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500 Women Sign Open Letter Condemning Sexual Harassment in the Art World

Jenny Holzer
AP Photo/Keystone

“Where we see the abuse of power, we resolve to speak out.”

It's been less than a week since ArtForum publisher Knight Landesman resigned after being accused by nine women of sexual harassment in a lawsuit. They claim that Landesman "llegedly groped the women, attempted to kiss them, sent them vulgar messages, and occasionally retaliated if they turned him down."

Related | #MeToo: Javier Munoz, Alyssa Milano & Thousands More Share Stories of Sexual Harassment

In response, more than 500 women in the art world have come together to sign a letter condemning harassment and sexism in the industry. Among the 500 women, there are high-profile artists like Cindy Sherman, Laurie Anderson, Lynn Nottage, and Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster; curators, writers, and directors; as well as artist Jenny Holzer. It's part of Holzer's piece, "Abuse of Power Comes As No Surprise," that appears in the letter.

"Your actions will no longer be a secret, whispered amongst us for fear of ostracization, professional shunning, and recrimination," the letter reads. "Where we see the abuse of power, we resolve to speak out."

Alongside the letter, a new campaign has been announced called Not Surprised. As MoMA PS1 curator Ruba Katrib told the New York Times, "There's a real recognition that needs to take place that this is an actual problem and affects a huge percentage of people working in the contemporary art industry."

Read the letter in full here.

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