A walking tour of Midtown Manhattan organized by activists of the “Strike MoMA” advocacy campaign culminated in a standoff between security personnel and protesters at the Museum of Modern Art in New York today, April 30. After protesters were denied entry to the museum, the confrontation escalated when a demonstrator and former MoMA worker said she was assaulted by one of the museum’s security staffers.
Over the last four weeks, members of a coalition called the International Imagination of Anti-National Anti-Imperialist Feelings (IIAAF) have been organizing talks and actions in a plaza across from the museum to envision a “post-MoMA future.” In particular, the groups target the museum’s dependency on controversial billionaire donors like Leon Black, whose financial ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein led to his resignation as board chair (though he remains a trustee).
伴随着一个扬声器和游行乐队，示威者在Blackrock总部，由Moma Trustee Larry Fink拥有的投资公司的总部，以及“亿万富翁”，“一系列超豪华住宅摩天大楼以及其他网站”。他们被警察部队陪同，并在各地的几个交叉路口中阻止了交通。
IIAAF had宣布plans to conduct a tour of the museum, and demanded free entry, in an email to Glenn Lowry last week. (Shortly after Strike MoMA began its campaign, the museum implementeda policy that limits access to its lobby and garden to ticket holders,引用the rise in gun violence in the country as the reason.)
During the protest, four of the activists attempted to enter the museum via its nearby staff entrance a few doors down. One of them, who worked as an educator at MoMA for eight years, told Hyperallergic that she was struck in the face by a male guard several times until she fell to the floor. Several eyewitnesses who spoke to Hyperallergic confirmed the incident.
“Artists need to be present, heard, and included in these mausoleums, and bring life back into them,” said KC, an artist and student at Hunter College who attended the action. “These places have to be more in tune with community. They should be used not to divide, but instead to bridge the community.”
由此制作的牌匾group Artists for a Post-MoMA Future had been installed at the plaza. “This is not an artwork,” the plaque read. “This is a de-occupation of privately-owned public space. Right here, at this very moment, art workers, organizers, activists, thinkers, friends, lovers, and teachers are free to imagine an exit from the institution of MoMA and the systemic harm it perpetuates.”
“格伦·洛瑞一周前收到我们的来信,but he’s such a coward that he let his security bear this confrontation,” said artist and activist Shellyne Rodriguez, addressing the crowd that gathered outside the museum. “This is what they do, they push Black and Brown people to the front.”
“This was the first time we knocked on their door, but it won’t be the last,” a member of Strike MoMA declared toward the end of the action.
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