In a public letter released today, a group of theorists, critics, and scholars joins activists and members of the Whitney staff in the demand to remove Warren B. Kanders from his position as vice-chairman of the museum’s board of trustees.
“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Artist Michael Rakowitz has withdrawn, Forensic Architecture announced plans to respond to the museum’s political controversy in its commissioned work, and Decolonize This Place revealed a 9-week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.”
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.
Three days after Hyperallergic published an article detailing the Whitney Museum’s connection to the ongoing migrant crisis at the US-Mexico border, more than 100 staffers at the Manhattan-based museum have signed a letter demanding that their employers respond to the article’s allegations.
Warren B. Kanders, a vice chairman at the Whitney Museum of American Art, purchased defense manufacturer “Safariland” in 2012 for $124 million.
We all know it costs a lot of money to sit on the board of a major art museum, so naturally the question becomes: where does that money come from?