Artists Activism Escalates in Full Throttle Stance Against Whitney Vice Chair Warren Kanders

Artists Activism Escalates in Full Throttle Stance Against Whitney Vice Chair Warren Kanders

Eight artists have now withdrawn from the Whitney Biennial over companies linked to Whitney Museum vice chairman Warren Kanders. New evidence this week links Sierra Bullets — a weapons manufacturer partially owned by Kanders -- to violence on the Israeli-Palestinian border in Gaza, reports Hyperallergic.

Safariland, a Jacksonville, Florida–based defense manufacturing company that produces triple chasers, is run by Warren Kanders. Hyperallergic has been active in detailing instances of Safariland products being used in politically fractious situations all over the globe, including the current border conflict running along America’s southern border with Mexico. Safariland specializes in “professional and protective equipment focused on the law enforcement, public safety, military, and recreational markets.”

In 2018, Forbes covered Kanders in a story Meet The Safariland Multimillionaire Getting Rich Off Tear Gas and More in the Defense Industry. Kanders’ involvement in producing tear gas, the chemical weapon of crowd control, is the most important focus on controversy between Kanders and activists worldwide. Kanders describes his company’s offerings as benign, rejecting activism against him personally and Swaziland’s tear gas production. “Whether it’s under Obama—he was fond of using these products very frequently—or under Bush or Clinton or whomever, we are there to make nonlethal products and to provide those products to friends of our government through very prescribed channels,” Kanders told Forbes.

The newest withdrawals from the biennial include the University of London-based research group Forensic Architecture , and their Whitney Biennial submission “Triple-Chaser” (2019). Now Forensic Architecture believes that they MAY — or its highly-likely — have found an unexploded open-tip bullet in the sand in Gaza.

In this link, Forensic Architecture details their investigation into the facts behind “Triple Chaser”, which includes events on the Tijuana-San Diego border.