We’ll Stay Silent No More


Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

More than 150 artists, directors, and curators, have written a letter denouncing sexual harassment and intimidation in the art world. The letter comes in the wake of the resignation of Artforum co-publisher Knight Landesman, hours after a lawsuit was filed in New York accusing him of sexual harassment. As always, MEANS stands with the Voices.

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We are gallerists, artists, writers, editors, curators, directors, arts administrators, assistants, and interns – workers of the art world – and we have been groped, undermined, harassed, infantilised, scorned, threatened, and intimidated by those in positions of power who control access to resources and opportunities. We have held our tongues, threatened by power wielded over us and promises of institutional access and career advancement.

We are not surprised when curators offer exhibitions or support in exchange for sexual favours. We are not surprised when gallerists romanticise, minimise, and hide sexually abusive behaviour by artists they represent. We are not surprised when a meeting with a collector or a potential patron becomes a sexual proposition. We are not surprised when we are retaliated against for not complying. Abuse of power comes as no surprise.

This letter stems from a group discussion about sexual harassment within our field, following the recent allegations about Knight Landesman’s behaviour. The conversation has branched out internationally to include artists, writers, editors, curators, directors, assistants, interns, and those with positions within institutions. Harder work to advance equity is often expected of and performed by women of colour, trans, and gender nonconforming people. Our efficacy relies on taking this intersection very seriously and not excluding other corroborating factors that contribute to bias, exclusion, and abuse. These additional factors include, but are not limited to, gender identity, ability, religion, class, and immigration status. There is an urgent need to share our accounts of widespread sexism, unequal and inappropriate treatment, harassment and sexual misconduct, which we experience regularly, broadly, and acutely.

Many institutions and individuals with power in the art world espouse the rhetoric of feminism and equity in theory, often financially benefiting from these flimsy claims of progressive politics, while preserving oppressive and harmful sexist norms in practice. Those in power ignore, excuse, or commit everyday instances of harassment and degradation, creating an environment of acceptance of and complicity in many more serious, illegal abuses of power.

The resignation of one publisher from one high-profile magazine does not solve the larger, more insidious problem: an art world that upholds inherited power structures at the cost of ethical behaviour. Similar abuses occur frequently and internationally on a large scale within this industry. We have been silenced, ostracised, pathologized, dismissed as “overreacting”, and threatened when we have tried to expose sexually and emotionally abusive behaviour.

We will be silenced no longer.

We will denounce those who would continue to exploit, silence, and dismiss us. Your actions will no longer be a secret, whispered among us for fear of ostracisation, professional shunning, and recrimination. Where we see the abuse of power, we resolve to speak out, to demand that institutions and individuals address our concerns seriously, and to bring these incidents to light regardless of the perpetrator’s gender.

We will no longer ignore the condescending remarks, the wayward hands on our bodies, the threats and intimidations thinly veiled as flirtation, or the silence from ambitious colleagues. We will not tolerate being shamed or disbelieved, and we will not tolerate the recrimination that comes with speaking out. We will not join “task forces” to solve a problem that is perpetrated upon us.

We, the undersigned – those who have experienced abuse and those standing in solidarity with them – call upon art institutions, boards, and peers to consider their role in the perpetuation of different levels of sexual inequity and abuse, and how they plan to handle these issues in the future.

We are too many, now, to be silenced or ignored.

With all we have experienced and witnessed, this letter should come as no surprise.

Following are some of the signatories. A full list is available at notsurprised.org.

