This week, Istanbul Biennial loses its edge, Prada Marfa is an ad, science of snobbery, a better GIF, Code Pink’s photo bombs, Congress’s new media law, making fun of fashion week, and more.
What is happening at the Istanbul Biennial and did the organizers blunt the exhibition’s edge to appease the government post-Occupy Gezi?
The plan then was for artists to work in some of the city’s most contested areas. But everything changed in May when thousands gathered in Taksim Square, including artists, actors, writers and musicians, who staged performances and led demonstrations against plans to develop adjacent Gezi Park. Following the brutal clearance of the square in June, the biennial decided on a tactical withdrawal. Now the exhibition is being held in some of Istanbul’s most established galleries, including Arter and Salt on bustling Istiklal Street.
Is Elmgreen & Dragset’s “Prada Marfa” illegal advertising? The state of Texas thinks so. According to the New York Times:
Nearly eight years after opening, Prada Marfa has been classified by the Texas Department of Transportation as an “illegal outdoor advertising sign” because it displays the Prada logo on land where that is prohibited.
… From the state’s perspective, the logo is defined by state and federal law as a sign. And because the “sign” sits on unlicensed land bordering federal highway U.S. 90 and lacks a permit, it violates the 1965 Highway Beautification Act signed by president Lyndon B. Johnson and championed by his wife, Lady Bird Johnson.
An interesting post over at The Atlantic, by Alex Mayyasi, examines “The Science of Snobbery: How We’re Duped Into Thinking Fancy Things Are Better.” Mayyasi writes:
Expert judges and amateurs alike claim to judge classical musicians based on sound. But Tsay’s research suggests that the original judges, despite their experience and expertise, judged the competition (which they heard and watched live) based on visual information, just as amateurs do.
Can we building a better animated GIF? There are efforts to do so at the New York Times, Zeega, and elsewhere.
It was Fashion Week in New York, the Jimmy Kimmel Show played a great prank on fashion fans, which suggests the people they interviewed don’t know what they’re talking about:
Every wonder why the top of the Freedom Tower in New York is so sparse? James Panero investigates:
Nevertheless, in 2012 the owners of One WTC announced a stunning last-minute design change: They would eliminate the radome and leave exposed the antenna that was meant to be hidden inside. The owners cited the radome’s supposed cost—$20 million—to bolster their decision.
Photo bombing has always been part of the success of anti-war activist group Code Pink, and here’s a look at that tactic:
Publicity is the lifeblood of an activist movement, and Congress has proved an ideal spot to generate it. Code Pink’s tactic is simple: it shows up at hearings to confront the powerful whenever it can find a camera to document the clash. All the formula requires is a protester with the time to stand in line and the will to make a scene.
What’s going on with Congress’s new media law? Is it unfairly targeting bloggers?
“One can only conclude that this version of a shield law is motivated by a bias against bloggers, particularly ‘citizen bloggers.’ These are not ‘professional journalists’ and could not be ‘professional journalists’ in their eyes,” Gosztola wrote. “Yet, I would argue, although they may not be a part of any official press associations or employed by any established media organizations, they may engage in good tradecraft and practice ‘professional journalism’ on a regular basis independently. This may even be something that person does in addition to their job, and they would deserve to enjoy the same additional First Amendment protections as any professional employed journalist.”
Animal New York looks at the historical accuracy of the Calligraffiti show in New York, and while the show isn’t curated by Deitch like the title of the post would suggest, it is interesting to see this debate emerge in a field that hasn’t until recently been historicized by those outside of academia.
A post by Vivienne Chow published by the South China Morning Post argues that Hong Kong deserves a better Arts Development Council. It’s a fascinating look at how the post-colonial realities of this city have developed:
Of all the cultural bodies and committees handling public funding, the ADC is the only entity containing democratic elements that exists during the post-colonial era.
Technology sheds light on 6 great art mysteries, including, did Picasso use house paint?
Required Reading is published every Sunday morning EST, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.
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