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The #OccupyWallStreet Arts Round-Up

by Liza Eliano on November 2, 2011

The flyer for the Occupy Museums event at the Museum of Natural History

Occupy Wall Street is heading into its third month and continuing to spread across the country. Here at Hyperallergic we have been doing our part to spread the word on art coming out of the movement. Below is a brief round-up of OWS art related news for Occupy movements around the country and events happening in NYC to look out for.

 For it’s third week of actions, Occupy Museums turns its anger towards business tyrant and Tea Party supporter David H. Koch and his funding of some of our most treasured cultural institutions. Tomorrow protesters will head to the American Museum of Natural History to hold their rally. In 2006, Koch donated $20 million to the museum, a sliver of his $20 billion dollar manufacturing and oil fortune. It’s a smart move for Occupy Museums to target Koch as his donations to the arts notoriously come with heavy strings attached. Back in 2010 the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins at the Smithsonian Museum was criticized for pushing a pro-pollution agenda and drastically downplaying the effects of climate change. You can read more about Koch Industries dirty dealings here.

 Class is in session at NYU’s Occupy Wall Street art exhibition, This is What Democracy Looks Like, which opened last Friday. Tomorrow, November 3, professor and exhibition curator Keith Miller brings his students to the gallery for a talk about the show with artists Dread Scott, Rainer Ganahl and Melanie Baker. The lecture starts at 3pm at Gallatin Galleries at 1 Washington Place and is open to the public. In case you can’t make it to this one, more talks are planned in the coming weeks and we will continue to keep you posted.

 Over at Occupy Atlanta‘s site David Lester, guitarist for the underground rock duo Mecca Normal, submitted this drawing that aligns greed with police brutality. Artists can send in their submissions to Occupy Atlanta at artsandlit [at] occupyatlanta [dot] org.

 Karl Marx and Adam Smith made a visit to Occupy Wall Street — or at least their puppet versions did. Last week, Mexican artist Pedro Reyes brought the puppet stars of his new video series, Baby Marx, to Zuccotti Park where they interviewed protesters and Smith set up the first Occupy Wall Street bank. We hear Marx wasn’t too happy with this capitalist scheme. Reyes shot new scenes while at the protest to add to his on-going project, which is now on view at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Click here to see photos of the puppets at Zuccotti.

 What do you do when life gives you barricades? Make art! That’s literally what the protesters at Occupy Oakland did this weekend in response to recent brutal police crackdowns. According to Artinfo, protesters tore down fences put up by police around Oscar Grant Park and reclaimed the space. They transformed the fences into a massive sculpture that has quickly become a symbol for the movement, and also looks kind of similar to one of Sol LeSitt’s skeletal geometric sculptures.

 Occupy Wall Street, including Arts and Culture and Occupenial, will be collaborating with alternative art book publisher and bookstore Printed Matter for Occupy Printed Matter. OWS will use Printed Matter’s storefront display window to exhibit Occupant art and artist books, in conjunction with Printed Matter’s ongoing Colab show. (Check out Hyperallergic contributor Howard Hurst’s review of the show here.). The project is planned to run starting today until November 23 at Printed Matter in Chelsea, which is located at 195 Tenth Street.

 Los Angeles has inadvertently provided Occupy LA protesters with more space to display their message. Today the LA Times reported that members of Occupy LA are tagging-up two large wooden fences built to protect a historic fountain and a memorial outside of City Hall where protesters have been camping out. Slogans like “No Borders” and “Power to the People” appeared on the fences on Tuesday. The city is OK with the graffiti as long as it stays on the fences.

 Occupenial’s site also lists a performance of Igor Stravinsky’s timeless parable, L’histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) that will take place tomorrow night at Zuccotti Park from 5 – 6pm. Stravinsky’s work about the complex nature of greed and the price of freedom is a perfect mirror to the goals of Occupy Wall Street. The piece will be performed by several famed Broadway actors and New York musicians.

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  • Anonymous

    we find you are the best source for news about the artistic angle of the occupy movement! thank you so much for the coverage!

  • Anonymous

    We toast free access to art! Join us :) https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=286530061370248

  • Anonymous

    When did we start to feel like it’s OK to take something from someone and give it to someone else? When you become a famous artist because you payed for an art education by working three jobs and spent endless nights and 14 hour days working and perfecting your skills, marketing yourself and finally it pays off and you become wealthy beyond your imagination. And now you have to give away more to people who didn’t work as hard as you did. I don’t get it. Smarten up people and work hard. You’ll feel better about yourselves. WE DON’T REALIZE HOW FORTUNATE WE ARE (HOWEVER FLAWED THE SYSTEM MAY BE) THAT WE CAN FREELY VOICE OUR OPINIONS AND BECOME AS SUCCESSFUL AS WE WANT TO BE. Be careful what you wish for. Once your freedom is gone it’s not coming back.

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