OpinionWeekend

Required Reading

This week, artist Reshma Chhiba's "Giant Walk-In Vagina” at a former Apartheid-era women’s prison in Johannesburg has been making waves. The walk-in installation features screams. “It’s a screaming vagina within a space that once contained women and stifled women. It’s revolting against this space... mocking this space,” Ms Chhiba says of the work. (more at the Independent and AFP's YouTube channel)
This week, artist Reshma Chhiba’s “Giant Walk-In Vagina” at a former Apartheid-era women’s prison in Johannesburg has been making waves. The walk-in installation features screams. “It’s a screaming vagina within a space that once contained women and stifled women. It’s revolting against this space… mocking this space,” Ms Chhiba says of the work. (more at the Independent, Afrikaans-language website Beeld, and AFP’s YouTube channel)

This week, Ann Freeman says she was a victim of the Knoedler art fraud, opera in Beirut, the walk-in prison vagina in Johannesburg, the YouTube war, fashion’s 3D printing moment, and more.

 Art dealer Ann Freeman, former president of Knoedler & Company, thinks she’s a victim in the $80M art fraud involving the sale of various Abstract Expressionist canvases, including a Pollock. Did she do her due diligence? You decide:

“They were very credible in so many respects,” says Freedman. “I had the best conservation studio examine them. One of the Rothkos had a Sgroi stretcher. He made the stretchers for Rothko. They clearly had the right materials. I got a consensus. Some of the paintings were featured on museum walls,” she continued. “The Rothko went to the Beyeler [Foundation], and the Newman went to Guggenheim Bilbao for the tenth anniversary exhibition. The most knowledgeable in the art establishment gave me no reason to doubt the paintings.”

… “Imagine people coming to someone and saying every painting you sold me is a fake. It is an unthinkable situation. It is completely insane. A gallery person has an absolute responsibility to do due diligence, and I don’t think she did it. The story of the paintings is so totally kooky. I mean, really. It was a great story and she just said, ‘this is great.’”

 A fascinating look at the re-emerging opera scene in Beirut:

Lebanon’s fledgling opera scene is emerging from desperate Civil War days with the help of bold philanthropists and (sometimes) harmonious sopranos — but not everyone is singing from the same libretto.

 YouTube may have passed another milestone moment when some recent videos from the Syrian war may just be the first YouTube videos to start a war:

The local activists who filmed these videos, then, have accomplished what years of hectoring from the official Syrian opposition have been unable to do — bring the world to the brink of military intervention against Bashar al-Assad’s regime … And the sense of outrage may be so great that it will propel the United States into war … the amateur Syrian videographers’ accomplishment, however, came at a high cost … the media staff of Zamalka’s local coordination committee, which is responsible for filming videos in the area and uploading them to the world, also sped to the scene. According to Zaitouneh, all but one of them paid with their lives.

 A journey through “late capitalism” as seen through Hollywood sci-fi movies:

When entertainment frames the future, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We create the world that we watched on screen as children. Everyday technology thrusts us into science fiction, because the aspirational promise of capitalism asserts that someday is always better than today.

 One intellectual property lawyer things fashion brands need to stave off the coming changes that 3D printing will inevitably bring:

Fashion must react quickly to changes in technology and make do-it-yourself, 3D-printable designs in order to avoid a coming flood of infringement and, instead, benefit from the rise of 3D printing …

 A news documentary and  book, both titled Salinger, say that at least five additional books by famed American author J.D. Salinger (of Cather in the Rye fame) will soon be published posthumously:

The book and film have been marketed with the promise of revelations about Mr. Salinger, whose penchant for privacy became a hallmark. Last week, Weinstein and Simon & Schuster began a promotional campaign that includes a poster image of Mr. Salinger with a finger to his lips, beneath an admonition: “Uncover the Mystery but Don’t Spoil the Secrets!” The book, a 698-page companion to the film, is written in an oral history style with snippets of text from dozens of people who were interviewed for the project.

 25 buildings around the world shaped like animals:

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 A beautifully reflective comic by Bill Watterson, the man behind Calvin & Hobbes, and Gavin Aung Than about what you should be doing in your life (click thru for the whole thing):

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 A list of the banned hashtags on Instagram includes #fucksleep, #birthdaysex, #photography, #popular, #iphone, and #bestfuckingtimeever.

 Where are the LGBT characters in video games? For lesbian gamers, it’s a struggle to find anybody in games who represents them.

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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