Happy MLK Day, readers! We’re bringing you the best of the web this morning, but expect a lighter posting schedule due to the holiday.
- Holland Cotter rails against an art world he sees affected at every level by money. Art, galleries, media are all identified as suffering.
Conservative art can encourage conservative criticism. We’re seeing a revival — some would say a disinterment — of a describe-the-strokes style of writing popular in the formalist 1950s and again in the 1970s: basically, glorified advertising copy. Evaluative approaches that developed in the 1980s and 1990s, based on the assumption that art inevitably comments on the social and political realities that produce it, tend to be met with disparagement now, in part because they’re often couched in academic jargon, which has become yet another form of sales-speak.
The antidote, at least to some of the problems he lays out, are outlets like Art F City and Hyperallergic. [The New York Times]
- With the Sochi Winter Olympics soon approaching (and with an estimated $50 billion price tag) Malcolm Harris investigates how cities can end up taking on so much financial and political risk. The answers are fairly simple: guns and insurance. [Al Jazeera America]
- Uproar over Jezebel’s search and publishing of untouched Lena Dunham photos finally makes the New York Times. Dunham doesn’t see how “photoshop or no” why featuring a woman whose body doesn’t look like coatrack wouldn’t be a good thing. [The New York Times]
- The Guardian instigates a curious poll asking whether Damien Hirst will be remembered in 50 years. Ah, Britain, where everyone has an opinion on art. [Comment Is Free]
- Courtney Love is in court for “twibel,” a combination of Twitter and libel (and possibly the most annoying new word of the year so far). This is the first time a libel case involving Twitter has been presented before a jury. [On the Media]
- Making the rounds on Facebook: a Tumblr about all the mirrors sold on Craigslist. [Craigslist Mirrors]
- Matthew Barney’s latest film River of Fundament will premiere in February at BAM. Tickets are already on sale. [BAM]