Will Art Basel Miami Beach get a Wall Street-style occupation this week? The art fair warned gallerists of the possibility, and rumors are swirling. Now OccupyArtBasel.com is live, but right now it's just a Tumblr blog filled with a mini-manifesto and a Occupy movement related pictures and links. There's also a seemingly unrelated Facebook page, and in yet another occurrence some super rich gallerist has decided to co-opt the Occupy movement to complain about having to rub elbows with phonies.
Here's the Tumblr site's manifesto in full:
We represent the people who can barely afford the entry fee to see the art at Art Basel, let alone make an offer on their favorite art piece. We are the 99% who can't afford to buy this art. We are the people who install the art, transport the art, guard the art, dress up and sit behind a desk and try to sell the art for their bosses. We are the countless artists who haven't made it into Art Basel, into the art commodity marketplace. We are the countless craftspeople who help make this art or exclusively produce this art on the instructions of the artists. We are the countless art lovers who read about art, study art, appreciate art, need art around all the time, and don't have the cash to own great art.
An Occupy Art Basel Facebook page has also been established, but seems to be unrelated to the Tumblr. Here's the Facebook group's take on the movement:
Our message is simple... We love art. We love selling it. We have no demands, just a genuine desire to share what we do. We are the 99% with the 1% aesthetic. We're the synthesis of edge and enterprise. Keep watching. Keep listening.
Neither have information on any planned protests or much of an agenda at the moment beside spreading their message online.
Meanwhile, The New York Observer reported yesterday "some protesters have moved down to Miami for Art Basel," but didn't offer much information.
Then, in perhaps the most ridiculous use of the term "Occupy Art Basel" comes this ranting column for art dealer Adam Lindermann on GalleristNY. Lindermann is the son of billionaire George Lindermann, and CityFile says, "it comes as little surprise that Adam plays a mean game of polo, collects vintage Rolexes, and possesses one of the finest collections of modern art in the city."
"Why should I be seen rubbing elbows with all those phonies and scenesters, people who don't even pretend they are remotely interested in art?," asks Lindermann in the column entitled "Occupy Art Basel Miami Beach, Now!". He then lists all the fancy events he could get into, but won't this year, because, you know, how horrible it is to be in the same space as people who can't tell his Terence Koh from his Tracey Emin.
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He then lists his own Occupy Art Basel manifesto:
Occupy Art Basel Miami Beach is a new movement designed to correct the ills of global art fairdom once and for all, and to send the dealers, the artists and especially the art-fair companies our message of protest: hell no, we won't go! We want more quality for our dollar, especially in this crap economy where spending gives us agita. We don't want to see one gawker, two socialites and three wannabes for every collector in the room. I've had it, I'm done, I'm sick of the whole thing and I don't really care if I miss a party, a cocktail, a flirt or even a good work of art. Occupy Art Basel Miami Beach starts now, so, this year, join me in boycotting the damn thing. Let's flex our muscles. It's our collecting dollars fueling this perverse tchotchke bazaar on steroids, and if these people don't fix their fair, next year we'll riot, we'll scream bloody murder and throw rotten tomatoes if we have to. The buck stops here, so join me in staying home, and in saving our money for good art that's properly exhibited.
How horrible it must be to be a billionaire heir who just wants to spend his daddy's money on fancy art! How horrible it must be to stand next to socialites! How horrible it must be to have to endure improperly displayed video art! Leave it to a bitchy billionaire to co-opt the Occupy movement to announce that, no, he will not be attending any pool side art parties at the Raleigh.