Today Human Rights Watch (HRW) released its third report on violations of the rights of migrant workers on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, where the Guggenheim and Louvre museums are planning outposts and New York University is planning a campus.
After two years of protests regarding its use of non-union labor, Frieze New York announced today that it will be employing union workers for the 2014 iteration of the art fair on Randall’s Island.
An organization called ArtsHub has conducted an arts jobs survey in the UK, and the results make clear just how difficult and unsustainable it is to work in the arts.
Some 50 food service workers at the Smithsonian museums went on strike yesterday, in protest of their less-than-livable wages, but the institution tried to spin the story.
MIAMI — In the past year, there’s been a lot discussion about the Chinese workers who make Apple products. Exposés and reports have been written, all of which have presumably made us a bit more aware of the conditions under which those workers labor and live. But we still buy iPads and iPhones and MacBooks. Nothing much has really changed. There’s still a disconnect between the things we buy, the objects with which we surround ourselves, and the people who make them.
The 200 workers who went on strike beginning in July to protest the potential fate of Italy’s beloved film studios, Cinecittà, have returned to their jobs — at least temporarily.
The art world is a notoriously secretive place. Even though it’s pretty much universally agreed upon that the system and its attendant economics are royally screwed up, people are still hesitant to talk openly about the problems. In the past year, thankfully, this has been shifting a bit, due in part to the efforts of Occupy Museums, Arts & Labor, and other OWS-offshoot groups, as well as organizations like W.A.G.E., which presented the data it gathered from a 2010 survey about payments to artists who exhibited with nonprofit institutions. (The conclusion? Artists are [fucking] poor. Why? Because they often go unpaid.)
Rome’s Cinecittà Studios have provided the sets for some of the most famous movies in Western cinema: William Wyler’s Ben-Hur, Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather: Part III, Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient, Roberto Benini’s Life Is Beautiful, and Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, to name just a few. Today, however, the studios are occupied not by a film crew making a big-budget blockbuster, but by a group of striking workers.
Since Marina Abramović was picked to provide the entertainment for LA MOCA’s upcoming gala we’ve all been wondering what the performance art queen would conjure up to do her bidding. Now, we kind of know and it raises some serious questions, namely, is performance art ever an excuse for labor abuse?