VENICE — On Wednesday the Gulf Labor Coalition held the first in a series of four panels it is organizing as part of the 2015 Venice Biennale.
The news that a third member of the Gulf Labor Artist Coalition was barred from entering the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has many people wondering what this means for the future of the Gulf nation’s growing art community.
Today, Hyperallergic spoke to artist Walid Raad, who informed us that three days ago he was denied entry to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as he tried to attend the Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Meetings.
In an interview appearing in the current issue of Foreign Policy and posted to the publication’s website on Monday, Frank Gehry admitted that he was “reluctant” to participate in the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi project, citing the distance and the fact that the “cultural issues seemed so different.”
The next few years are going to have the art world’s focus zooming in more and more on West Asia, or at least that’s the expectation of mammoth museums like the Louvre and Guggenheim which both plan to open shiny new outposts in Abu Dhabi. As something of a lead up to this era of eastern art expansion, Walid Raad is collaborating with the Louvre on a project taking place over three years, which began with the opening of the Louvre’s new wing for Islamic Arts in Paris and will continue to their opening in Abu Dhabi in 2015.
There’s been much talk in the art world during the past decade about the rise of the curator as artist, a figure who in her or his most overweening moments seeks to render artist and artwork secondary to the vision — or, at worst, predetermined program — for a particular exhibition. MFAs in curatorial studies are proliferating, and celebrity curators have become as powerful, influential, and famous as artists always have been, as collectors have become, and as critics once were. However fashionable of late, the curator as artist existed decades earlier in the figure of Harald Szeemann, partly as a result of his radical approach to Documenta 5 in 1972, where he initiated a multi- and inter-disciplinary format that continues to this day.
IRVINE, California – There is a call for Jews to return to Poland — and it’s coming out of Irvine. Well, actually it’s coming from Israeli artist Yael Bartana, whose trilogy … and Europe Will Be Stunned, which occupied the Polish pavilion at the Venice Biennale this year, is currently having its American debut at the University Art Gallery at UC Irvine. The videos present the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP), which calls for the return of Jews to Poland to reconstitute the country as it was and make it whole again.
Last week, we reported on the growing concern in the visual art and human rights communities about the treatment of workers at the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim project, and this week two Guggenheim leaders have written directly to two prominent artists who signed the petition.
In reaction to exploitative conditions for construction laborers at the site of the upcoming Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, an international group of artists and art world figures are boycotting the Guggenheim, refusing to “participate in museum events or sell work to the museum,” reports the New York Times and today, Human Rights Watch endorsed the artist protest.