‘Chit Chat,’ Tala Madani
In protest of Trump’s Muslim ban, MoMA has replaced some of its permanent collection, including a Picasso and Matisse, with work by Muslim artists effected by the new restrictions. Featuring seven work by architect Zaha Hadid, Iranian video artist Tala Madani, photographer Shirana Shahbazi, painter Marcos Grigorian, sculptor Parviz Tanavoli, Sudanese painter Ibrahim el-Salahi and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, the new fifth floor exhibit is a bold political act by the legendary New York institution.
“This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens are being denied entry into the United States, according to a presidential executive order issued on Jan. 27, 2017,” reads a statement alongside each piece in the museum. “This is one of several such artworks from the Museum’s collection installed throughout the fifth-floor galleries to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to this Museum as they are to the United States.”
Usually dedicated to modern art from before 1945, the pieces are a strong statement from the museum, which has rarely ever disrupted its post-impressionistic permanent collection. Other artists, such as Anish Kapoor, have been vocal about the ban, but MoMA is the first major institution to speak out against Dictator—I mean, President—Trump.