Occupy Museums Manifesto (OWS)
manifesto

http://paddyjohnson.tumblr.com/post/11652516894/occupy-museums-speaking-...

Speaking out in front of the Cannons

The game is up: we see through the pyramid schemes of the temples of cultural elitism controlled by the 1%. No longer will we, the artists of the 99%, allow ourselves to be tricked into accepting a corrupt hierarchical system based on false scarcity and propaganda concerning absurd elevation of one individual genius over another human being for the monetary gain of the elitest of elite. For the past decade and more, artists and art lovers have been the victims of the intense commercialization and co-optation or art. We recognize that art is for everyone, across all classes and cultures and communities. We believe that the Occupy Wall Street Movement will awaken a consciousness that art can bring people together rather than divide them apart as the art world does in our current time… 

Let’s be clear. Recently, we have witnessed the absolute equation of art with capital. The members of museum boards mount shows by living or dead artists whom they collect like bundles of packaged debt. Shows mounted by museums are meant to inflate these markets. They are playing with the fire of the art historical cannon while seeing only dancing dollar signs. The wide acceptance of cultural authority of leading museums have made these beloved institutions into corrupt ratings agencies or investment banking houses- stamping their authority and approval on flimsy corporate art and fraudulent deals. 

For the last few decades, voices of dissent have been silenced by a fearful survivalist atmosphere and the hush hush of BIG money. To really critique institutions, to raise one’s voice about the disgusting excessive parties and spectacularly out of touch auctions of the art world while the rest of the country suffers and tightens its belt was widely considered to be bitter, angry, uncool. Such a critic was a sore loser. 

It is time to end that silence not in bitterness, but in strength and love! Because the occupation has already begun and the creativity and power of the people has awoken! The Occupywallstreet Movement will bring forth an era of new art, true experimentation outside the narrow parameters set by the market. Museums, open your mind and your heart! Art is for everyone! The people are at your door!

 

This was the text actually read at the first action:

Occupy Museums!     Day  1: October 20, 2011

We gather here at the foot of the temple of the cultural elite.

We see that the art establishment, with the museum as its pinnacle, resembles a pyramid scheme just like banks of Wall Street itself, where wealth and power flow up to the 1% We see that the wealthiest one hundredth of one percent claim ownership of culture through their control of these temples.

For too long we have been SUBMERGED under insane hierarchies, insane student debt, and corrupt financial dealings of the art world.

We, the artists of the 99% have EMERGED!

Not as pawns in your fraudulent art market where the royalty of Wall Street rule.  And launder their stolen loot!

But rather with our own voices, and power."

Our love for art and for people and respect for ourselves requires that we, the artists of the 99%, can no longer allow ourselves to be tricked into accepting a corrupt hierarchical system based on false scarcity and propaganda concerning absurd elevation of one individual genius over another human being for the monetary gain of the elitest of elite.

We read from “From Maintenance Manifesto- by Mierle Laderman Ukeles 1969J

A.The Death Instinct and the Life Instinct:

The Death Instinct: separation; individuality; Avant-Garde par excellence; to follow one’s own path to death. do your own thing; dynamic change. The Life Instinct: unification; the eternal return; the perpetuation and MAINTENANCE of the species; survival systems and operations; equilibrium.

It’s time for an art of the Living, the Equal and the Free – We are ready to leave behind the Death Cult of Capital!

 

We recognize that art is for everyone, across all classes and cultures and communities.  We believe that the Occupy Wall Street Movement will awaken an art sprit and practice not confined by the narrow parameters set by the market but much more vibrant and powerful.

It will awaken consciousness that art can bring people together –all 100% rather than divide them apart as we see in the art world of today… 

Recently, we have witnessed the absolute equation of art with capital.  We see this in the decadence of the auction market and extreme conspicuous consumption of the galleries and art fairs. While so many people in so many nations slip into poverty. Museums are the both the ratings agencies and the temples at the top of this art market. The members of museum boards mount shows by living or dead artists whom they collect like bundles of packaged debt.  Shows mounted by museums are meant to inflate these markets.  The wide acceptance of cultural authority of leading museums have made these beloved institutions into corrupt ratings agencies or investment banking houses- stamping their authority and approval, triple A ratings, on flimsy corporate art and fraudulent deals. This is bad for the 9

We are also concerned about a culture of Co-optation.  The 1% has learned to purchase and co-opt critique rather than listen and learn from the voice of the people. Museums, you are not invited to co-opt this movement.  Rather, think deeply about where your money comes from, and why the people are at your door.

This is From the Arts and Culture statement of non co-optation-in progressJ

 

After years of witnessing our most precious symbols and self-created culture appropriated by the corporate elite for profit, we are no longer willing to stand by and witness the destruction of things and ideas that create genuine meaning and value in our lives. 

 

We close with by citing the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City:

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors.

We, the artists and art lovers of the 99% will no longer be silent about corruption.

 

It is time to end that silence not in bitterness, but in strength and love! Because the occupation has begun and the creativity and power of the people have awoken! The Occupywallstreet Movement will bring forth an era of new art, true experimentation outside the narrow parameters set by the market.  Museums, open your mind and your heart and Listen! Art is for everyone! The people are at your door!

 

 

 

10/20/2011