FYTA vs New Museum saga

@online [2016 — Jan 2019]

In 2016, FYTA were contacted by New York’s New Museum to participate in an exhibition showcasing up-and-coming artists of the athenian scene, co-organised with the DESTE foundation and Benaki Museum. While FYTA initially agreed to participate a few months later and after creating a first draft, the curator informed them that there was no artist fee or budget for works, which felt outrageous considering the size of institutions involved. What made it ever worse was the supposed sentimental tone of the curator’s email. As a response, FYTA refused to participate and created a crowdfunding spoof for the support of the costs of the exhibition, which was accompanied by a big-choir-80s-charity-style song about poor artists, based on the melody of Quincy Jones’s big charity hit “we are the world”.

This incident instigated a four years saga / feud with DESTE foundation and the New Museum. The conflict culminated with the institutions reaching out for another collaboration (without an artist fee) in 2019 in the context of their second Athenian exhibition titled “The Same River Twice” (no pun intended?). You can find a detailed account of the conflict with all relevant documentation including email exchanges, running commentary, relevant videos and images on the website linked below.

The work was endorsed by W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) an international organisation that fights for the rights of artists and artworkers.