Community control of cultural institutions, which would replace board members, could reshape cultural life in the United States.
“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.
The activist organization, which demands the removal of Whitney vice chairman Warren Kanders from the board, gathered at the museum to protest alongside activists from the 30 groups that have come out to support its mission.
Artist Michael Rakowitz has withdrawn, Forensic Architecture announced plans to respond to the museum’s political controversy in its commissioned work, and Decolonize This Place revealed a 9-week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.
Artist Michael Rakowitz withdrew his participation, opposing the “toxic philanthropy” of Whitney vice chairman Warren Kanders.
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.”
On Monday, artist Robert Cenedella’s lawyers appeared before a Manhattan judge to argue that a conspiracy exists between New York’s top museums and galleries to celebrate the Warhols of the world at the expense of the “Anti-Warhols.” [UPDATE: Cenedella’s case has been dismissed by a judge for insufficient evidence, though a representative for the artist says he is in discussions to refile his claim.]
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.
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.
Warren B. Kanders, a vice chairman at the Whitney Museum of American Art, purchased defense manufacturer “Safariland” in 2012 for $124 million.
This Friday, The Whitney will host a conversation with acquaintances of Andy Warhol on their personal experiences and interactions with the artist.