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#METOO Copyright scandal at Art Basel Andrea Bowers apologizes

June 25 2019

On Tuesday June 11th, Helen Donahue, a Los-Angeles based free-lance journalist, posted this on her twitter account after learning that the pictures she had posted of a sexual assault she was a victim of two years ago was being used in Andrea Bower’s art installation in Basel:

“Cool that my fucking photos and trauma are heading art basel thx for exploiting us for ‘art’ ANDREA BOWERS @unavailabl DO YOU KNOW HOW FUCKING INSANE IT IS TO FIND OUT MY BEAT UP FACE AND BODY ARE ON DISPLAY AS ART RN FOR RICH PPL TO GAWK AT THRU A STRANGER’S INSTAGRAM STORY.”

54 year-old American artist, Andrea Bowers, was aiming to support the MeToo movement in her art piece titled Open Secret which contained many documents and pictures of sexual harassments or assaults committed by 200 men including Helen’s aggressor, former Vice Freelance columnist, Michael Hafford. Andrea’s art piece was presented in a very large format in the unlimited sector of the fair. Helen asked to remove her face of the art piece. The art piece that was estimated about 300 000 USD dollars had to have the panel with Helen’s face removed…

Andrea publicly apologized to Helen and explained the reasons she made this art piece:

« The" MeToo "movement is perhaps one of the most important feminist movements I've seen in my life (…) Because it's so important to me, I wanted to document it. »