An affiliated program of the Warren and Allison Kanders Lecture Series
Co-organized by the David Winton Bell Gallery and Brown Arts Initiative as part of On Protest, Art and Activism
New No’s is a simple yet direct poem of defiance. Published as a poster in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, the poem stands as a manifesto of resistance and a protest for solidarity against political and social shifts the artists observed in the United States and beyond. Describing responses to the poem, Badlands Unlimited said:
We keep getting calls and emails at the office, telling us it’s "complicated." They say we don’t "understand them" … that while there were definitely voters who acted on racist, misogynist, and xenophobic instincts, most voted simply out of the sense that their economic hardships were being ignored. But we know it’s not complicated. It’s pretty simple, actually. That’s why we wrote this the weekend after the election.
More than an ideological artwork, New No’s incorporated direct fiscal activism. Available for purchase from 2016–2018, a portion of the proceeds from sales of the poster were donated to Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union.
About Paul Chan and Badlands Unlimited
Paul Chan lives and works in New York. He was the 2014 recipient of the Hugo Boss Prize, which coincided with his solo exhibition Nonprojections for New Lovers at the Guggeneheim Museum, New York, 2015. Recent solo exhibitions include Rhi Anima, Greene Naftali, New York (2017); Paul Chan: Pillowsophia, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia (2017); Hippias Minor, Deste Foundation Project Space, Slaughterhouse, Hydra, Greece (2015); Selected Works, Schaulager, Basel (2014); My laws are my whores, The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Chicago (2009); and The 7 Lights, New Museum, New York, 2008 and Serpentine Gallery, London, 2007. Select public collections include The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
Paul Chan founded Badlands Unlimited in 2010 on the principle of publishing things the public has never seen before in formats that the public can easily access. Badlands now consists of artists Micaela Durand (Director), Ian Cheng (Editor at Large), Parker Bruce, and Ambika Subramaniam. From the beginning, ebooks were Badlands’ primary mode of delivery, but their operation expanded to limited edition art works, downloadable files, paperback erotica and the occasional stone tablet. Observing that historical distinctions between books, files, and artworks are dissolving rapidly, Badlands publishes and produces new works by artists and writers that embody the spirit of this emerging dissolution.
A Message from For Freedoms
For Freedoms was founded by artists in 2016 as a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action in the United States. Inspired by Norman Rockwell’s 1943 paintings of the four universal freedoms articulated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear—For Freedoms uses art to deepen public discussions of civic issues and core values, and to clarify that citizenship in American society is dependent on participation, not ideology.
The artwork included in this exhibition share For Freedoms conviction that people shape the cultural systems that shape their lives—from politics to art, from advertising to civic life. We believe that citizenship is defined by the creative use of one’s voice, one’s body, one’s mind, and, ultimately, one’s vote.
The 50 State Initiative is the largest creative collaboration in the history of this country, and we want everyone to get involved. For Freedoms’ 200+ institutional partners are bringing together artists and communities leaders across the country through exhibitions and town hall meetings, and public billboard projects. These collective activities inject creativity, critical thinking, and lift a multiplicity of voices into our public conversation. Together, we can blur the line between artistic and political discourse, and create an open, nuanced national dialogue in a partisan climate. To learn more, visit www.forfreedoms.org.
Join us. #ForFreedoms. For us all.