Frank Gehry-designed Abu Dhabi Guggenheim Faces Boycott
Posted by the editors on Friday, 18 March 2011
Model of the Frank Gehry-designed Abu Dhabi Guggenheim, slated to open in 2015, faced with a boycott by more than 130 internationally renowned artists, curators and writers for its substandard working conditions for construction workers.
image: Gehry Partners/The New York Times
The Abu Dhabi Guggenheim, in construction on Saadiyat Island, and all Guggenheim branches (including the Guggenheim New York and the Guggenheim Bilbao), face a boycott by a group of more than 130 internationally renowned artists, curators and writers due to substandard working conditions, and indeed, human rights violations, with respect to the, largely foreign, workers building the site. The violations, documented by the advocacy group Human Rights Watch, have been cited in a petition sent to Guggenheim Foundation and Guggenheim New York museum director, Richard Armstrong, demanding concrete action on the part of the Guggenheim and its Abu Dhabi partner, the TDIC (Tourism Development and Investment Company).
Read more in an article by Nicolai Ouroussoff entitled “Abu Dhabi Guggenheim Faces Protest” in the Art & Design section of The New York Times, here.
Read more in an article by Helen Stoilas entitled “Artists boycott Guggenheim Abu Dhabi project” in The Art Newspaper (online), here.
Read our coverage of the Saadiyat Island projects, here.
One of the organizers of the boycott is Lebanese-born New York artist Walid Raad, recently named winner of the Hasselblad Award 2011, has said, “Artists should not be asked to exhibit their work in buildings built on the backs of exploited workers,…Those working with bricks and mortar deserve the same kind of respect as those working with cameras and brushes.”
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