A.L. Steiner, artist

Abigail Browde, theater artist, 600 HIGHWAYMEN, Brooklyn

Abigail Child, filmaker

Abigail Toll, Artist assistant and writer, Berlin

Ad Minoliti, artist, Buenos Aires

Ada Potter, Artist & curator, New York City

Addie Wagenknecht, artist, NYC

Adele Eisenstein, curator, New York

Adi Gura, Gallery Director, BRAVERMAN Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel

Adriana Ramić, Artist, New York

Adriana Zavala, PhD, Curator and Art Historian

Adrianne Rubenstein, artist, New York

Agar Ledo, Curator, MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea, Vigo

Agnieszka Polska, Artist, Warsaw / Berlin

Agustina Ferreyra, Gallery Owner, Galería Agustina Ferreyra, Mexico City

Aileen Murphy, Artist

Aily Nash, Curator, New York

Aimee Friberg, Owner, CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, San Francisco

Alanna Lockward, Founding Director of Art Labour Archives, Berlin and Santo Domingo

Alessandra Saviotti, Curator

Alex Goldberg, Artist , Self , New York

Alex Mawimbi (formerly Ato Malinda), artist, Rotterdam

Alexandra Baudelot, Co-Director of Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, Paris

Alexandra Giniger, Director, Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York

Alexandra Schwartz, Art history faculty and independent curator, School of Visual Arts, New York

Alexandra Tatarsky, Writer & Performer, NY

Alexine Chanel , Artist, Weissensee Hochkunstschule, Berlin

Alexis Johnson, Gallery Director

Alhena Katsof, Curator , New York

Alia Farid, Artist

Alice Conconi, Gallery Director, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York

Alice Rawsthorn, Chair and trustee, London

Alice Tippit, Artist, Chicago

Aline Bouvy , Artist, Brussels

Alison Coplan, Curator, New York

Alison Dillulio, Studio Manager

Alison Fox, Artist

Alissa Bennett, Writer, New York

Alissa McKendrick, Artist, New York

Alix Dana, Director, Independent, New York

Aliza Nisenbaum, Artist, Professor, Columbia University, NYC

Allison Card, Gallery Partner, New York

Allison Weisberg, Executive Director & Founder, Recess, Brooklyn

Alyson Shotz, Artist, New York

Amalia Pica, Artist, London

Amanda Ross-Ho, Artist, Los Angeles

Amelia Jones, Professor, USC, Los Angeles

Amy Zion, curator and writer, New York

Amy Balkin, Artist, San Francisco

Amy Whitaker, Assistant Professor, Visual Arts Administration, NYU Steinhardt, New York

Amy Wolf, Private art dealer, New York

Ana Castella, Gallerist, josegarcia ,mx, Mexico City

Ana Gallado, artista, argentina

Ana Janevski, Curator, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Anastasia James , Curator , New York

Andrea Belag, Artist, studio, New York

Andrea Crespo, Artist, New York

Andrea Giunta, Writer and professor, Buenos Aires University, Buenos Aires

Andrea Longacre-White, Artist, Los Angeles

Andrea Scott, writer, New York City

Andrea Valdés, Writer, Barcelona

Andrianna Campbell, Art Historian, CUNY Graduate Center , New York

Angela Dimitrakaki , Writer

Angelina Volk, Gallery owner, Emalin, London

Angie Keefer, Artist

Anicka Yi, Artist, New York

Ann Greene Kelly, Artist, Los Angeles

Anna Daneri, curator, Genova

Anna Craycroft, artist, NYC

Anna Goetz, Curator, Frankfurt am Main / Mexico-City

Annabeth Marks, Artist, New York

Anne Dressen, Curator, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris

Anne Ellegood, Curator

Anne Washburn, Playwright, New York

Annette Lemieux, Artist, Professor, Harvard University, Cambridge

Annie Godfrey Larmon, Writer and Editor

Antonia Alampi, Curator, SAVVY Contemporary, Extra City, Berlin

Antonia Hirsch, artist, Berlin

Antonia Majaca, Curator, Berlin

Anuradha Vikram, Artistic Director, 18th Street Arts Center, Los Angeles

April Gornik, Artist, 61 Fresh Pond Rd, Sag Harbor, NY 11963

Apsara DiQuinzio, Curator, BAMPFA

Ashton Cooper, writer, curator, and gallery worker

Aslihan Demirtas, Architect, artist, writer, teacher, Istanbul

Astrid Mania, Professor for art history / art critic, Berlin

Attilia Fattori Franchini, Curator, London

Aude Pariset, Artist, Berlin

Ava Ansari, Artist, Curator, Poetic Societies, The Arab American National Museum, Detroit

