PARIS — Lacking any discernible content outside of context, the translucent, cheery façade of Daniel Buren’s “Observatory of Light” (2016) at the Foundation Louis Vuitton is another example of how once-radical conceptual artists have become co-opted and turned into spiffy designer-decorators.
First let me tell you what it’s like to be here.
BRIGHTON, UK — “No one I know is selling any work,” says artist Scott Mason, who bolsters his income with teaching and the occasional performance, such as the one he is about to give tonight. And none of the dozen people in attendance at the space, Meter Room in Coventry, is waving a checkbook. But then again this is an artist-run space. Mason’s gig and the surrounding exhibition is an exploration of this very type of institution. Collectors, although no doubt welcome, are not really expected.
MELBOURNE, Australia — Melbourne-based street artist CDH specializes in presenting audacious and difficult challenges to institutions that explore the illicit nature of street art. Disguised in a bright safety vest, he is well-spoken and calm and on one occasion his demeanor has even been able to convince a few Melbourne police officers to help him install a street art work. He believes in giving art to the city if they want it or not and that art can be created even if permission is not granted. He dares people to destroy what is clearly art and so traps them in participating in his project.
Once it seemed to matter — the high end, I mean. Art and money, when you put the two words together, would invariably lead to HirstMurakamiKoons unless they were referencing KoonsMurakamiHirst. And the crazy gushes of cash that went their way, and the way they flaunted it, became prime rib for glossy magazines and academic panels alike. But that was so 2007.
February 28 and March 1 marked Museum Advocacy Day, an event organized by the American Association of Museums to give people the opportunity to show their support for community museums and push for their consideration in government. The #MuseumAdvocacy hashtag became a viral venue for museum memories, so we’ve collected the best tweets here.
In an essay for Paper Monument‘s third issue, Timothy Aubry writes on his view of youngsters’ behavior in museums, temples of art that were previously bastions of quiet respect and contemplation. Now, they may as well be amusement parks! Aubry points to the pajama-party vibe of Pipolotti Rist’s “Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters)” (2008), installed in MoMA’s atrium, to speak on our cultural lack of reverence for museum spaces. No longer content to be in awe, we now argue with our museum experiences and adapt them to our own ends. Does a younger generation have a different attitude towards museum-going?
On February 17, a new move was made to keep Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation in its original home. Based on accusations of political misconduct uncovered through documentary footage, lawyers for the Friends of the Barnes Foundation are asking a judge to reopen the case that ruled in favor of the Barnes moving to a new location in center city.
With Sotheby’s announcement of their sale of Guy Ullens’ collection of Chinese contemporary art comes news that Ullens is divesting himself of his Chinese contemporary art museum in Beijing, handing it over to long-term Chinese partners. A major Ai Weiwei exhibition planned at the space was recently canceled due to political pressure.
On February 2nd, a post published on now-Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass’s blog categorically stated: “I would like the people of the world to know that today all of the Egyptian monuments are safe.” The post assures us that no major Egyptian archaeological sites have been seriously damaged besides the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, at the epicenter of the protests that recently overthrew Mubarak’s government (of which Zahi Hawass was a prominent part). Oh, but there was also the “looting of the storage magazine in Qantara,” during which an unknown amount of antiquities were stolen, though 288 were reportedly returned. Hawass’s blog gives a uniquely skewed perspective on Egyptian lootings over the past weeks, not to be trusted, but certainly not to be discounted either.
The Boston art media are getting into a tiff, arguing if the newly redesigned ICA Boston is irrelevant-on-arrival. The Diller Scofidio+Renfro-designed home has actually heralded a new high point for a museum that is becoming one of the Northeast’s most dynamic, interesting contemporary art institutions.
The re-installation of the Denver Art Museum’s American Indian art galleries has an important new feature: individual artist names are now included on its wall labels. The comprehensive re-installation heralds a new move towards recognition of the history of Native American art, as well as Native American artists’ contribution to a larger American art history.