West Coast Artists vs. Guggenheim and Louvre Museums, mixed media, 2014
To view more works from the exhibit click here
This week’s contribution to Gulf Labor’s 52 Weeks is Labor-Migrant-Gulf, an Exhibit at Southwestern College, San Diego, March 13 to April 10, 2014
Labor/Migrant/Gulf explores migrant workers struggles throughout the world with pointed emphasis on workers from Central and Southeast Asia who work in the Arabian/Persian Gulf, Mexican workers on the US-Mexican border, and California’s migrant history. The exhibit at Southwestern College, a few miles away from the US – Mexican border joins artists from around the world to bring awareness to the human struggles of the world’s poorest laborers. Many of the artists in the exhibit that have shown in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah) first became aware of the conditions at the Sharjah Biennial in 2009 and began a petition to push the Guggenheim Museum to be mindful of the harsh and unsafe working conditions. A sub-theme is the artist’s identification with migrant laborers. Perhaps artists are one or two rungs above the world’s poorest labor pools? This exhibit attempts to break down hierarchies between established artist and other artists, therefore children and young adults are included. Labor/Migrant/Gulf at Southwestern College will be organized in two parts: One part is a traditional group exhibit of about a dozen artists. The other part is collective pieces made up of art from about 90 artists to form the shape of large boteh or paisley designs. The boteh/paisley is a significant ornamental design that has religious, historical, colonial, counter culture, and labor meaning and inferences. The boteh/paisley designs honor the Asian migrants that inspired this art exhibit.
- Doris Bittar, artist/curator
Gulf Labor is a coalition of artists and activists who have been working since 2011 to highlight the coercive recruitment, and deplorable living and working conditions of migrant laborers in Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island (Island of Happiness). Our campaign focuses on the workers who are building the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the Sheikh Zayed National Museum (in collaboration with the British Museum).
“52 Weeks” is a one year campaign starting in October 2013. Artists, writers, and activists from different cities and countries are invited to contribute a work, a text, or action each week that relates to or highlights the unjust living and working conditions of migrant laborers building cultural institutions in Abu Dhabi.
To learn more visit: www.gulflabor.org
Please read and/or sign our petition
For additional information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org