“Migrant workers in labor camps! Is this the future of art?”
Then a single voice called out: “The Guggenheim Museum has a museum empire. The Guggenheim should not be on the wrong side of history.”
After about 20 minutes of this orchestrated interruption, which included a tossing of leaflets and the posting of a manifesto, the demonstrators left the premises.
They were members of an activist political group called G.U.L.F. (Global Ultra Luxury Faction), which is affiliated with two larger groups, Gulf Labor and Occupy Museums. For two years Gulf Labor, a coalition of international artists, has been protesting, largely through the web, the state of what some critics likened to indentured servitude of laborers, many from South Asia, brought in to work on a new Guggenheim franchise located on Saddiyat Island — “Island of Happiness” — just off the coast of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
[Excerpted from New York Times article here.]
More coverage and G.U.L.F. responds to the Guggenheim at Hyperallergic here.