Podcast

The Story Behind Our Art Handlers Exposé

Writer Zachary Small and Editor Jasmine Weber join Editor-in-chief Hrag Vartanian to reflect on the five-part series on art handlers and the challenges of reporting on controversial topics in the art world.

A view of the Sotheby’s Art Handlers protest on October 18, 2011 (photo Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)

Last week, Hyperallergic published a five-part series, titled The Danger Epidemic in Art Handling, on the realities facing art handlers in the United States. The story generated a lot of debate and shocked many who were never forced to think about the conditions workers are forced to endure when assembling and transporting art of all types.

This conversation with Hyperallergic Senior Writer Zachary Small and Associate News Editor Jasmine Weber explores the contours of the topic, the difficulties of reporting on contentious art world issues, and how investigative reporting is crucial for change. We also discuss the Sotheby’s lockout of art handlers, which we covered extensively in 2011 and 2012.

A special thanks to Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records for allowing us to play a special live track by world music legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The label is celebrating its 30th anniversary of Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records and they marked the occasion by announcing the release of a previously unheard recording by the legendary qawwali singer. The recording includes Khan’s performance at WOMAD Festival in 1985, which was the first time the singer had performed in front of a mainly non-Asian audience. As a longtime fan of Khan’s genius, I’m honored to include his music in this episode.

This and more in the current episode of our weekly Art Movements podcast.

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