Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid the Subject of Controversy for Middle East Projects

East, International
Thursday, March 6, 2014
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Protesters inside the Guggenheim. (Courtesy Gulf Ultra Luxury Faction)

Protesters inside the Guggenheim. (Courtesy Gulf Ultra Luxury Faction)

Nearly 50 activists recently took over the Guggenheim’s spiraling balconies to protest the museum’s planned branch in Abu Dhabi. The protesters, who are affiliated with Gulf Labor and Occupy Museums, dropped pamphlets, rolled out banners, and hung a manifesto to criticize Abu Dhabi’s poor record on workers’ rights.

Continue reading after the jump.

Sugar Smacks: Group Protests at Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar Factory During Benefit Party

East, Eavesdroplet
Thursday, May 30, 2013
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Dining inside Brooklyn's Domino Sugar Factory at the 2013 Creative Time benefit. (Courtesy Creative Time)

Dining inside Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar Factory at the 2013 Creative Time benefit. (Courtesy Creative Time)

Creative Time’s annual spring benefit at the defunct Domino Sugar factory in Brooklyn received lots of press coverage for its glittering guests, including honoree Julian Schnabel. But GalleristNY was one of the few to flag the fly on the soup: Across the street from the entrance, protestors in hazmat suits handed out “invitations” blasting the controversial company hired by Two Treesthe developer with big plans for Domino—to oversee asbestos abatement. So…that wasn’t powdered sugar on the chocolate soufflé?

Controversial Malibu Lagoon Restoration Opens

City Terrain, West
Monday, May 6, 2013
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The "Bird Blind" at the revamped Malibu Lagoon. This will be thick with reeds in a year or two. (Guy Horton)

The “Bird Blind” at the revamped Malibu Lagoon. This will be thick with reeds in a year or two. (Guy Horton)

On May 2, the ever-controversial Malibu Lagoon Restoration Project—designed to restore the lagoon to its natural shape after years of disruptions and enhance the visitor experience—had its official ribbon cutting ceremony. Or, in this case, kelp cutting ceremony. The newly revamped lagoon glinted in the sun as egrets skittered along the water’s surface. Inappropriately-dressed (dark suits and ties) state officials and project leaders posed for photographs, congratulated team members, and handed out certificates while protesters (some shirtless and in shorts), brandishing hand-made signs saying “Paradise Lost” and “Lagoonicide,” booed and shouted at every opportunity. It was another beautiful day at the beach.

Continue reading after the jump.

Toronto Bikers Revolt Against Mayor’s Attempts to Remove Bike Lanes

International
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
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Protesting bike lane removal in Toronto. (Shawn Micallef/Spacing Toronto)

Protesting bike lane removal in Toronto. (Shawn Micallef/Spacing Toronto)

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has proven to be a controversial public figure, whether it’s unsafe reading while driving, or now, removing Toronto’s recently installed bike lanes on Jarvis Street.  Yesterday, city crews showed up in large scrubbing trucks to scrape away thin dividing lines from the street, only to encounter a small collection of riders who would not stand by idly. Instead the cyclists chose to lie down, sit, and ultimately blockade the street scrubbing vehicles, eventually forcing them to leave for the day.

But the bike lane removal protests picked up again today.

Protesting for Pussy Riot at the Venice Biennale

Other
Friday, August 31, 2012
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Protesters at the Venice Biennale.

Protesters at the Venice Biennale.

The Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennale has in recent years been a bit of a snore. The space has been filled most recently in 2010 with unconvincing drawings of older Russian cities and earlier (2008) with models of Ordos McMansions. But this year the pavilion’s interior was spectacularly reconfigured with walls of glass QR codes in its central space forming a digital dome, but the display’s heavy-handedness brought to mind earlier periods of Russian single mindedness and even totalitarianism.

It seems those in charge of this year’s Venice effort finally realized what kind of pavilion makes an impact in the giardini on harried biennale visitors and journalists and went for the full design monty. But the tensions in contemporary Russian society were also highlighted on Thursday during the Golden Lion awards presentation ceremony when a few hundred feet away a crew of cocktail-dressed and balaclava-wearing young Russian women “occupied” the exterior of the pavilion to make the case for the Pussy Riot band back in Russia recently jailed for hooliganism.

A rumor quickly spread that actual members of the band who had escaped Russie were present at the protest. Were these actually Pussy Rioters or sympathizers? No one was sure but it sure beat listening to the Biennale directors and bureaucrats drone on about Common Ground as the press rushed over from the dreadful press conference.

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