Protesters, including Coco Fusco, at MoMA [h/t Hyperallergic]
Venice Biennale promo is like the Christmas season—every year it starts earlier. This year, in the lead up to the show, one video spotlight per participating artist will be released each day. That’s 120 days folks. [artnet News]
Protesters are demanding that MoMA drop board member Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, due to his ties to the Trump administration. Good. Make this guy’s life hell. MoMA has refused to make a statement. [Hyperallergic]
“One of the surprising things about these artists, which isn’t always apparent in the work, is how despondent, even dystopian, they are about the internet. They might fetishise PDFs and encourage open platforms and shared interfaces (Wikipedia as art), but when interviewed they describe the web as pernicious, and technology as the glossy face of human misery.” -Alice Sprawls on One & Other at The Zabludowicz Collection. [London Review of Books]
Choreographer David St-Pierre told audiences to expect a retelling of the Joan of Arc story. “Instead, the audience was treated to 95 minutes of screeching music, dogs barking and a climactic scene where a man gets his hand stuck in a vending machine.” Montreal’s Place des Arts is now allowing people to change their tickets to more conventional works. [BBC]
Ok, people say the art world does a lot of silly things, but non-art people do even dumber things for even stranger reasons. For example, people are fighting in New York subway stations over Metrocards with an ad for clothing brand Supreme on them. The Metrocard is only good for two swipes? Can someone explain to me why this isn’t just a shittier Metrocard? [The Hundreds]
MTA ridership has dropped for the first time since 2009. This may sound like a relief given all the over crowding and delays but it means less revenue for the MTA which is already looking down the barrel of 65 million budget cut thanks to governor Cuomo. I want that guy out as governor and the talk of him running for President to end. No good comes of anything Cuomo touches. [Curbed]
Can’t wait to see all the public art proposals for the highline. Here’s hoping they’re better than the Jeremy Deller lizard on a plinth they chose to release as exemplary. [The New York Times]
Desert X claims to be the Coachella of the art world. They know the Times refused to cover Coachella last year because it had become such a shit show, right? Anyway, the show responds to the desert and actually looks pretty good. Doug Aitken has made what he calls a human scale kaleidoscope and Claudia Comte basically made a building-sized Bridget Riley. Sign me up. [The Los Angeles Times]
João Doria, the new mayor of São Paulo, has launched a program to paint over the city’s famous street art with grey. This is a terrible idea. The program includes painting over even commissioned murals if they’ve been tagged. A judge is attempting to block the grey-washing with a rule that graffiti removers must consult the city’s historic preservation department. [The Guardian]
The Shia LaBeouf saga continues. After the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens kicked LaBeouf’s anti-Trump installation “HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US”, the actor/artist relocated the piece to the El Rey Theater in Albuquerque New Mexico. It’s already back up and running. [Independent Journal Review]
From rehangs at the Whitney and MoMA to The Brooklyn Museum’s #J20 programming, Andrea K. Scott rounds-up how New York’s museums are protesting the Trump administration. [The New Yorker]
Karen Pence wants to use her new position as “Second Lady” to raise awareness about the benefits of art therapy. One would imagine that after decades of marriage to Mike Pence, she must be a therapy connoisseur. [PBS]
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer opposes Bill de Blasio’s “mansion tax”, which would add a 2.5% sales tax to homes over $2 million to fund much-needed affordable housing. That’s because the vast majority of New York City’s priciest property sales are in her borough, unsurprisingly. She claims this puts an unfair burden on Manhattanites. But aren’t so many $2+ million sales investment properties for foreign buyers of pied-a-tierres for the globe-trotting ultra-rich? If anything, the tax might have the additional benefit of cooling the luxury market slightly, which would be a boon for most actual Manhattan residents. If you live in Manhattan, it might be worth giving her office a call. [Curbed]
Kota Ezawa has installed his illustration-like reproductions of missing paintings from the infamous Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist at the museum. These are surprisingly lovely. [artnet News]
Miami’s once-scrappy Borscht Film Festival turns 10 this week, and is now a fully-grown-up institution… sort of. They’re celebrating with all kinds of hijinks from a viking funeral to a jetski parade. This would be an excellent time to schedule a last-minute Miami trip. [The Miami Herald]
Bad And Nasty is planning a “Not My President’s Day” of art and activism across the country. In Baltimore, for example, protest/activities/performances are planned across several blocks of the Station North Arts District. [Facebook]
Nicholas Monro’s “King Kong,” part of 1972’s “The City Sculpture Project” in the U.K.
