1969 – Guerrilla Art Action Group takes the Museum of Modern Art in New York to task for the pro-Vietnam War corporate activities of members of the Board of Directors
With support from the Action Committee of the Art Workers’ Coalition, Guerrilla Art Action Group (GAAG) performed Blood Bath in the Museum of Modern Art’s lobby on November 18, 1969. Jon Hendricks, Poppy Johnson, Jean Toche, and Silvianna Goldsmith entered the museum at 3:10 p.m. on a Tuesday wearing street clothes for the women and suits and ties for the men.
Inside their clothing, they hid two gallons of beef blood distributed in plastic bags taped to their bodies. The artists walked to the center of the lobby and threw one hundred copies of their demands to the floor. This statement insisted that the Rockefeller brothers, who owned considerable percentages of multiple companies that were profiting from Vietnam war-related labor and weapons manufacturing, resign from the Board of Directors at MoMA.
Having strewn their statement, the four GAAG members began to shout at and violently attack each other, causing the bags of blood to burst as they ripped at each other’s clothing. A crowd gathered and the action slowly moved from a tone of violence to anguish as the artists writhed on the floor, moaning before eventually going silent. The artists eventually rose to their feet (the crowd that stood watching applauded) and dressed in overcoats that covered the bloody remnants of their clothes. Two policemen arrived after the artists left.