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A surrendering borough, terrorism, prank, or art? Speculation flew following the July 22 early morning exchange of two star-spangled banners that regularly wave atop the Brooklyn Bridge for all-white replicas. Now the circumstances of that mysterious swap — which quickly made headlines and brought on a flurry of public statements from elected officials as well as intense police measures — may finally be solved. The New York Times is reporting that German artists Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke have taken credit for what they’re calling an artistic act meant to celebrate “the beauty of public space.”
Despite the publicity surrounding the appearance of the white flags, it went unnoticed that their appearance coincided with the date on which John Roebling, the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, died in 1869. In an interview with the Times, Leinkauf and Wermke claim that the German engineer, who spent much of his life in their home base of Berlin, inspired the replacement of the flags: Roebling “moved to the States because he couldn’t realize his dreams here in Germany, and the bridge for us is a symbol of freedom and creative opportunity.”
Despite the cultural gap to which the artists attribute the misinterpretations of the flag swap (officials have gone so far as to subpoena a parody Twitter account), Leinkauf and Wermke insist that the removal of the original stars and stripes was executed with respect and care. The artists made sure to fold the flags ceremonially, “following the United States flag code,” they said, and promise their eventual return.
In the meantime the pair are considering legal advice.
An SFMOMA exhibition raises questions about what it means when museum board members have ties to politicians who support border wall policies.
The exhibition at the Jewish Museum delves into “degenerate” art and art made under duress as part of a thought-provoking yet diffuse exhibition.
In Philadelphia, a series of solo shows delves into the interdisciplinary practices of graduates whose work explores identity, familial bonds, political constructs, and nature’s fragility.
Despite his work’s apparent abstraction, Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe insists that “I don’t invent anything, everything I do is my jungle and what is there.”
David Uzochukwu, Kennedi Carter, and Kiki Xue are among the 35 artists whose work will be displayed online and at the festival in Milan, Italy.
On November 14, join Columbia University School of the Arts for virtual information sessions with the program chair, faculty, and staff.
No Vacancy, curated by Jody Graf, will be on view from October 26 through November 8 at the school’s Kellen Gallery in New York City.
To do so before they have returned the Maqdala treasures and the Benin Bronzes and the Easter Island statues and the Maori heads, before a coherent set of precepts for decolonization has been articulated, would affirm the wrong principle.
“Everybody in Mesopotamia, as far as I understand it, believed in ghosts,” said Irving Finkel, a curator of the British Museum’s Middle Eastern department.