A long entry in ART FOR A CHANGE blog, from Los Angeles in California, USA:
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
LACMA: The Oil Museum
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), after receiving $25 million dollars from the multinational oil company BP (British Petroleum), plans to dedicate a new entry gate and pavilion to the energy Goliath.
To be christened the “BP Grand Entrance”, the construction is nothing more than an edifice to big oil and the clearest example yet of the increasing corporatization of the arts in America.
Follows a long list of BP involvement in many murky pollution, human rights, and war issues.
The entry concludes:
Credited with such a laundry list of misdeeds, it is not surprising that others have taken notice of BP’s destructive schemes, and have called for resistance to big oil’s sponsorship of the arts.
The National Portrait Gallery of London, England, was established in 1856, and it’s the repository for some of that nation’s greatest historic portraits.
The gallery holds an annual portrait competition that has launched the careers of several portrait artists.
Since 2004 the celebrated competition has been sponsored by none other than BP, and the competition is now known as the “BP Portrait Award.”
In response, English artists and environmental activists started a group called, Art Not Oil, which seeks to end oil industry sponsorship of the arts.
The group’s mission statement encourages “artists to create work that explores the damage that companies like BP and Shell are doing to the planet, and the role art can play in counteracting that damage.”
The misconduct of BP and other oil companies is continually and determinedly exposed through the art exhibits, educational forums and public protests mounted by the artist activists of Art Not Oil.
It is unquestionably time to establish a similar organization in Los Angeles – either that or get used to calling LACMA – The Oil Museum.
Update October 2007: here.
Ex BP boss perjury case: here.
BP and music: here.
BP dumping in Lake Michigan: here.
BP hit by record fines in American courts: here.
Arts and Philip Morris tobacco money in the USA: here.
Armed Guards at LACMA: here.