Display meant to stop crimes against Muslims defaced Hateful attack on hate-crime art

An art display about hate crimes in a gallery at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has itself fallen prey to hate-crime vandals, the work’s creator said Wednesday.

Art Institute graduate student Anida Yoeu Ali, 36, of Albany Park, brought a friend to see her artwork Tuesday afternoon and found that it had been defaced.

“My jaw dropped, and my face turned pretty ghostly,” said Ali.

The work, titled “1700 Percent: Otherance,” features racist statements written across a white wall. Ali said the piece seeks to bring attention to hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. As part of the evolving display, Ali and other artists have read aloud the words and also stained them with a mixture of tea, coffee and ink, Ali said.

But the vandals used some of the leftover stain to scrawl an amateurish robot-like drawing on top of the display and highlight the words “kill all,” and “Arabs,” Ali said.

Police are investigating but had no suspects as of Wednesday evening.

Ali said she’s planning a “collective healing” performance centered around the artwork on Saturday.

“I’m opening it up to the public to help me reclaim the stain and the mark of vandalism,” Ali said. “So instead of making it an act of violence, I would like to reclaim it in an act of collective healing.”