Tonight at 6: Occupy Museums Meets Inside MoMA

by Whitney Kimball on January 13, 2012 Rise Up

Last fall's Occupy Museums meeting outside MoMA (image via:

Occupy Museums is back!  Occupy Museums, Arts and Labor, 16 Beaver, and Occupy Sotheby’s plan to orchestrate a massive gathering inside MoMA tonight at 6 PM: a significantly expanded collaboration between activist groups with a wide range of interests. One of the issues addressed today will be the locked-out Sotheby’s art handlers’ union, which has recently been a point of intersection for many of the Occupy groups and arts organizations. Though this is currently high on the community agenda, the hope is also to provoke a broader dialogue.  Their press release below:

We’re Back!

 “In the face of so much suffering, if art insists on being a luxury, it will also be a lie.” ~Albert Camus

With the whole world asking “what’s next?” for Occupy Wall Street, OWS activists concerned with economic justice in the arts and in labor have announced plans for a creative visit to the Museum of Modern Art this Friday, where they will take advantage of the museum’s waived $25 admission fee. “I tried going on Wednesday, but I couldn’t afford it,” said activist and art enthusiast Tim Gately. Although free nights at MoMA are now sponsored by the retail giant Target, the tradition was introduced in the 1970s as the direct result of grassroots activism by the Artist Workers Coalition.

This action coalesces around a number of issues, from the cult of 1% luxury and celebrity promoted at MoMA to the museum's close relationship with union-busting Sotheby’s. Experience a lively evening where the people’s voice is heard within museum walls. Everyone is invited to test the museum as a true public forum.

#OWS  #occupymuseums #TeamstersLocal814 #occupysotheby's

So no excuses: it’ll be indoors.

When Paddy Johnson asked participants Blithe Riley and Noah Fischer about the group’s goals last October, they were hopeful that the actions would generate a significantly comprehensive discussion. Riley stated: “It's not like we're saying that we know by having these series of actions that we're going to entirely change the way the art market functions,” to which Fischer responded, “I think it will.”

If the Sotheby’s art handlers make any progress in negotiations, it will be a milestone for the many movements that have publicly demonstrated this year.

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