“When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Art and Migration”

Titled after British-Somali writer Warsan Shire's poem about the experiences of refugees, “When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Art and Migration” explores the ways in which artists have responded to ongoing crises of migration and displacement.

Minneapolis Institute of Art, February 23–May 24, 2020; Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford, CA, October 2, 2020–January 4, 2021.

Titled after British-Somali writer Warsan Shire’s poem about the experiences of refugees, “When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Art and Migration” explores the ways in which artists have responded to ongoing crises of migration and displacement. The exhibition features more than forty works made over the past two decades by twenty artists based across the globe, including Guillermo Galindo and Richard Misrach’s Border Cantos (2004–16), a multiyear project involving musical instruments fashioned from objects found along the US-Mexico border; Isaac Julien’s 2007 video installation Western Union: Small Boats, filmed on the Italian island of Lampedusa, a frequent entry point into Europe for North African migrants crossing the Mediterranean; and Yinka Shonibare’s room-size installation The American Library (2018), which features over six thousands books bound in his signature Dutch wax fabric and imprinted with the names of significant figures in American culture who were first- or second-generation immigrants.

Yto Barada, Salon de Première—Ferry de Tanger à Algesiras, Espagne—2002 (First class lounge—Ferry from Tangier to Algeciras, Spain—2002), 2002, chromogenic color print, 33 x 33 inches. Courtesy Pace Gallery; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Beirut; and Galerie Polaris, Paris. Copyright © Yto Barrada.