Occupy Wall Street calls for cancellation of Whitney Biennial


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Occupy Wall Street has targeted big banks, mega-corporations and wealthy individuals. Now the catchall protest movement is taking aim at a beloved institution of the art world -- the Whitney Biennial in New York.

In a recent letter sent to the Whitney Museum of American Art, organizers of the Occupy movement write that they want an end to the Whitney Biennial in 2014.


‘We object to the biennial in its current form because it upholds a system that benefits collectors, trustees, and corporations at the expense of art workers,’ the letter states. The correspondence is signed by the Arts & Labor group of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The Whitney Museum ‘perpetuates a model in which culture enhances the city and benefits the 1% of our society while driving others into financial distress,’ the letter says. The document also singles out the biennial’s sponsorship relationship with the auction house Sotheby’s.

The 2012 biennial is scheduled to kick off in March. The high-profile exhibition, which is hosted by the Whitney Museum, focuses on contemporary American artists, many of whom are young or just gaining international recognition. You can read Occupy Wall Street’s letter in its entirety.


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-- David Ng