After a month of back-and-forth, a controversial art project in Anacostia is coming down for good on Monday.
“The New Migration,” part of the citywide 5×5 Project, drew protests from neighbors for displaying old tires and other detritus in a vacant storefront window as the neighborhood tries to overcome its reputation for vacancy and blight. The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities announced last month it would remove the exhibit, then changed course a week later and said it would stay. This week, the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department declared the site a fire hazard and ordered that the installation be removed by tomorrow.
Sarah Massey, a spokeswoman for the arts commission, confirms that the commission will remove the exhibit on Monday. “Of course the arts commission is going to comply with the fire marshal,” she says, “and it will be deinstalled Monday. And all agencies have agreed that that is OK.” She clarifies that FEMS has consented to the Monday removal, given that professional art handlers are needed to take down the installation.
The arts commission will not attempt to put the exhibit back up, although it was initially slated to remain until November. “The work was always to be temporary,” she says.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery