Nan Goldin the photographer and anti-opioid activist, brought her campaign to the Guggenheim, New York yesterday with a Saturday night protest. Thousands of fake prescriptions were dropped inside the cavernous central spiral-space. The rally against the museum’s acceptance of donations from the Sackler family, makers of OxyContin has been ongoing for over a year. The prescription painkiller has been responsible for America’s opioids crisis, and over 400,000 have died in the process.
I want them to take down the Sackler name from the museums – Nan Goldin
“I want the Guggenheim and others to publically disavow themselves from the Sacklers and refuse future funding. I want them to take down the Sackler name from the museums,” – Nan Goldin
Ms. Goldin, who almost died from an opiate overdose after being prescribed OxyContin pills for back problems, has called for art and academic institutions in the US and Britain to refuse philanthropy from the billionaire Sacklers, producers of the addictive drug.
In 2017 Ms. Goldin wrote an essay published in Art Forum stating ” The Sacklers made their fortune promoting addiction. OxyContin is one of the most addictive painkillers in the history of pharmacology. They advertised and distributed their medication knowing all the dangers. The Sackler family and their private company, Purdue Pharma, built their empire with the lives of hundreds of thousands. The bodies are piling up. In 2015, in the US alone, more than thirty-three thousand people died from opioid overdoses, half of them from prescription opioids; 80 percent of those who use heroin or buy fentanyl on the black market began with an opioid prescription. These statistics are growing exponentially.”
“I’ve started a group, P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now), to hold them accountable. To get their ear, we will target their philanthropy. They have washed their blood money through the halls of museums and universities around the world. We demand that the Sacklers and Purdue Pharma use their fortune to fund addiction treatment and education. There is no time to waste.”
Yesterday’s protest also moved to Fifth Avenue home of the Metropolitan Museum. The Met has a wing named after the Sackler family.