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Although the gallery was now open, they made no attempt to enter, making clear that their interest lay not in dialogue with the gallery, but in forcing it to leave.
The day before the press conference, Defend Boyle Heights posted a picture of Nicodim’s vandalized roll-up gate on their Instagram, with the caption: “Unknown artist, Boyle Heights, CA, ‘Fuck White Art’ (2016), Graffiti on Metal Door.” This sly social media recontextualization recalls an earlier piece of activist art, ASCO’s “Spray Paint LACMA” (1972).
Riding up on her motorcycle, she stopped directly in front of the press conference, inches from protestors, before attempting to walk up the stairs. ,” she was physically blocked by protestors, who eventually let her through and allowed her to open the gallery’s doors.
Pendzimas denied any wrongdoing to police, and said he had "no idea" why he was under arrest.In response to this announcement, the Boyle Heights Alliance Against Artwashing and Displacement (BHAAAD) organized a press conference for the morning of November 5 on the steps of Nicodim Gallery.Whereas at previous events, the coalition had highlighted the voices of people of color, this time most of the speakers were white, presumably to counteract the narrative that the “hate crime” was a symptom of anti-white sentiment.“As someone who is white, who has been living in this community for 22 years, I have never experienced any anti-white sentiment,” said Elizabeth Blaney, co-executive director of neighborhood advocacy organization Union de Vecinos."When asked what he was doing at [the Miracle of Birth Center], Pendzimas said he didn't know," according to the complaint, which states Pendzimas has been convicted of four felony indecent exposures, and three gross misdemeanor indecent exposures.Pendzimas faces two charges stemming from his State Fair arrest: One for felony nonconsensual sexual contact, and another for felony "lewd exhibition" in the presence of a minor under 16.
“I believe this is just another way for the galleries to refuse to accept responsibility for what they are doing to this community, for the displacement they are causing.”She reiterated the activists’ demand that all galleries leave, and to let residents decide what kinds of businesses should open in their neighborhood. my neighbors are asking for childcare facilities and places for the senior population,” she said.