South Beach prepares for possible ‘Occupy Art Basel’ demonstration

By | 12.01.11 | 10:56 am

The Occupy Miami protest campground (Pic by Ashley Lopez)

The Miami New Times is reporting that the art community is already discussing possible demonstrations in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street protests taking place during Art Basel — one of the biggest art shows in the world, set to take place in Miami this week.

According to the New Times, “rumors of the 99 percenters staging an Occupy Wall Street related protest at the ritzy art fair are swirling, and ABMB is so concerned they’ve sent out a letter about the possibility to gallerists.”

The letter (obtained by ArtInfo) informs gallerists:

As you may have read or heard, there is the possibility of an Occupy protest taking place in the vicinity of Art Basel Miami Beach and/or its coinciding events.

I wanted you to know that we are monitoring the situation and working closely with local authorities to ensure the show’s operations, while at the same time respecting the First Amendment.

While the New Times points to Occupy Miami as the possible and sole demonstrators, the group says on its Facebook page that they have “several plans in the works for Art Basel” and that the “Occupy Art Basel” group “is a separate and distinct entity.” However, Occupy Miami does say they “support and encourage their involvement.”

Occupy Art Basel’s well designed website claims that the group “represent[s] 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.”

The group writes on its site:

We are the 99 percent 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.

Occupy Art Basel’s website has posted videos highlighting the dates Dec. 1-4 for the group’s possible demonstrations.

Follow Ashley Lopez on Twitter


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