(De)Institutional Research Team formed in early 2019 out of a research working group that convened at the first Decolonize This Place direct action training workshop following the J26 Town Hall assembly. After the direct action trainings a core group of seven people continued to meet weekly to expand research into the Whitney Museum's board. After several meetings, (d)IRT was created as an autonomous collective to pursue direct action ideas at the museum during DTP's Nine Weeks of Action.
Out of the initial proposals, (d)IRT focused on developing a guide to the crisis at the Whitney in a form that would be familiar to museum visitors. The resulting Welcome to the Whitney brochure contextualized the protests of then board member Warren G. Kanders through a series of interlocking questions around land, labor, diversity, the board, art washing, and museum governance.
The brochure was initially spread throughout the museum to initiate the direct action, but was quickly identified and removed by museum staff. (d)IRT continued to distribute the brochure for the remaining nine weeks of action and used it as a way to engage museum visitors in conversation.
(d)IRT is composed entirely of volunteers who collectively contributed hundreds of hours to research, write, debate, edit, produce, and distribute the document in support of Decolonize This Place and all of the community groups that brought their struggles to the museum.
Clarinda Mac Low
石安童 (Shi An Tong)
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