human freedom of speech wall, 2018
University Art Museum Pavilion, CSU, Long Beach, California
Silent interventionist performance
September 19th, 2018, Duration 3 hours
"Free Speech" is an inalienable human right. The three-hour human freedom of speech wall (HFOSW) took place on September 19th, 2018, at the University Art Museum (UAM), currently the KCAM, at California State University, Long Beach. The guerrilla performance activated the museum pavilion in front of the Ronald and Sylvia Hartman wall during the American MONUMENT exhibition by artist lauren woods. The silent interventionist performance protested the institution's role in the artist lead "pause" of American MONUMENT exhibit as a response to the firing of co-creator and museum director Kimberli Meyer. The performance employed mindfulness as a "state of being" to open passive dialogue in the community about the covert institutional censorship of woods exhibit. American MONUMENT is a pedagogic artwork bringing awareness to the growing epidemic of Black lives lost to police violence in the United States. Woods's "pause" of the monument due to Meyer's termination requested the institution enter into a period of restorative justice with the former director. The contentious decisions surrounding the covert censorship of the monument became the inspiration for the human freedom of speech wall to demonstrate how silence can be a tool of opposition and empower ideas of free speech.