Weekend

Required Reading

This week, a rainbow in Toledo’s Old Masters’ galleries, American artists and politics, the failed state of the internet, and more.

Artist Gabriel Dawe created this ethereal-looking rainbow in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Great Gallery. (via Colossal)
Artist Gabriel Dawe created this ethereal-looking rainbow in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Great Gallery. (via Colossal)

  • Jen Graves of The Stranger in Seattle writes about how you don’t “moderate” Marina Abramović (which she tried to do). The whole post is great but this part is particularly amazing:
    • This is the same woman who before the show (and it was a show, not a “discussion”) joked about being deported by Trump. She has a green card, so she can’t vote, but she sent Hillary the maximum donation allowed, $2,700. Abramović LLC Director Giuliano Argenziano, who travels with her, said he would be deported first, because Trump’s people probably want to dissolve his gay marriage.
  • Christopher Knight at the LA Times writes about a new exhibition on Mexican art that shows the breadth of its achievements:
    • The Philadelphia Museum of Art faced the daunting challenge when organizing “Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950,” a sprawling — and thrilling — survey of paintings, drawings, photography and prints. There hasn’t been a show like this in more than 60 years. But, attached to walls, murals can’t move. So what is a museum to do?
  • T.J. Clark, writing for the London Review of Books, says the James Ensor exhibition at the Royal Academy in London “is for me the event of the autumn.” He writes:
    • Ensor is one of the strangest artists to have emerged from a socialist and anarchist milieu – stranger even than Platonov or Pasolini. That socialism of some sort was the context that mattered in his case is clear. The first serious piece of writing about him appeared in 1891 in the socialist journal La Société nouvelle, published in Paris and Brussels: it was written by a novelist friend, Eugène Demolder. When Demolder followed up with a short book a few months later it was titled James Ensor, la mort mystique d’un théologien. (The great Verhaeren, poet of the revolutionary crowd, lent his name to a second monograph in 1908.) You have to work hard to find Demolder’s 1892 subtitle acknowledged in the art-historical literature, but it is important, and only half ironical. In Belgian socialism at fin de siècle, Christ and La Sociale (the anarchists’ codeword for the coming social revolution) were inseparable.
  • In case you haven’t heard about all the really racist incidents post-election being perpetrated by Trump supporters (or those saying they are), well:
  • Why is it Facebook can’t solve the “fake news” problem on its platform but it can create a tool to censor news for China? The New York Times reports on this troubling turn of events:
    • The social network has quietly developed software to suppress posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographic areas, according to three current and former Facebook employees, who asked for anonymity because the tool is confidential. The feature was created to help Facebook get into China, a market where the social network has been blocked, these people said. Mr. Zuckerberg has supported and defended the effort, the people added.
  • And this is coupled with the reality that a new study found that students are really bad at telling the difference between fake and real news:
    • “Many assume that because young people are fluent in social media they are equally savvy about what they find there,” the researchers wrote. “Our work shows the opposite.”
    • … One assessment presented two posts announcing Donald Trump’s candidacy for president — one from the actual Fox News account, with a blue checkmark indicating it was verified, and one from an account that looked like Fox News.
    • “Only a quarter of the students recognized and explained the significance of the blue checkmark, a Stanford press release noted. “And over 30 percent of students argued that the fake account was more trustworthy.”
  • A chilling article that gives you so much to concise. It asks, “Has the Internet Become a Failed State?” Well:
    • S o we find ourselves living in this paradoxical world, which is both wonderful and frightening. Social historians will say that there’s nothing new here: the world was always like this. The only difference is that we now experience it 24/7 and on a global scale. But as we thrash around looking for a way to understand it, our public discourse is depressingly Manichean: tech boosters and evangelists at one extreme; angry technophobes at the other; and most of us somewhere in between. Small wonder that Manuel Castells, the great scholar of cyberspace, once described our condition as that of “informed bewilderment”.
  • Placed here with no comment:

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning ET, and 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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