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This week, death of the gallery show, Ellis Island closed, Sharjah Biennial opens, Abramović reflects on the beauty of a glass of water, problems for looking at art with Google, NYPD is tracking criminals using photos on social media, the corporate role in the Harlem Shake, and more.
There used to be shared story lines of contemporary art: the way artists developed, exchanged ideas, caromed off each other’s work, engaged with their critics. Now no one knows the narrative; the thread has been lost. Shows go up but don’t seem to have consequences, other than sales or no sales. Nothing builds off much else. Art can’t get traction. A jadedness appears in people who aren’t jaded. Artists enjoying global-market success avoid showing in New York for fear any critical response will interfere with sales.
I personally don’t have that nostalgia. The narratives we once had were limited and excluded far too many people. While the gallery space’s role may have diminish, I see more art than ever, but not always in a gallery setting.
The biennial has, since its launch in 1993, quietly provided a crucial platform for contemporary artists in the conservative enclaves of the Middle East. The emirate of Sharjah, just north of Dubai, is now considered a regional hub for contemporary art, more so than its oil-rich neighbour, Qatar, which, in recent years, has invested heavily in contemporary art exhibitions and acquisitions.
We always forget about drinking water. We do so many activities at the same time without thinking. I think to take a glass of water and make it into a ritual is really important. There are so many objects that are always around that we don’t think about at all. I think water is one of the most beautiful things in my life. It’s clean, it’s nourishing and we can’t live without it.
Peering at art on the Internet is far from just a useful tool or a simple diversion: it produces an entirely new set of problems. It’s fascinating to zoom in to the Google Art Project and wonder when you have passed that invisible boundary between historically appropriate seeing and inappropriate peering. And it’s just as interesting to make use of the technology to revisit questions viewers have often asked, such as the reasons why Cézanne made just the marks he did. Perhaps one day we’ll think of the endless seeing of the Internet as a kind of cultural illness — a compulsion that future generations will find amusing. Our seeing may be pathological, but if it is, it is our pathology, our way of looking at the world.
Facial recognition — which zeroes in on features and extracts size and shape of eyes, noses, cheekbones and jaws to find a match — is now revolutionizing investigations in ways not seen since fingerprint analysis was implemented generations ago.
Like General Idea and Gran Fury before them, the hundreds of people yesterday that took to their computer to riff off the “equality” logo work were engaging in their own scrutiny of this moment, of what is meant by equality and of how lives are really lived in the US. They were attempting to be part of the broadest possible reach. And the work continues. Flesh is still on the line.
The myth of the “Harlem Shake” is that its viral spread was spontaneous, not directed by financial interests—a pop culture, popular uprising. Here’s how the meme and the myth began …
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.
The University of Virginia researchers wrote that the data “provides compelling evidence that these symbols are associated with hate.”
We are waiting for spectacle and when the quotidian, yet incongruous actions occur I wonder whether there is any real payoff coming.
Hear from Holly Jean Buck, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, Simon Denny, Elizabeth Hoover, Renee Kemp-Rotan, Joseph Kunkel, and more at this free public event.
Tanega’s approach to mark-making comes across as stream of consciousness, as if she’s engaged in a conversation with herself.
Starting Monday, readers can borrow one of 50 rare and out-of-print titles, mailed to them completely free of charge, from Saint Heron Library.
EFA Open Studios offers a portal into the creative habitats of over 65 artists working in Manhattan’s longest-running studio program, including Dannielle Tegeder, Wafaa Bilal, Cui Fei, and Anina Major.
This is Yuskavage’s great gift, turning upside down our settled ways of thinking and seeing and, with ease, transforming the vulgar and ridiculous into the sublime.
51 international publishers and galleries showcase their latest editions in prints and artists’ books at this free public fair, which is fully online this year.
While hardly about the pandemic, or any of the other crises so afflicting us, all are invoked in this exhibition, which is also often tender and profoundly soulful.
These glowing, dynamic artworks reproduce something of Bosch’s chaotic energy, but on an immersive, multi-sensory scale.
This week, addressing a transphobic comedy special on Netflix, the story behind KKK hoods, cultural identity fraud, an anti-Semitic take on modern art, and more.