Magazine article Art Monthly

Greenwash Fountains

Magazine article Art Monthly

Greenwash Fountains

Article excerpt

After two years of building work, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new $65m David H Koch Plaza was unveiled last month. The 70,000sqft plaza features elegant fountains and more than a hundred new trees, and was funded entirely by the eponymous Met trustee, who said at the opening reception that he 'wanted to make the world a better place'.

Protesters at the event begged to differ, however, arguing that billionaire Koch is one of the country's most aggressive and influential climate-change deniers and that his actions as a benefactor to the Met are merely a way to buy influence and credibility. (Koch was the subject of the 'Covert Operations' New Yorker investigation into his backing of the Tea Party and his controversial method of directing campaign funds towards US members of Congress only if they sign a pledge promising to limit their backing of measures to combat climate change.)

To make their point, a group of protesters from Occupy Museums performed Purification of the Space--Ritual Rebranding of the David H Koch Plaza on the Day of its Dedication, a satirical cleansing ceremony that involved tinkling bells, blowing bubbles and honking into conch shells, and as Koch himself left the museum one of the activist performers broke off from the ceremony in order to cast a banishing spell on him--which sort of worked (he left in a car). …

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