Occupy Museums exposes cultural institutions that serve the nation’s wealthiest citizens at the expense of the vast majority. Here we offer an update on this evolving protest. We believe that institutions promoting a cult of celebrity, unfair labor practices, extreme commodification of art, and which trivialize or glamorize political struggle and protest are only the logical outcome of an entire culture stolen from the people by the 1%. We point to the visual promotion of corporate or private sponsorship seemingly without limit- as if this small group, not the public, truly own our cultural commons. In addition, our current tax code which is tilted to benefit the wealthiest in our society declares that the full market value of artworks donated to museums, or placed in corporate offices can be written off. It is therefore a massive conflict of interest for the same people to sit on the boards of both the auction houses and museums in effect, maximizing tax-free profits and social status as they minimize the benefit of their personal wealth to the society. As artists of Occupy Wall Street we recognize that these practices are bad for our culture and bad for art. While most American struggle with problems caused by the recklessness and greed of many in the top 1% and the overwhelming economic inequality in the US today, it is time to reclaim the commons of art and culture from the narrow confines of a market that has become an inside-game.
Occupy Museums is an ongoing protest that formed in October 2011. We are an agile action group within the OWS Movement.
60 Wall Street (Atrium)
email us to confirm meeting time and place occupy-museums(at)googlegroups.com
Relevant documents on NYCGA.net:
Some Reasons to Occupy Museums
Occupy Museums Facebook Page