It’s unfortunate, then, that the lessons I got out of Here and Elsewhere, the New Museum’s current exhibition of art from the Arab World, weren’t the least bit challenging. We’re told contemporary art should look like other contemporary art and exhibitions, and that if that art is political, it should reference past events. That’s not much of a lesson plan.
Those sitting in the panel discussion at the Whitebox Art Center could remove heated rhetoric about “solidarity with Palestine” from the equation by appealing to theory, but only in non-warzones is there this privilege of philosophy.
Liquor distilled from a piece of a Beuys sculpture.
Three artists did a performance where they distilled liquor out of a piece of a Joseph Beuys’s sculpture, “Fettecke.” Beuys’s widow called the performance “crap and stupid.” [artnet News]
In scary, apocalypse-y news of the day, a new study says that we’re in the midst of a sixth mass extinction. [USA Today]
If you want a sense of just how hard it is to talk about the Israel/Palestine situation, last night’s “10 Days/10 Ideas” workshop was a good reminder. We hear that instead of Skyping in artist Khaled Jarrar, the event was shuffled around between venues until finally landing in a bar. Fortunately, Deborah Solomon interviewed him. [WNYC]
Given how contentious that small event seemed to be, it’s not surprising when Christian Viveros-Fauné points out that the New Museum’s Here and Elsewhere, a survey of art from the Arab world, is “New York’s first museum exhibition of art from that region.” He thinks it’s long overdue. [Artnet News]
Another beautifully meditative Triple Canopy piece on archived images of motherhood. [Triple Canopy]
It’s happening: Rising rents are running even the larger dealers out of Chelsea. Casey Kaplan and Betty Cunningham join the wave, Rozalia Jovanovic reports, though others like Lisson and Gallery 303 have opted to resign long-term leases. Apparently, ground floor retail space south of Houston has gone up 37 percent in the last year. Holy. Mother. Of. God. [Artnet News]
Labour leader Ed Miliband uses the phrase “image-based politics” to describe the social media-friendly look of David Cameron’s campaign; signalling a change in style, this comes with an unflattering photo of Miliband eating a bacon sandwich. It’s reminiscent of John McCain’s smear ad comparing Obama to Paris Hilton. [The Guardian]
Oh, shit. Go inside an exhibition about toilets with a turd on your head. [ARTWEEKLY]
Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar, who is participating in the Here and Elsewhere show at the New Museum and a solo show at Whitebox Art Center, was denied exit by the Israeli government. [Hyperallergic]
Forge your way to success: John Myatt, a 69-year-old painter who served 12 months in prison for making counterfeit paintings, now has a solo show in London of obviously forged paintings. The price for a painting mimicking Monet? $66,000. [Artnet]
“It’s time to acknowledge and learn from the genius of Germany.” The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones may as well throw his U.K. citizenship out the window; he believes that Germans aren’t just better than the rest of the world at soccer, but art, too. At least he didn’t pledge his allegiance to the Übermensch. [The Guardian]
The Guggenheim is on a worldwide building rampage, and it’s agitating the host countries. After reports that Abu Dhabi is being built by slaves, polls have shown that a majority of Helsinki residents are opposed to shouldering all the costs of the $177 million museum in their city. [New York Times]
8-bit lovers, put this one on your calendar: the International Teletext Art Festival opens in Berlin on August 14. [Kill Screen]
It’s not often that you see the word “ass” in Artforum. I assume it’s not in their style guide, but here we go with Nathaniel Lee’s review of Emily Mae Smith’s show at Junior Projects where Lee asks, “Are we all really so obtuse and ass-hungry?” [Artforum]
The douchey Wall Street art speculator stereotype is real. Data shows that about a quarter of the world’s top art collectors are in the “investment” industry; thanks to Hyperallergic’s Claire Voon for the visual breakdown with pie charts. [Hyperallergic]
“[I]t’s not always easy to get flush Wall Streeters to art openings, particularly in Bushwick.” That’s a shame, since Claudia Maté’s show at Transfer Gallery is made about them. [Opening Ceremony]
Art world meet NEW INC, the first museum-led incubator project. As an arm of the New Museum, NEW INC provides shared workspace and a professional development program designed to support art, tech and design works. With the program only in its beginning stages, we wanted to get a better sense of what the organization envisioned for its future. For that, we spoke to tireless organizer and the new Executive Director of NEW INC, Julia Kaganskiy.
Still from Matthew Barney’s “River of Fundament,” Image courtesy of Phaidon
It appears that Carolina Miranda’s campaign of #BlouinShaming has been vindicated. Two top Art + Auction publishers have sued Louise Blouin for a total of $250,000 in withheld pay. For years, they also claim to have been classified as independent contractors, not full-time employees. Now they’ve joined ex-editor Ben Genocchio to start Artnet News. Blouin has responded by calling the plaintiffs “greedy,” “evil,” and that they “stole”. [New York Post]
Looking for a Valentine’s Day art listicle? Here’s an enormous, imageless list of “power couples” in the art world. [Artspace Magazine]
Wash that down with a special tour. New York’s sewage treatment plant is offering Valentine’s Day tours. [Metro]
L Magazine film critic Jeremy Polacek gives Matthew Barney props for successfully melding avant-garde sensibilities with the aesthetic sorcery of a high-quality film production but ultimately dismisses the film. “The awful truth is that River of Fundament is occasionally attenuated and overwrought, a scatological Tower of Babel.” We’d be curious to hear Polacek’s thoughts on Barney’s 2006 movie, “Drawing Restraint 9” which Village Voice critic Ed Halter near eviscerated for its poor editing and insipid editing. The Barney backlash continues. [The L Magazine]
From the slides and description of the Pawel Althamer show of figurative sculptures, animations, and visitor tags at the New Museum it’s hard to think it’s anything other than cheesy and terrible, but Holland Cotter likes it. It’s “stirring” and about “community and impermanence”. [New York Times]
The White House has nominated Jane Chu for the new head for the NEA. [TAN]