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Prospect 2: Now With 66% Less Art!

New Orleans is a city of excess: we eat more good food, show more skin (at least during Carnival season), and have more fun than just about any other city in the United States, or anywhere. And when the Prospect.1 art biennial rolled into town in the fall of 2008, we could add “see more great art” to that list as well. Hopes were high that the followup would match or even exceed the scope and ambition of curator Dan Cameron’s first installment (81 artists! 39 countries! 22 venues!). But it’s not 2008 any more, and Prospect New Orleans has become subject to the New Austerity too.

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Ai Weiwei Associate Suffers Heart Attack During Interrogation

The New York Times reports that the lawyer representing Ai Weiwei’s studio is fighting the $2 million USD fines that Ai’s studio faces for charges of “tax evasion.” Liu Zhenggang and Hu Mingfen have technically been released, as has reporter Wen Tao, but none of them have yet been seen in person. Statements by Chinese authorities say that Liu suffered a heart attack while under interrogation and was transported to a hospital.

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Ai Weiwei to Pay $2 Million in Tax Penalties, Chinese Art Scene Moves On

According to Ai Weiwei’s lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan, Ai’s FAKE studio has been accused (and seemingly convicted) of evading over 5 million RMB ($770,000 USD) and is to pay 7 million RMB ($1 million USD) in fines, together totaling around $2 million USD. Ai’s mother Gao Ying speaks on her son’s arrest, release and current condition. In the meantime, the Chinese art scene continues business as usual, with the exception of some ripples — a well-known artist-run cafe has been closed by the authorities.