Required Reading

What happens when you ask North Korean propaganda artists to depict contemporary China? Well, two British artists, Nick Bonner and Dominic Johnson-Hill, decided to find out. (via Verge)
What happens when you ask North Korean propaganda artists to depict contemporary China? Well, two British artists, Nick Bonner and Dominic Johnson-Hill, decided to find out. (via Verge)

This week, Banksy hates the new Freedom Tower, North Korean visions of China, Turkey’s ban on the letter “q” is over, Byzantine in DC, a black art show that marginalizes black artists, and more.

 Banksy’s “art work” today, according to his website, was supposed to be an Op-Ed in the New York Times about how dull the new Freedom Tower is (no disagreements there) but the Grey Lady reputedly refused the offer:


 The fascinating politics of language in Turkey and why the letter “q” was banned from Turkish until last month:

And while it’s true that the letter Q was outlawed for 85 years, from 1928 until last month, the reason for the ban had little to do with aesthetic bias or onomastic whim.

The Turkish Parliament unanimously voted in the Alphabet Law on 1 November 1928. Kemal embarked on a tour of Anatolia to promote it, and staged massive, quasi-theatrical tutorials to demonstrate how easy the letters were to learn.

… By adhering so closely to the specifics of Turkish and outlawing all other Latin characters (and all other scripts), it effectively proscribed written expression in any language other than Turkish – not least Kurdish, which was spoken by around 20 per cent of the population.

 Renowned artist Adrian Piper has pulled out of the black performance art show, Radical Presence, asserting that it marginalizes African-American artists. She wrote to the show organizers:

“I appreciate your intentions. Perhaps a more effective way to ‘celebrate [me], [my] work and [my] contributions to not only the art world at large, but also a generation of black artists working in performance,’ might be to curate multi-ethnic exhibitions that give American audiences the rare opportunity to measure directly the groundbreaking achievements of African American artists against those of their peers in ‘the art world at large.’”

 Is there a new fracturing of the New York gallery scene because of the pressures of real estate?

As the neighbourhood became more corporate, Chelsea turned into “a place for supersized galleries with non-avant-garde art and a solid foot in the secondary market [that are] more of an amplifier than a generator”, says Tanja Grunert of Gasser Grunert.

The article should’ve talk to more of the big players in the Chelsea real estate rush. Some of these people being quoted are the same people being quoted on the topic for the last few years. Surely other people have opinions on the topic.

 The frenzy for Banksy in NYC has lead a LA-based auction house to create a fake Banksy LA site to promote an upcoming auction.

 Seems that one of Gagosian Gallery’s top customers nowadays is the Museum of Modern Art.

 Beautiful art transformation:

 Thinking about the deCordova Biennial, John Pyper of Big, Red, and Shiny writes:

The deCordova Biennial, now in its third iteration, is a paradox. It’s the type of show that you don’t remember the show, but you remember the work. Walking around it gives you a feeling that something is off, and I think reading the catalog reveals what is causing that feeling. The deCordova Biennial is not one thing. I have complete sympathy for this beast’s curator, but the exhibition doesn’t commit to any vision for art besides the idea that artists in New England are part of a wider network that includes artists outside of New England. The Biennial doesn’t become a Rorschach test because the labels weren’t good enough or for some other technical flaw. It was designed to be a Rorschach test.

 New York Times art critic Holland Cotter really likes the new Byzantine show in Washington, DC, and his review is a fantastic read, filled with lots of insights:

How Byzantine icons worked can be difficult to convey to modern Western viewers raised on the arm’s-length, quasi-objective ethic of art appreciation.

Icons weren’t just objects, nor were they art, as we understand the term. They were living, interactive entities wired into the world. In a way, they functioned as a spiritual version of social media, connecting and channeling energies among scattered, friendly and largely invisible parties, earthly and celestial.

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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