Avery Singer, Artist, New York, NY

Aya Ogawa, Theatre artist, Brooklyn

B. Ingrid Olson , Artist

Banu Cennetoglu, artist, Istanbul

Barb Choit, artist

Barbara Bloemink, Former art museum director, Smithsonian national design museum, cooper-hewitt, New york

Barbara Gladstone, Gallerist, Gladstonegallery, New York

Barbara Sirieix, Independent curator, Paris

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Artist, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Becca Albee, Artist, New York

Becky Kinder, Artist, New York

benedicte Gyldenstierne sehested, Artist

Beth B, Artist, Filmmaker , B Productions, New Jersy

Beth Fiore, Art Advisor & Curator, Fiore Art Advisory , New York City

Beverly Fishman, Artist, Head of PAinting, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills

Bharti Kher, Artist, Delhi

Bianca Schreiber, Program Coordinator, BAU Institute, New York, NY

Biljana Ciric, independent curator, Shanghai and Belgrade

Binna Choi, Director, Casco, Utrecht

Birgit Rathsmann, Artist, Animator, Brooklyn, NY

Bouchra Khalili, Artist, Berlin

Brandy Carstens, Director, New York

Bridget Donahue, Gallery Owner, New York

Bridget Finn, Co-founder, Cleopatra’s, New York

Brigitte Neufeldt, Media Artist, Germany , Monakam

Britta Thie, visual artist, performer, Berlin

Brittany Nelson, Artist, Richmond, VA

Brittni Collins, Arts Administrator , Creative Capital, New York City

Brittni Collins, Arts Administrator , NYC

Caitlin Keogh, Artist

Cajsa von Zeipel , artist, New York City

Candice Breitz, Artist, Berlin

Cara Benedetto, Artist

Caragh Thuring , Artist, London

Carin Kuoni, Director/Curator, Vera List Center for Art and Politics, New York

Carissa Rodriguez, Artist, New York

Carla Acevedo-Yates, Curator, MSU Broad, Lansing, Michigan

Carla Chammas, advisor, New York City

Carmen Hermo, Assistant Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum, New York

Carol Bove, Artist, Brooklyn

Carolina Caycedo, Artist, Los Angeles

Caroline Mesquita, Artist, Paris / Brittany

Carolyn Lazard, Artist

Carolyn Schoerner, Artist book publisher/bookkeeper, Previously White Columns, now Books for All, New York

Carrie Yamaoka, Artist, New York

Casey O’Connell, Freelance , Glasgow

Cassie Griffin, artist, new york

Cassils Cassils, Artist, Los Angeles

Catalina Lozano, curator and writer, Mexico City

Caterina Riva, Curator, Singapore

Catherine Taft, Curator and writer , Los Angeles

Catherine Wood, Senior Curator, Tate Modern, London

Ceci Moss, Director , Gas , Los Angeles, CA

Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Independent curator, Los Angeles

Cecilia Dan, Advisor, Cecilia Dan Fine Art, Los Angeles

Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Curator, Los Angeles

Cecilia Vicuna, artist, self employed, New York

Celia Hempton, Artist, London

Celine Kopp, Director, Triangle France, Marseille

Charlotte Walters, Associate Fair Director , New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) , New York

Charlotte Brathwaite, Director, New York

Charlotte Prodger, Artist , Glasgow

Chelsea Haines, Doctoral candidate, The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, NY

Chiara Repetto, Art dealer, kaufmann repetto, Milano and New York

Chitra Ganesh, Visual artist, NYC

Chloé Rossetti, Artist and Writer, New York

Christa Blatchford, CEO/ Artist, Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York

