Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Art Installer, Diego Bonetto and Others Boycott the Sydney Biennale 2014 in Protest at Detention Camp profit sponsor

Ruth Skilbeck 4.3.2014

Art installers are the all important people behind the scenes who hang the exhibitions, and install the installations, and take it all down afterwards, without them there would not be the smooth transition from exhibitions that art galleries and museums depend on. So it is significant indeed that art installers, from the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) and the AGNSW (Art Gallery of New South Wales) have stated their intention- on social media, circulated on facebook and blogs- their intention to boycott the Biennale, by not installing the Biennale art.

Yesterday, artist and casual art installer, Diego Bonetto, posted an Open Letter to the MCA announcing this refusal to install the Biennale exhibitions on ethical grounds.

The open letter is published on Diego's facebook page. The letter in full reads:

Open Letter to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
3 March 2014

Hi guys, you know me. I have been working at the Museum for the past 12 years as a casual installer.

In this time, I have seen lots of things, lots of changes, lots of power struggles and heard endless amount of art gossip.

I am walking out of my job for this install.

It was all fine and dandy as we were taking down Yoko Ono, but then when we started working on installing the next exhibition, the 19th Biennale of Sydney, my guts began to revolt.
We all know what's at stake here.
We all know that despite whatever we want to say to one another and the public, Transfield money is dirty money. Bloody money.

I am not inciting anyone into any action they do not want to do. I am not making a big fuss and/or painting slogans all over the walls. I respect the place, and most of all, I respect the people working within.

There are great mates at the MCA who have known me and what I do for a long time. They respect me and I respect them.
So this morning, I walked in, I stated my intentions and continued to help the crew sort themselves out, as I did not want to leave them stranded.
Once sorted, I walked out, and I am not coming back to help with this bloody 19th Biennale of Sydney.

You are all intelligent people, you all know what's at stake

By all means, bring on the show, as we have done plenty before. But this time would be hard to ignore the reality of people sufferings.

This would actually be the time to send a clear message to the Australian government that its current asylum seeker policies are 'ethically indefensible and a breach of human rights'.

However you want to look at it, Luca Belgiorno-Nettis is directly implicated in this.

Some journalist the other day said that after talking to Luca he felt sorry for him.
So do I, I replied. I feel sorry for him, the Biennale and the MCA.
But I feel way more sorry for the innocent people locked up on an island off the coast of Australia.

With all due respect

Diego Bonetto

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