“They’re singing songs about liberation, just be aware.” said one guard over his walkie-talkie — a message that could be heard throughout the lobby.
Artist Michael Rakowitz has withdrawn, Forensic Architecture announced plans to respond to the museum’s political controversy in its commissioned work, and Decolonize This Place revealed a 9-week calendar leading up to the biennial.
In a letter sent this afternoon, the organization urged, “We invite you to use your exceptional status as a worker who can claim both the freedom to dissent and the right to be paid to withhold your labor in solidarity with Whitney staff who cannot.”
The group’s recent letter calls for continued action, adding “Inaction with respect to the art-washing industrial complex of contemporary art makes our field complicit with death, disaster, and destruction.”
The Whitney has not had the moral courage to reject support from a benefactor who generated his wealth in socially irresponsible ways.
Following Sunday’s large protest by Decolonize This Place, artists quietly installed an unauthorized exhibition calling on the museum to drop weapons manufacturer Warren Kanders from its board of trustees.
Members and supporters of activist group Decolonize This Place emphasized that Warren Kanders is only a symptom of a larger problem.
After Whitney Museum director Adam Weinberg published a letter to the public asserting the museum, “cannot right all the ills of an unjust world,” Decolonize This Place organized a December 9 protest in solidarity with Whitney staffers.
Parallel to today’s protest at the RISD Museum, organizers from Decolonize This Place gathered at the Brooklyn Museum to decry stolen objects in the Brooklyn Museum’s collection.
Protesters and activists promise to continue to stage the Anti-Columbus Day Tour until the museum corrects the displays.
Over 60 protesters from 20 community groups rallied at the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden demanding the beloved institutions play a role in safeguarding their local communities.
Nineteen organizations have signed a letter calling on the Brooklyn Museum to form a “decolonization commission” after another letter to the institution last week went largely ignored.