Read the saga of Donald Trump and Jared Kushner’s toxic real estate empires. The two own some of New York City’s most polluted sites, and ironically enough, could stand to benefit from EPA programs. [Curbed NY]
Yep. It’s dark days for print media. Cult horror magazine Fangoria will likely never see another issue, according to a former editor. [Bloody Disgusting]
NADA, MoMA, and Anish Kapoor take stands against Trump’s travel ban, and France is building a wall of its own… around the Eiffel Tower? Highlight’s from artnet’s “The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week in One Minute”. [artnet News]
College students stopped Jordan Russell Leishman from looting Boston’s Galerie D’Orsay following the Patriots’ Super Bowl win. The robbery was caught on tape, which is always fun to watch. [NBC Boston]
Why are public sculptures generally so unsuccessful? Maybe a short-lived British commissioning program from the 1970s holds some answers, namely: a public that doesn’t give a shit. [The New York Review of Books]
Artists Space has hired Whitney Museum curator Jay Sanders as its new Executive Director. Sanders is coming on board at an interesting time—the nonprofit lost its longtime Manhattan home and is searching for a new space. [ARTnews]
I didn’t watch the Grammys, but apparently plenty of musicians used the opportunity to speak out against Trump. This trend is actually making me care about awards shows. [Reuters]
There’s a movement in India to stop the privatization of the Venkatappa Art Gallery. The best part of this story is that they’re called “VAG Forum”. [Deccan Herald]
And in politics, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has resigned due to his connections with Russia. Leaked information to the Washington Post and the New York Times forced this resignation. Don’t let anyone tell you news outlets like these aren’t doing their jobs. They’re saving the country. [The Internet]
Finally, a border wall proposal so relatively inexpensive and easy to assemble a Republican could do it. [Dezeen]
Related: the indie video game “Papers, Please” is seeing a surge of interest as of recent weeks, unsurprisingly. The 8-bit game lets users play as a border agent in a dystopian Eastern European nation, rejecting or accepting immigrants based on suspicions they might be a smuggler or terrorist. [Humble Store]
MoMA is protesting Trump’s visa ban with a rehang of its permanent collection. They’ve interrupted the galleries’ usual art-historical arc by replacing a room of Picasso and Matisse works with pieces by artists from countries on the ban list. These include mostly artists from Iran. [The New York Times]
Meanwhile in Mexico, Samah Abdulhamid, a Syrian refugee, was greeted at the airport by a crowd with signs welcoming her to the country, including “Aquí no hay muros” (Here there are no walls). She’s the first female Syrian student to arrive via Proyecto Habesha, which is helping Syrians whose studies have been disrupted by the war attend universities in Mexico. It seems like a really great organization, especially if you’re looking to donate to something making a concrete positive impact now. [Fusion]
I can’t figure out why this Salvador Dalí painting is being described as one of the artist’s “most controversial works”, but it’s going up for auction at Bonhams. It’s an innocent-seeming portrait of his sister, painted as a gift shortly before the two had a falling-out. [Blouin Artinfo]
Ridiculous headline of the day: David Spade is suing Peter Beard, along with his wife and gallerist, over Beard’s failure to authenticate a photograph Spade bought fifteen years ago. [artnet News]
Pretty much all of the gay world just lost whatever respect we had left for Lady Gaga after she somehow managed to perform the least controversial Super Bowl Halftime Show of all time. Seriously, what the fuck? These past few months she had been a such an outspoken Trump opponent and she blew the one opportunity to have “other America” watching? Someone must’ve had a gun to her stylist’s head. [Gay Internet]
Trump is really bad at writing executive orders, but here’s a meme generator that lets you do it for him! [Executive Order]
“The definition of ‘pretension’ is somebody who elevates something that is not worthy of any kind of elevation… Brad does that quite a bit, but nothing he makes is straight-up dumb.” -Paddy Johnson is quoted several times in Adrian Chen’s profile of Brad Troemel, which has to be one of the most thorough biographies of a young artist I’ve read. [The New Yorker]
Today and tomorrow New Yorkers will be saddled by this terrible Northeaster storm, but that shouldn’t stop you from attending Hannah Cole’s talk on artist taxes today or Judith Bernstein’s talk and book launch dubbed dicks of death tomorrow. They’re too important to miss. By Wednesday art lovers will be able to head to the Lodge for an opening of John Wellington’s dystopian history paintings, and on Thursday to the New York City Ballet to see electronic artist Dan Deacon’s “America” set to ballet. We’re particularly looking forward to seeing the ballet given Deacon’s connection to the blog. He’s a Baltimore resident and a long time muse for the blog.
