New York’s prestigious Armory Show opens on March 8th at Piers 92 & 94. The Armory Show started in 1913, amid the challenges and excitement of early 20th century avant-garde art and artists intent on denouncing the status quo. Today, the Armory Show is the status quo — art for the 1%, according to Occupy Museums who are organizing an art exchange for the 99% at the same place at the same time.
We offer an experiment in systems of art-exchange that do not emphasize financial capital, but rather celebrate abundance and connection. We believe that art is not a commodity for speculation but rather a fundamental part of the commons, inherited and shared by all. We invite all the 100,000+ artists in New York City to join us outside of Piers 92 and 94 to engage in a new kind of art market.
Occupy Museums is a direct action group created to challenge the corruption of art and cultural institutions they accuse of being run by and for the 1%. “At Occupy Wall Street,” they write, “we are taking the steps toward a future where our cultural commons are truly shared not hoarded by the few.”
The Free Art Exchange is the latest action by Occupy Museums. In January, the group hung a banner in the second-floor atrium of the MoMA to show solidarity with Teamsters Local 814 Art Handler’s Union who have been locked out by Sotheby’s auction-house since July 2011. The banner called for the end of the lock out.