Christabel Stewart, Art Editor, curator, ex-Gallerist, Art Review, London

Christina Dimitriadis, Artist, Berlin

Christina Mackie, artist, London

Christine Messineo, Gallerist, Hannah Hoffman, Los Angeles

christine Rebet, Artist , Ny

Christine Zehner, Art advisor, Various, New York

Christy Matson, Artist, Los Angeles

Chus Martínez, Curator

Cindy Sherman, Artist, New York

Claire Le Restif, Director, Le Crédac , Ivry-sur-Seine

Claire Tancons, curator, New Orleans

Claire Barliant, Writer, Cambridge, MA

Claireban Coffey, Studio Manager, New York

Clare Quinlan, Former development professional, Dia and the New Museum, New York City

Claude Adjil, Curator, London

Claudia Altman-Siegel, Gallerist, Altman Siegel, San Francisco

Claudia Peña Salinas, Artist/Art Preparator, Guggenheim, New York

Claudine Elysee, Gallery assistant, New York City

Clemence White, Curatorial Assistant

Coco Fusco, artist/professor, University of Florida, Gainesville

Coco Young , Artist, New york

Colleen Grennan, Gallery Director , Los Angeles

Connie Butler, Curator, Los Angeles

Constance DeJong, artist, writer

Constance Penley, Professor, University of California-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California

Courtney Willis Blair, Artist Liaison, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York

Cristiana Tejo, Independent Curator, Lisbon/Recife

Cristina Tufino, Artist , New York

Cécile B. Evans, Artist, London

Dai Skuse, Associate Professor, University of Guelph, Gueph, Ontario Canada

Dana Kopel, Editor, curator, writer, New Museum, New York

Danai Anesiadou, Artist

Danielle Dean, Artist, Detroit/Amsterdam

Danijela Dugandzic, Directress at Association for Culture and Art CRVENA and Curator at Red Mined Feminist Curatorial Collective, Sarajevo

Davina Semo, Artist

Deborah Kass, artists, Brooklyn NY

Deborah Schamoni, Gallerist, Munich

Delaney Martin, Artistic Director, New Orleans and Los Angeles

Dena Yago, Artist, Los Angeles

Devika Daulet-Singj, Gallery Owner , Photoink, New Delhi

Diana Betancourt, Curator , Samdani Art Foundation, Dhaka

Dianna Molzan, Artist, Los Angeles

Dina Deitsch, Gallery Director, Tufts University Art Galleries, Boston and Medford

Dina Weiss, Artist, Professor, and Assistant Chair, Pratt Institute , New York

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Artist, Paris

Dora Budor, Artist, New York

Doreen Mende, Curator, writer and theorist, Berlin/Geneva

Dorothée Dupuis, Director and Founder, Terremoto Magazine, Mexico City

Drae Campbell, actor, self employed, Brooklyn, NY

Débora Delmar, artist, London

Débora Delmar, Artist, Mexico City/ London

Elana Rubinfeld, Advisor , Los Angeles

Eleanor Cayre, Art advisor, Cayre Art Group , NYC

Elena Filipovic, Director/Curator, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel

Elena Tavecchia, Studio manager and curator, New York

Eleonora Oreggia, Artist, Queen Mary University of London, London

Elisabeth Sherman , curator, New York

Elisabeth Lebovici, Art critic, Paris

Elisabeth McAvoy, former Artforum staff member

Elise Lammer, Curator, Rome, Italy

Eliza Ryan, Curator and Producer, New York

Elizabeth Jaeger, Artist, book publisher , New York

Elizabeth Jaeger, Artist, New York

Ella Dawn McGeough, Artist, Toronto

Ellen Freed, Artist, London

Ellie Rines, Gallery Owner, 56 Henry, New York

Eloise Hawser, Artist, London, London

Els Silvrants-Barclay, Co-Director of Netwerk, Aalst

Elvia Wilk, Writer, New York

Elvira Dyangani Ose, Lecturer / Curator, Goldsmiths / Creative Time, London / New York

