Tonight begins Art Basel Miami Beach, a 3 day bacchanal filled with parties you can't get into, art you can't afford and celebs you can't drool on. This orgy of the elite caters to the top of the totem pole... these days they're often referred to as the 1%. Although no official plans for Occupy Art Basel have been released, ABMB staff is already preparing itself for an overflow of people who are not on the list.
The art world has been one of the major targets of offshoots of the Occupy Wall Street movement such as Occupy Museums!, the Wall Street Occupennial and the occupation of Sotheby's. Though each occupier is encouraged to make her own manifesto, a common concern amongst them is the "absolute equation of art with capital," as expressed by Occupy Museums' Noah Fischer.
ABMB sent out an email to participating gallerists alerting them of a potential occupation, explaining:
"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."
The entire email is visible here.
"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 will have to stay tuned for what comes of this potential protest; HuffPost Arts will be liveblogging the fair starting Wednesday November 30.