From the category archives:

Newswire

Wikileaks: Marina Abramović Invited Clinton Campaign Chair to Satanic Menstrual Blood & Sperm Fest?

by Michael Anthony Farley on November 4, 2016
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Halloween may be over, but this shit-show of an electoral haunted-hay-ride just got a little spookier.

Wikileaks has released an email purportedly hacked from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s inbox from none other than performance art star Marina Abramović. The email had been forwarded from his brother, lobbyist Tony Podesta last June, inviting John to join him at a “Spirit Cooking” party hosted by Abramović in New York, at the artist’s request.

email-marina

“Spirit Cooking” is an Abramović piece supposedly inspired by famous Satanist Aleister Crowley’s occultist rituals. It involves the artist painting the walls with menstrual blood, breast milk, and other bodily fluids.

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Artist Challenges Facebook With Promises of Cock Spam

by Paddy Johnson on October 27, 2016
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Is the US presidential election putting many of its citizens on edge? The daily headlines are terrible, each bringing a new revelation more shocking than the next. The stakes could not be more dire and conversation more urgent.

In reaction to these times, though, perhaps many us of block friends dissenting friends on Facebook or silence comments we don’t want to hear. Under these conditions, Facebook can seem a bit more like a police state. Prolific artist, Facebook user (and now blogger) Sean Capone speculated that this was indeed the case in an email this morning informing AFC that he’d been banned from Facebook for three days. The offending update? A picture he’d posted from a Larry Clark show at Luhring Augustine back in 2014.

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Side-By-Side Lucy Statues Look Like Faces of Meth PSA

by Michael Anthony Farley on August 10, 2016
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Lucille Ball’s hometown of Celoron, NY finally has a replacement statue for the 2009 sculpture that’s the stuff of nightmares.

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Vanessa Beecroft Continues to Prove She Doesn’t Deserve Comparison With Rachel Dolezal

by Michael Anthony Farley and Corinna Kirsch on August 9, 2016
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We were going to write a blog post titled “Vanessa Beecroft is the Rachel Dolezal of the Art World” and then realized what an unfair comparison that is. Beecroft’s appropriations of blackness are so, so much worse. This is not a post about stupid things someone has said once, twice, or in the case of Beecroft, many, many times. This is a post about how systemic racism cannot be wished away: “If I don’t call myself white, maybe I am not,” says Beecroft in “The Bodies Artist,” a profile published online today on the Cut.

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Faulty Cottages: the Curious Case of Mill Hill’s Fired Community Artists

by Michael Anthony Farley on August 2, 2016
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Macon Georgia’s Mill Hill Arts Village is a utopian vision of inclusive planning, permanently affordable housing stock, and community arts programming. So why were resident artists Samantha Hill and Ed Woodham fired? They believe they uncovered a gentrification scheme, but the Macon Arts Alliance tells a different, incomplete story.

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Jeff Koons Lays Off Workers Amidst Reports of Unionization

by Paddy Johnson and Rhett Jones on July 18, 2016
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According to sources speaking anonymously with Art F City, Jeff Koons’ mammoth studio operation in Chelsea has laid off 14 of its night crew workers who were attempting to unionize and one day crew member who was friendly with those night crew organizers.

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I Downloaded “Tinder for Art” and Haven’t Found Love Yet

by Michael Anthony Farley on July 8, 2016
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I decided to test drive the much-discussed art purchasing app Wydr today. It’s been described as “Tinder for art,” which is a little misleading. Basically, it’s more of a shopping app than a social networking platform. You can swipe right to favorite an artwork, or left to say “not my type.” If something catches your eye, you can tap on the work, see the artist’s name and purchase information, and add it to your shopping basket. For the past hour or so, I’ve been doing a lot of swiping left.

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Inaugural Toronto Art Book Fair Pages City’s Independent Print Culture

by Rea McNamara on June 16, 2016
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The rise of art fairs has not been all that bad. Yes, we’re stuck with the same galleries showing the same work, but we’ve also seen a rise in alternative venues, the most common being art book fairs. Whether it’s LA or New York, the fairs often have a frenetic energy, particularly the sections dedicated to artist-made zines, which in addition to artist books, often include performances, the sale of related ephemera (think buttons and stickers) and zealous trading. Fair sections divide exhibitors by rare book dealers, distributors and artists. Even the poorest of us can afford something at the fair, which means every visitor can leave with a sense of being able to directly support the livelihood of artists.

Here in Toronto, the arrival of the new Toronto Art Book Fair (TOABF) — which opens today in a historic schoolhouse in the West End, and runs to the end of this weekend — has been enthusiastically received by the local arts community. In fact, much of my Instagram has been filled for the past week with artists like Micah Lexier and Lido Pimienta proudly snapping the wares they’ll be selling. With a tightly-curated 75 vendors participating, it appears the free public event has been far more successful than either Art Toronto or the recently-ended Feature in attracting the involvement of international vendors. Art Toronto mostly attracts galleries outside Canada under its FOCUS curated section (for the 2016 edition in October, it’ll be Latin America) and because Feature was organized by Montreal’s Association des galeries d’art contemporain, it was criticized by local gallerists for its Quebec-heavy regionalism. Further, since Toronto isn’t a “traditional art capital”, those fairs have been challenged in representing a discerning edit of the local commercial gallery scene.

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.ART Re-Emerges as “The Art World’s Exclusive Domain”

by Rea McNamara on June 6, 2016
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Will the days of describing the internet as an ungentrified space finally be over? As the internet becomes an overcrowded domain space, ICANN’s new generic Top Level Domain (TLD) program is showing signs of an emerging virtual real estate boom—or at least that’s been the story for the last several years.

At the center of all this is .ART, which went live last week. The website, dotart.domains, comes less than a year after the widely-contested Top Level Domain (TLD) went to highest bidder UK Creative Ideas Limited. Judging by the art fair-esque logo and elevator pitch calling itself “the art world’s exclusive domain”, it seems the centralized online entity that is now .ART has truly been exploited by commercial interests.

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What Happens Now That Peter Brant Officially Owns a Big Chunk of the Art Media Landscape?

by Rea McNamara on June 3, 2016
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The concentration of media ownership is never a good thing. Integration leads to anticompetitive behaviour in the marketplace — especially among publications owned by the same parent company. So should the art world be concerned by the recent news that Brant Publications, owned by powerhouse collector Peter Brant, now owns all the assets of Art in America, The Magazine Antiques, Modern Magazine and ARTnews, which joins his flagship, Interview Magazine?

It depends on how you look at it. Brant was already a majority stakeholder, which gave him full control over the companies. In July 2015, as the Observer reported, Brant Publications sold its 100% ownership of Art in America to Artnews S.A., the publicly-traded company based in Warsaw, Poland that owned ARTnews. BMP Media, a Brant subsidiary then purchased a 60% stake in ARTnews for $16.9 million.

So the only difference now is that he owns 100% of the stock. The question then arises: now that ARTnews is under private ownership, how will that impact its coverage moving forward, especially since it’s no longer a publicly-held media entity?

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