This week, artists and gentrification, Sandy’s art show backlash, Gitmo’s artist/reporter, the war on immigration, brutalism at colleges, genius/tyrant/collector J. Pierpont Morgan, and more.
Are artists to blame for gentrification? Arts writer Ben Davis considers the question:
If you didn’t already associate art with real-estate speculation, it’s the kind of thing that’s likely to cement the idea in your mind. Right now, three conflicting crosscurrents are coming together to make this a hot topic for art-watchers and urban policy types. One is the gusto that developers like Shvo have for promoting new luxury housing via an association with art. Another is the fact that art’s role as a motor of economic vitality has become a preferred talking point for government agencies and arts nonprofits looking to justify money for culture in such challenging times.
The new show Come Together: Surviving Sandy, Year 1 is taking place in a building that has been regularly evicting artists. It sounds like a rather sad state of affairs. Art F City has the story:
“Artists are VERY ANGRY with IC for poising themselves as artist friendly,” Zahaykevich wrote to me. “People are also upset with Phong [Bui], as there are rumors flying around about the benefits he is reaping from doing this and for advertising IC’s spaces on the Sandy website.” One rumor proposes that the Brooklyn Rail plans to move their offices to 220 36th Street, but that was quickly disputed by Sara Christoph. She told me the offices at that site were temporary and meant to allow the publishers to focus on the exhibition.
Were brutalist buildings on college campuses really designed to thwart student riots? Writing on Slate, J. Bryan Lowder explains:
How this association became so strong is hard to pin down precisely, but Rohan convincingly points out that Rudolph’s buildings and the many lesser copies inspired by them “would become scenes of political protest where the feeling of estrangement between the generations would become most apparent … This new generation would view Rudolph’s monumental theatrics … as part of the Establishment’s attempts to create an illusionary facade of seamless power and authority.”
Hyperallergic’s Senior Editor Jillian Steinhauer reviewed Janet Hamlin’s Sketching Guantanamo: Court Sketches of the Military Tribunals, 2006–2013 for the LA Review of Books and writes:
Hamlin sees herself as more than a court artist; as she writes in the book, she considers her work “visual journalism.” In that case, the questions become even more pressing: Is objectivity possible, and is it optimal? Is there a point at which neutrality becomes complicity?
This fascinating map by Le Monde Diplomatique charts the “war on immigration” around the world. As the publication explains, “Europe has built a fortress around itself to protect itself from ‘illegal’ immigration from the South, from peoples fleeing civil war, conflict and devastating poverty. The story is best understood through maps.”:
Is Marina Abramović’s new center on the Hudson a “Bauhaus for our time” or a “cult of personality”? The New York Times piece is obviously very much on the artist’s side, which is a little baffling. I mean, is there anything different from what she’s doing from other “gurus” of yesteryears like George Gurdjieff? Not really.
It oscillates between “genius” and “tyrant.”
Photographer Endia Beal’s Can I Touch It? series depicts white women in the style of corporate portraiture donning “black” hairstyles. The results say a lot about race, gender, work, and representation in the US today:
What is an alternative art space in a small and rather isolated country like Armenia like? The New York Times writes about the Armenian Center for Experimental Contemporary Art in Armenia’s capital of Yerevan:
Among other endeavors, artists at the center initiated and organized Armenia’s participation at the Venice Biennale in 1995, and continued to do so for eight years. And the center’s founders are set to introduce an independent study program for graduates in the arts and architecture, modeled on a similar one at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
“It used to be that many of our young artists would exhibit their work in underground galleries,” said Sevada Petrossian, the center’s coordinator of architectural events. “We like to think of the center as a mainstream place for alternative art.”
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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