said I was aggressive, I should be kicked out. She works for the UN and she's gonna complain. So I got kicked out of an exhibition, [00:01:23] an installation centered around Black people and rest. >> Yeah, so this woman's called aggressive. I'll speak candidly about that in a moment, but in her apology statement let's go there now. The MoMA said, quote, we've reached out to Heather Agyepong, we've apologized. [00:01:43] We are committed to presenting programs that move race equity values forward and we acknowledge there will be challenges to work through and learn from as we support and invite artists and audiences to engage on these important issues. This is from the Art Newspaper. [00:01:59] When it opened, Black Power Naps was met with wide acclaim. Now, Acosta and Sosa say they found it challenging to find new venues for the installation following an unexpected cancellation by the City of Toronto last month. The pair is worried, MoMA's actions are making institutions hesitant. [00:02:19] You think? Spokesperson for City of Toronto Culture told Hyperallergenic that the City of Toronto worked with the artists from Black Power Naps to bring the project to Toronto, that negotiations were unsuccessful for the 2023 event for [00:02:35] a variety of logistical and financial reasons, and that the city looks forward to the opportunity to work with the artists again. Now, Acosta says they weren't aware of any logistical and financial reasons for the cancellation, the sudden change meant the artists were left with just a few [00:02:53] days to retrieve all of the materials from Jersey City. Acosta hurriedly coordinated with artist Robin Markle to truck the materials to a building in South Philadelphia where they are now being stored. The artists have launched a GoFundMe drive to raise $10,000 in the face of [00:03:12] what they describe as a financial crisis with the mounting bill of storage fees. So, Ben, I think it's pretty clear what happened here. We don't have to say he said, she said, because the Museum of Art has apologized. [00:03:28] But just in case, I can tell you based on just a video of Agyepong stating what happened to her, I know she's telling the truth, 100% telling the truth. A, I'm a black woman. B, she has that accent that means she's telling the truth, okay? [00:03:48] Anyone with that accent has to start with a presumption that they're telling the truth. You unpack the rest of the story. >> Speaker 3: I completely agree with you on this one, Sharon. And you can tell I'm being genuine on account of this fake accent I'm doing. [00:04:07] No, she, of course, seemed the facts aren't even in dispute, but it's just, couldn't be a more perfect example of why you need art to challenge society and point out our biases oftentimes. Because exactly what the exhibit was meant for, an exhibit to show that Black [00:04:27] people generally aren't able to even make the time for adequate rest with all the extra worries that they have on their plates and the extra obligations they have on their plates. And for a white woman to come in laughing and for the Black woman in the space trying to appreciate the art and [00:04:45] take a rest as the art intended to be the one kicked out. It's just a great microcosm for how messed up everything is and makes me wanna take a nap. >> Speaker 1: Me too. Yeah, and I'll end it with this. [00:05:00] When you can't even have this beautiful modern Black art installation without a Karen showing up, there's a problem. There's a problem, okay? [00:05:17] I think that they're everywhere, and now their tentacles have entered the art world, and I don't know how to get them out of there, I don't. It's unfortunate, I hope that this installation so [00:05:33] that all can have a Black power nap, will see another day.
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