In February of this year, cleaners and porters at London’s Sotheby’s auction house successfully campaigned to receive the London Living Wage of £9.15. The triumph was part of an extensive campaign by union United Voice of the World (UVW) to pressure both Sotheby’s and the contracted cleaning service Cleaning & Maintenance London (CCML) into negotiating several other terms for these employees, often migrant workers, who had complained of ill treatment—and unfair pay. But the victory of a living wage, among other gains, is now proving short-lived.
Absolut Art. sells artwork in front of people’s faces.
Meet the newest online retailer for art, Absolut Art., brought to you by Absolut. [Absolut Art.]
Or, why not meet a doctor who’s addicted to social media, and SnapChats his surgeries? [VICE]
It’s painful to watch Chelsea Manning’s Twitter feed; still in prison, she’s seeking donations for her legal defense fund. [@xychelsea]
Artist Wim Delvoye’s career includes an array of materials: pig carcasses, fecal matter, and, as of 2014, a yoga mat. [Art Markit]
The Venice Biennale won’t open until May 9, but we already know who’s set to receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement: Ghanaian artist El Anatsui, born in 1944. [ARTnews]
45 percent of men think it’s harder to be a man today than in their father’s generation. [Think Tank]
Why is that? “The Shriver Report,” from which Think Tank culled that statistic, contains responses indicating that it’s because of attaining a stronger position in the workplace, a stronger position financially, and greater gender equality. [A Woman’s Nation]
Protests continue at the National Gallery in London over the museum’s choice to outsource jobs to a private company; the decision would affect more than 400 current employees. [The Art Newspaper]
Brought to our attention via the Internet pipelines, a 2011 review of Open Engagement: “Is there a significant difference between what this street preacher is doing and what socially engaged artists do?” The more things change…maybe they don’t change—see our 2015 review of Open Engagement. [Portland Art]
“[C]apitalism constitutes the horizon of possibility for artists and manufacturers alike, and must be reckoned with as such. The question then becomes: how far can artistic reflexivity go before becoming complicit with the economy it seeks to critique?” [DIS Magazine]
Chinese auction houses hope to bring in more local buyers through sales of Impressionist and Modern art. [South China Morning Post]
The internet might be run on cats, but this sea otter rap proves that all mammals are proper fodder for a meme. [Lair2000.net]
Guards at London’s National Gallery went on strike this past weekend to protest staff cuts, and they’re planning even more walk outs in the days to come. [The Guardian]
In preparation for the Guggenheim’s upcoming exhibition by teen prodigy Francesca Woodman, Cabinet‘s profile on another child genius, the poet Minou Drouet, provides some good background into the life and times of precocious youths. It’s filled with absurd stories – like how the French government locked “this little kitten” in a room to determine whether she wrote her own poems. [Cabinet]
This weekend, Tyler Green commented on NPR’s “oh-so-impressive art coverage” [MAN], an atrocious piece of journalism that asks that old and tired question, “Is Jackson Pollock really an artist?” Groan. [NPR]
Author Jonathan Franzen, that overly satirical writer about the failures of masculinity and the American dream, rants against ebooks, but ends up sounding like a whiny luddite who doesn’t understand kids nowadays with their new-fangled technology. [The Telegraph]
House arrest won’t prevent Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from hosting his own TV show. [New York Magazine]
During last week’s Occupy Museums protest at MoMA, a red and black banner was suspended by the crowd on the fifth floor landing into the museum’s atrium. Security quickly confiscated it, and has yet to return the piece. As Occupy Museums states, institutions nationwide are negotiating with OWS art groups to acquire archival materials, so in an open letter to MoMA, OM has declared terms for the artwork’s acquisition.