“Last night, in a visually dazzling act of public protest, the artist-activist groups Global Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.) and the Illuminator turned the spiral facade of the Guggenheim Museum into a projection screen.
As a member of Global Ultra Luxury Faction/ Gulf Labor participating in the 56th Venice Biennale, I worked with S.a.L.E Docks to stage an occupation of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice following the May 1 action in New York. Together with Marco Baravalle of S.a.L.E, I organized much of the action and designed flags and other graphics.
On November 6th, the Guggenheim Museum will host one of the premier fund-raising events for New York’s high society. Guests will be feasting royally at $75,000 tax-deductible tables. On the other side of the world, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s migrant workers are being exploited while having meager rations on their plates and very little time to prepare their meals after a punishing 12 hour workday.
Spring 2014, I joined forces with Gulf Labor and Tidal on a series of actions (ongoing) to pressure the Guggenheim Museum to adopt fair labor practices building its new museum in Abu Dhabi. New editions of the Lourvre, NYU Campus, and Guggeheim Museum are being build on a luxury island called Saadiyat (“Island of Happiness” on the backs of indebted migrant laborers.
By Zoë Schlanger
Each time the Guggenheim speaks, its approach to migrant labour issues on Saadiyat Island sounds more like that of a global corporation than that of an educational or art institution. We would like to remind the Guggenheim that it’s a museum, with a mission to “explore ideas across cultures through dynamic curatorial and educational initiatives.” Museums should help the public come to a greater understanding of the global complexities we all face.
http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-features/interviews/protesting-the-guggenheim-in-abu-dhabi-an-interview-with-gulf/by Matthew Shen GoodmanCourtesy G.U.L.F.ADVERTISEMENT