Elyse Derosia, Gallery Owner, Bodega, New York

Emilie Villez, Director, Kadist , Paris

Emily Guzman Sufrin, Former curatorial assistant

Emily Hunt, Poet & Arts Professional

Emily Mae Smith, Artist, self , Brooklyn

Emily Segal , Artist and Writer , Berlin / New York

Emily Shanahan, Artist, New York

Emma Astner, Gallery Owner, Koppe Astner, Glasgow

Emma Fernberger, Director of Artist/City, Bortolami, New York

Emma Hedditch, Artist, New York

Erica Baum, Artist, Studio, New York

Erika Anderson, Gallery Assistant, New york

Erika Balsom, Writer , London

Erin Leland, Artist, New York

Erin Somerville, Curator, White Columns, New York

Erin Goldberger, Director and owner, Half Gallery, New Release Gallery, New York City

Erin McMonagle, Events, New York

Erin Rommel, Designer

Erin Shirreff, Artist, New York

Eriola Pira, Curator, NARS Foundation, New York

Erëmirë Krasniqi, Researcher/ Curator, Kosovo Oral History Initiative, Pristina

Eungie Joo, Curator

Eva Barois de Caevel, Curator, Paris

Eva Franch , Architect / Curator and Director, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York

Eva Scharrer, curator, writer, editor, Berlin

Eva Thorne , Graphic designer, Kellenberger-White , London

Eva Ursprung, artist, puchstrasse 41, graz

Fabienne Audeoud, artist, Paris

Fabienne Lasserre, Artist

Fadwa Naamna, Curator, Amsterdam

Fanny Singer, Arts writer / editor, Freelance / The Wall Street Journal Magazine, London

Fawz Kabra, Curator

Fernanda Pitta, curator, Pinacoteca de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo

Filipa César, Artist and filmmaker, Berlin

Filipa Ramos, Editor and writer, art agenda, London

Finola Jones, Gallery owner/Director, mother’s tankstation, Dublin

Fiona Bate, Gallery Owner, SANDY BROWN, Berlin

Flaka Haliti, Artist, Munich

Flame *, Artists, Berlin

Fleur Breteau, Writer, Paris

Florence Derieux, Director of Exhibitions, Hauser & Wirth, New York

Florencia Portocarrero , Curator , Bisagra , Berlin

Francesca Astesani, Founder and Director, South into North, Copenhagen

Francesca Boenzi, Gallery Manager / Producer

Francesca Gavin, Curator, Freelance, London

Furen Dai, Artist

Gabriella Boyd, Artist, London

Gabriella Price, Assistant , Gavin Brown’s enterprise , New York

Gabrielle Giattino, Gallery Owner, Bureau LLC, New York

Gabrielle Jenks, Director, Abandon Normal Devices, Manchester, UK

Gala Berger , Artist and Co-founder, La Ene , Buenos Aires

Gelare Khoshgozaran, artist, writer, co-founding editor of contemptorary, contemptorary, Los Angeles

Georgia René-Worms, Artist, Author, Paris

Giovanna Zapperi, Art historian, Paris

Giulia Gregnanin, Editor, Flash Art, Milano

Giulia Mengozzi, Curator, Turin

Giulia Tognon, assistant curator, Council, Paris

Gloria Maximo, Artist , Queens

Gordon Hall, artist, New York, NY

Goshka Macuga, Artist, London

Grace Schofield, Gallery Owner, Union Pacific, London

Greta Hewison, Producer, FLAMIN, London

Guy Mannes-Abbott, Writer

Gwen Allen, Art historian, San Francisco

Géraldine Gourbe, Philosopher and curator, Paris

H Lan Thao Lam, Artist, Toronto/New York

Haegue Yang, Artist