activists claim victory in fight against far-right east london gallery
Dalston’s LD50 has reportedly been forced to close its doors, after their programme drew controversy for its link to the alt right.
When it emerged, pretty definitively, that Lucia Diego, owner of LD50, was engaged not simply in exploring, but supporting, the American 'alt-right' out of her Dalston gallery space, a movement quick sprung up to get the gallery shut down. LD50 had hosted an exhibition, Amerika, that utilised racist symbols, memes, and a cardboard cut out of Donald Trump as part of its display.
LD50 also hosted what it called "a neo-reaction conference" which invited far right nationalists, white supremacists, Islamophobes, and a rogue gallery of generic trolling racists to speak, according to the gallery, to create "a dialogue between two different and contrasting ideologies". Yet leaked messages from Lucia, where she spoke out in support of Trump and his anti-immigration policies, put a focus on the gallery's activities, and a campaign was launched to shut it down. Although the campaign split opinion within the art world, some seeing their tactics as taking a stand against freedom of speech.
Although the Shut Down LD50 campaign is currently claiming victory in the battle, stating the gallery's landlords have booted them out of their space in Dalston. "The Shut Down LD50 campaign can happily disclose that the landlord of the LD50 Gallery has asked the tenants, Lucia Diego and Alexander Moss, to vacate the premises," the campaign said in a statement. "The gallery sign has been taken down from the building at 2-4 Tottenham Road, Dalston, London, and there is no indication that any future events will be taking place in the space."
Although today Lucia Diego released her own statement to Artnet News, stating in clear Trumpspeak: "[We] will not be responding to fake tumblers with fake news. The real news so far are: the gallery has been attacked on a regular basis since the protest by the 'tolerant left.' We have filed over 4 police reports up to this date". She also claims that the gallery is closed due to security concerns, rather than because they have been evicted, as the Shut Down campaign statement suggests.
Text Felix Petty