Momenta Art presents an exchange of ideas with Occupy Wall Street as the movement approaches its one-year anniversary.
This Fall, Momenta Art will invite Occupy Museums (Occupy Wall Street) to use their resources to activate critical dialogue about the relationship between art and the market. From September 14 through October 28, Momenta Art will facilitate an open space to enable engagement through events, talks and knowledge sharing inside and outside the gallery space while acknowledging the one-year anniversary of the Occupy movement on September 17th.
We face a crisis of culture in which our deepest values have been hijacked for private gain. The arts sector acts as an unregulated tax shelter for collectors while some wealthy board members abuse their privilege at publicly funded museums, routinely acting in self-interest through public institutions. Entrance fees are unaffordable to most young artists and working families. Auction houses report record profits while artists or their estates gain nothing from secondary market sales. The professionalization of art has left hordes of young artists with massive student debt and steadily decreasing opportunities. We are left with a general inability of the arts to act critically within a system to which we are indebted, ultimately weakening the democratic potential of art.
Momenta Art supports Occupy Wall Street in questioning these unethical and unsustainable trends, and calls on other art institutions to join us in doing so. Momenta Art encourages an art community that embraces equality and is left able to question the conventions and assumptions that we live by. Art is a witness to changing social conditions. We recognize that we are all complicit in a loss of the commons—that which is owned by no one and shared by all. We recognize that we are all responsible for wresting the control of our culture from the hands of private interest.
Occupy Museums participated in the 7th Berlin Biennale by working with and within the KW Institute. This demonstrated the ability and necessity for art institutions to engage in self-critique and to question their loyalty to privileged and exploitative systems within our society. We look forward to continuing this work in September.