When Art Becomes the Target of Political Violence

If you look closely at the figures in this location, you will see evidence of damage and “field repairs.”  This installation has been exhibited elsewhere in the U.S. multiple times with only minor damage, mostly weather-related. When the installation was exhibited on a college campus in California in late 2016, however, the figures became the target of their own political violence. Several figures were vandalized or defaced. The political violence even extended into the residence halls, with vandals using their own blood to paint swastikas on walls to threaten the university’s LGBTQ community. The installation producers made quick repairs to the figures; the healing of the community took much longer.


Instead of replacing the figures for this installation at DSU, we present them as another opportunity to reflect on such acts of vandalism and political animus.



Exploring the Issues of the 43 at DSU


The plight of the missing students and their families presents an extraordinary opportunity for our students and community to come together in the name of justice. Several events at DSU in September 2021 will explore the issues of the 43 and victims of violence everywhere.


Thursday, September 23 at 4 PM: Mexico City-based journalist John Gibler speaks in the Gardner Center in a one-on-one conversation with Vince Brown (Institute of Politics). Gibler has written extensively about the Iguala tragedy. Gibler will also visit several classes on Sept. 22-23.


Sunday, September 26: St. George Catholic Church will offer prayers of intercessions during the Sunday masses. 

Sunday, September 26 at 8 PM: Vigil on the lawn near the clocktower on the DSU campus. Sept 26 is the seventh anniversary of the atrocity.

Hazy Business Building

The four figures in the Hazy portion of the installation all wear the battle scars of being the target of alcohol-fueled political violence.  A fifth damaged figure, faced with a mirror, is on display in the Holland Centennial Commons portion of the installation.