By the time the weekend sets in, it’ll be all talks moderated by Art F City’s Paddy Johnson. On Saturday she’ll be discussing how the Nevada Test Site has influenced the paintings of Eric LoPresti with Eric LoPresti. Sunday, she’ll be discussing the evolving roll of storytelling in American culture with Jack Early and friends.
All of which is to say there’s plenty to see and do this week. So let’s not delay. Put these dates in your calendar and plan to compare notes later on!
OMG! Star Trek: Voyager premiered 22 years ago, as of yesterday. I feel old. [Facebook]
Shepard Fairey, Jessica Sabogal and Ernesto Yerena have created a series of protest posters that are free to download in anticipation of the #J20 strike and demonstrations. Unfortunately, there are new (draconian) restrictions on bringing signs into certain parts of the capital on inauguration day. To get around this, they’re raising funds to take out full-page ads in Washington newspapers and to distribute hard copies in the District. So far they’ve raised over $1 million. [Kickstarter]
Apparently the late, great Zaha Hadid left behind a £70.8 million fortune. Unfortunately, übercapitalist dickhead Patrik Schumacher is the executor to her will (a decision I doubt she would stand behind given his recent inflammatory comments about affordable housing). The other check-writers include her niece Rana Hadid, artist Brian Clarke, and former Serpentine Gallery chairman Peter Palumbo. The have 150 years to figure out how that money gets dispersed, via the Zaha Hadid Foundation. I hope those three vote to dole it out for innovative affordable housing. [Dezeen]
As opposed to participating in the #J20 strike, many museums are offering free admission on inauguration day, with programming such as a marathon reading of Langston Hughes’s 1935 poem “Let America Be America Again” at the Brooklyn Museum. The National Museum of Women in the Arts is closing on Friday, though, but will reopen for the Women’s March on Washington the next day, offering a “nasty women” tour of its galleries. Diversity of tactics is good for resistance. Disappointingly, the Guggenheim and MoMA, among others, have offered asinine, relatively apolitical statements about their decisions to remain open. [ARTnews]
London’s gallery-sharing event Condo 2017 sounds so smart and so successful. This is the kind of cooperation that will keep brick-and-mortar arts spaces alive. [artnet News]
Are memes the key to making the art world less elitist? Probably not, but Katie Fustich thinks they might be. How is Jaimie Warren not mentioned in this article? [Salon]
Wow. The Asheville Art Museum is beginning an $18 million, 18-month demolition/reconstruction project that will see the facade of its historic home seemingly half-swallowed/penetrated by a transparent glass box. It’s hard to tell from the renderings if this can be pulled-off effectively. [abc 13 WLOS]
Two Brooklyn artists are selling their historic 11 bedroom, 5,000 square-foot-home (with wraparound deck and killer waterfront views) for the relatively low price of $1.25M. Here’s the catch: it’s an old ferry with an insane history. 11 very smart artists should form a coop and buy this immediately. It’s one way to survive gentrification and/or sea level rise in Red Hook. [Curbed]
Potsdam, just outside Berlin, is getting a private museum from billionaire Hasso Plattner. The star attraction at the new Museum Barberini is will be Edvard Munch’s “Girls on the Bridge,” which recently sold for $54.5m at Sotheby’s. It’s believed Plattner was the buyer. If you’re a Munch fan, you can see it starting January 23rd. [The Art Newspaper]
It’s a slow week, but one with just enough good events to keep any Thanksgiving-related food coma at bay. Monday night, we’ve got two book release events with talks and more! Fragments of Metropolis – Rhein & Ruhr launches with a panel discussion at NYU’s Deutsches Haus and Douglas Crimp: Before Pictures is kicking-off at The Kitchen. Tuesday, rising video art star Sondra Perry speaks at SVA and bitforms gallery returns to its roots for a homecoming party. Wednesday, MoMA opens a Josef Albers exhibit that shows the color guru’s dark(room) side.
Thursday is Thanskgiving, so there are no art events. But if you can’t deal with the potential of seeing a Trump-supporting relative, I recommend teaming up with friends to support local immigrant-owned businesses instead! Post-holiday, there’s a bit of a slowdown. On Black Friday, check out a campy screening at Williamsburg’s Spectacle theater. Saturday Pioneer Works is hosting the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation. If that’s not your thing, head to Roulette, where artists reinterpret the music of Kate Bush. That’s one thing we can all be thankful for.
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.
“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.