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'Occupy Museums,' Inspired By Occupy Wall Street, Launches In New York

Ows Art

Huffington Post   First Posted: 10/20/11 01:51 PM ET Updated: 12/20/11 05:12 AM ET

New York-based artist Noah Fischer has officially launched the "Occupy Museums!" movement as an offshoot to Occupy Wall Street. The movement was approved by OWS's Arts and Culture group.

The Art Info blog published the news on Wednesday, after Fischer posted the movement's manifesto on fellow artist and writer Paddy Johnson's blog.

In the manifesto, Fischer writes of the Occupy Museums! movement's plan to take back cultural institutions from the 1 percent:

"The game is up: we see through the pyramid schemes of the temples of cultural elitism controlled by the 1%. No longer will we, the artists of the 99%, allow ourselves to be tricked into accepting a corrupt hierarchical system based on false scarcity and propaganda concerning absurd elevation of one individual genius over another human being for the monetary gain of the elitest of elite."

The first string of events is planned for Thursday, October 20. At 3pm on Thursday, the group will meet at Liberty Park, the Occupy Wall Street headquarters, for a "teach-in" about the museums they plan to occupy. They then plan to travel to the Museum of Modern Art, the Frick Collection, and the New Museum that evening.

Art theorist and author Mira Schor questioned the movement on Wednesday via her blog, A Year of Positive Thinking. She and a few friends published their six-hour Facebook discussion of the movement, where they questioned the necessity of occupying museums and other cultural institutions.

Other cultural offshoots of Occupy Wall Street have sprung up in recent weeks, including the high-profile "Occupy Writers" campaign, which has the support of Salmon Rushdie, Neil Gaiman, Jennifer Egan, Ann Patchett, and hundreds of other esteemed authors.

Their statement: "We, the undersigned writers and all who will join us, support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement around the world."

Another visual art-based OWS group, Occupennial, recently made a call to artists to contribute to the movement and General Assembly at large.

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