Occupy Wall Street Arts & Labor Teach-In with Andrew Hemingway, Gregory Sholette, and a special appearance from LOVE’s Purple Dinosaur
December 4th, 1PM
Underground Theater, Abrons Art Center, Henry Street Settlement
The phenomenal growth of the Occupy movement in recent months has brought new momentum to longstanding discussions of the relationship between art, labor and capitalism. The teach-in will be a platform to discuss two important historical precedents to our current situation: artist-workers under the New Deal, the Federal Art Programs (1933-43), and the Art Workers Coalition (1969-1971). What are the connections, parallels, and differences between these three historical moments? As we organize in the present, what can we learn from the successes, failures, and unfinished projects of the past? In turn, how might contemporary developments help us to rethink established generational narratives?
In addition, we will be screening an action video from the feminist video collective LOVE (Lesbians Organized for Video Experience)* featuring a big purple paper mache dinosaur that was wheeled into the streets and to the Museum of Natural History, in a protest demanding that feminists be hired, and that a non-patriarchal view of history be represented by the museum (1973).
This event is part of an ongoing series of educational initiatives and direct actions organized by the Occupy Wall Street Arts & Labor group.
Andrew Hemingway taught Art History at University College London from 1987 to 2010. Since 1990 his research has focused primarily on U.S. art and culture, with particular reference to the period c. 1900-1955. A concern with the history of the left and of workers’ movements in the twentieth century resulted in his 2002 book Artists on the Left: American Artists and the Communist Movement, 1926-1956 (Yale University Press, and in the edited volume Marxism and the History of Art: From William Morris to the New Left (Pluto Press 2006). In 2002, he initiated the seminar ‘Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture’ at the Institute of Historical Research (University of London, School of Advanced Study), and was active in the organizing group until 2010. He has also co-organized two major international conferences held at UCL: ‘Cold War Culture’ (with Adrian Forty, 1994) and ‘Marxism and the Visual Arts Now’ (with Matthew Beaumont, Esther Leslie and John Roberts, 2002). His latest book, The Mysticism of Money: Precisionist Painting and Machine Age America, will appear with Periscope Press later this year.
Gregory Sholette is a New York-based artist, writer, and founding member of REPOhistory (1989-2000) and Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PAD/D: 1980-1988). His recent publications include Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture (Pluto Press, Nov. 2010); Collectivism After Modernism: The Art of Social Imagination after 1945, with Blake Stimson (University of Minnesota, 2007), The Interventionists: A Users Manual for the Creative Disruption of Everyday Life, with Nato Thompson (MassMoCA/MIT Press, 2004, 2006, 2008). Sholette is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Queens College: City University of New York (CUNY).
January 8, 1970, Art Workers’ Coalition and the Guerilla Art Action Group protest in front of Picasso’s “Guernica” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City with the AWC’s “And babies?” poster.