Nancy Spector has been hired as the new chief curator and deputy director of the Brooklyn Museum. The just-announced news comes as a shock, since she has defined the Guggenheim’s programming over the course of her thirty year career there. Her tenure at the Brooklyn Museum will start in April, and there’s a lot to ponder on what will be her expected impact.
Last week, FOX News personality Jesse Watters visited Art Basel Miami Beach to troll the art world. The segment aired last night, after heavy redaction and blooper clips being used as filler. This is how I remember our conversation transpiring.
Has the trigger warning phenomenon hit institutional curation?
The New York Times reported today on an ongoing project at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum to have their history department curators remove “racially-charged terms” from the titles and even descriptions of artworks in their collection’s online catalog.
And she’s not wrong to be upset. A bit of background: of the North compiles user-generated YouTube footage from Nunavut and Northern Quebec; it’s a mash-up of Arctic tundra landscapes populated with oil rigs, hunting, and skidoos but also Inuit men vomiting after drinking binges, and even a desperate Buñuel-esque edit of a vagina that cuts into a video of a dog’s tail hair being trimmed.
How has technology impacted art? Whitechapel Gallery will be addressing this question in a landmark exhibition launching in January 2016. Entitled Electronic Superhighway (2016-1966), the show will bring together over 100 multimedia artworks from the past 50 years. Over 70 artists will be involved, including Nam June Paik, Cory Arcangel, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Hito Steyerl, Jeremy Bailey, Amalia Ulman, Douglas Coupland and Judith Barry.
The show is clearly a major coup for its curator, Omar Kholeif, whose rise in the artworld has garnered comparisons with Hans Ulrich Obrist. It’s an ambitious survey that is much needed in a genre still struggling for institutional validation. So, it’s concerning that a majority of the internet art represented in the show will come via the archives of new media non-profit, Rhizome. While Rhizome has substantially impacted collecting and preserving digital art works, they still only represent the perspective of one organization.
Jeanne Greenberg-Rohatyn is on clean-up duty. Since last Monday’s deluge of overwhelming negative press over artist Lucien Smith’s “Macabre Suite”, the art dealer has faced fire for co-hosting Smith’s “curated” event in celebration of two new luxury condo towers breaking ground along the South Bronx waterfront. (Conveniently enough, Greenberg-Rohatyn is rumored to be starting another gallery in the Bronx.)
Bjarke Ingles Group has just unveiled plans for WTC Tower 2, a huge departure from the slightly yawn-inducing Norman Foster proposal. Since this thing is going to forever change the Manhattan skyline, we’re weighing in on the new design, which will be the new home of Fox News, among other tenants.
This week, cultural leaders signed a letter protesting the United Arab Emirates’ decision to bar labor activists from entering the country. That’s great, but why are cultural institutions opening satellite campuses in a right-wing authoritarian state in the first place?
Art gives power to the already-powerful. But when the powerful are dethroned, their art usually comes tumbling down with them. That’s political iconoclasm: the destruction of statues, monuments, and images by those newly in power. Out with the old, in with the new.