Weekend

Required Reading

This week, the best of the architecture biennial in Venice, Kerry James Marshall on Charles White, the problematic “Glendale Biennial,” telling the story of the Chinatown Art Brigade, and more.

Dezeen has a run down for the 10 pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennial you should see, including this Nordic project by Juulia Kauste and Eero Lundén that is comprised of four huge bubbles that inflate and deflate in response to environmental conditions. It seeks to demonstrate that architecture can adapt to its surrounding, just like humans. See all the picks at Dezeen. (via Dezeen)

Like me, all of the black students who matriculated through Otis were there primarily because of White. He was a kind of spiritual father for many of us. To be sure, his reputation as a great draftsman and teacher was universally appealing, but when there were so few black artists of his stature to lean on it just meant more.

The Pit continues, today, to use #theglendalebiennial to tag its social media posts. They assert their inalienable right to claim the city of Glendale over and against the protests of its residents.

Vision Valley, the curators contend, was never “an actual biennial.” Rather, the term “biennial” was deployed in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, a droll commentary on the art field and its blue-chip exhibitions. If The Glendale Biennial is mere jest, it’s a gag they are unwilling to relinquish, disregarding the City and community’s objections. If The Glendale Biennial is mere jest, it lampoons the art field’s exclusionary mechanisms while unapologetically excluding 40 percent of the city’s population. If The Glendale Biennial is mere jest, its comedic value lies in the suggestion that there could be an internationally legible cultural community in the formerly barren badlands of Glendale. The titles “New York Biennial” or “Paris Biennial” could not possibly conjure the same drollery. In other words, “Glendale Biennial” only works as a joke because the city’s perceived cultural deficit is the butt of that joke.

May I also suggest you sign up for A Blade of Grass’s mailing list as they are one of the best nonprofits devoted to art, politics, and exploring new avenues of artistic production.

Early on, Anna and architect Ron Castellano, a friend of her Purple cohort, had scouted a building on the Lower East Side, but it turned out to be too close to a school to get a liquor license, and soon Anna had shifted her aspirations uptown. Through her connections, she’d befriended Gabriel Calatrava, one of the sons of famed architect Santiago. His family’s real-estate advisory company, Calatrava Grace, had helped her “secure the lease,” she informed people, on the perfect space: 45,000 square feet occupying six floors of the historic Church Missions House, a landmarked building on the corner of Park Avenue and 22nd. The heart of the club would be, she said, a “dynamic visual-arts center,” with a rotating array of pop-up shops curated by artist Daniel Arsham, whom she knew from her Purpledays, and exhibitions and installations from blue-chip artists like Urs Fischer, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Tracey Emin. For the inaugural event, Anna told people, the artist Christo had agreed to wrap the building. Some people raised their eyebrows at the grandiosity of this plan, but to others it made sense, in a New York kind of way. The building’s owner, developer Aby Rosen, was no stranger to the private-club genre; a few years earlier, he’d bought a midtown building and opened the Core Club, which housed an art collection. He also happened to own 11 Howard.

I recalled how Mira Sorvino’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1995 came for the strategically-taken part of a sweet but dumb prostitute in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite. Even at the time, the film’s sexual politics were widely regarded as pretty dodgy. But I had set that aside, thrilled to watch her launch on a magnificent trajectory: the cult comedy Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, then action films such as Guillermo Del Toro’s Mimic.

Then, suddenly, from 1998, silence. Peter Jackson, then casting The Lord of the Ringsconfirmed in December 2017 that Sorvino and Ashley Judd were effectively blacklisted thanks to Weinstein’s Miramax spreading the word that they were “difficult”. “At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us,” he told Stuff.co.nz. “..and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list. In hindsight, I realise that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing.”

This week, the issue hit home when federal authorities in Los Angeles moved to forfeit a 1 ton, 18-foot long ancient mosaic of Hercules’ 11th labor that was seized in 2016 from a naturalized Syrian man living in Palmdale, CA. The government alleges the massive mosaic was looted in Syria and smuggled into the United States with falsified documents. …

The FBI has been investigating the owner of the mosaic, Mohamad Yassin Alcharihi, since 2015, when he hired the company Soo Hoo Customs Brokers to import the mosaic through the port of Long Beach. The mosaic was imported along with two other mosaics and 81 modern vases and declared as “ornamental art” and “ceramic tiles” with a total value of $2,199.

Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow copped a transit fine [in Sydney] after implanting a travel card chip in his hand. Now he’s gearing up for a court fight.

While it may be “the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks,” as President Trump’s 2017 executive order declares, the Pentagon envisions a future in which such policies are increasingly ineffective. In their dystopian war-game future, more than two decades of fighting “them over there so we do not have to face them in the United States of America” (as former President George W. Bush put it in 2007) proves unequivocally futile. In this sense, the Pentagon’s fantasies bear an eerie resemblance to the actual present. In the dystopian scenario used by the Pentagon to train its future leaders, today’s forever wars have proven ineffective and future threats are to be met with new, similarly ineffective, forever wars.

  • Some people are calling out “Asian hair streak,” and if you don’t know what that is, check out this thread:

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.

comments (0)