Occupy Museums Takes a Step in the Right Direction

The face of Occupy Museums is evolving, and possibly for the better. After an aggressive rhetoric that seemed to blindly go after any large museum with money, the movement has toned down its mission. In its second week, Occupy Museums now seeks a more inclusive discussion, proven by this statement from the Occupy Museums event page:

At its core, the Occupy Movement is about imagining and building a just and democratic future. It is generative not destructive. We are shifting collective consciousness. We are here to envision what the museum can be, what art can be, and how we can create a society that works for the 100%.

This sounds like a step in the right direction and allows for a more nuanced look at how museums function. After all, the lack of government funding these institutions receive is a large part of why they must rely so heavily on rich board members.

Occupy Museums also makes a noteworthy transition this week to focusing on a specific cause that gets to the core of what needs to change in the art world. On Thursday, protesters will march with Sotheby’s union art handlers who are still locked out of their jobs. After the General Assembly meets in front of MoMA the protesters will move uptown to march in solidarity with Teamsters Local 814 in front of Sotheby’s. The schedule for the Thursday’s event is as follows:

2:30 — Informational assembly at Liberty Square
3:15 — Occupy 4 train to MoMA
4:00 — General Assembly at MoMA!
5:00 – March or M31 Bus to Sotheby’s at 1334 York Avenue
5:30 — Stand in Solidarity with Teamsters Local 814

As the Sotheby’s lockout heads into its fourth month, this is an issue that cannot be ignored. Occupy Museums’ goal to create a democratic future in the art world may still be fuzzy, but supporting the art handlers targets the type of injustice that should take center stage in this movement.

And in the name of furthering the conversation surrounding Occupy Museums, here is a discussion that happened at the first Occupy Museums between vlogger James Kalm and one of the participants, both of whom videotaped their interaction from their own perspectives … welcome to 2011:

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