Art Industry News is a daily round-up of the most momentous developments in the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know this Monday, August 1st.
What role does art play in times of war? – Critic Jason Farago has slammed recent attempts to use the culture to show solidarity with Ukraine, declaring it merely an extension of the “the participatory prerogatives of social media: you have to react, you have to engage.” Instead, he quotes critics Margo Jefferson, writing about the role of art after 9/11, said that “history cannot exist without the discipline of imagination”. Farago advises readers to look instead Painting by Rubens The consequences of the war for how great art can make a more enduring statement: “it is as if paint yourself went to war,” he writes. (New York Times)
The British Museum wants to enter into a “Parthenon partnership” with Greece – In conversation with the Sunday timesBritish Museum Deputy Director Jonathan Williams has said that the museum “changing the temperature of the debate” surrounding the Parthenon sculptures, and considering new types of partnerships amid calls for their full return to Greece. “We need to find a way to advance cultural exchange on a scale, intensity and dynamism never seen before.” However, he ruled out the suggestion that the museum give away the originals and instead display sophisticated 3-D copies: “The people come to the British Museum to see the original, right?” (Sunday times, Guardian)
The Taiwan Palace Museum prepares for war – Taiwan’s National Palace Museum is working to protect its treasures in case Beijing launches an attack on the nation. Last week it conducted its first-ever “war response exercise” focused on evacuating its artifacts. According to CNN, “The museum said it will focus on salvaging around 90,000 relics from its 700,000-strong collection, prioritizing artifacts of higher value and those that take up less space.” The National Taiwan Museum, the National Museum of Taiwan History and the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts are also preparing evacuation plans. (CNN)
Abu Ghraib Photos at the Berlin Biennale Spark Protest – One of the most controversial works at this year’s Berlin Biennale is that of Jean-Jacques Lebel Poison soluble, a literal pictorial labyrinth of enlarged details of the famous torture photos from Abu Ghraib prison. An open letter written by Rijin Sahakian and co-signed by 15 others denounces the inclusion, saying that the Biennale’s curators should have sought permission from those featured in the photos and that Iraqi artists exhibiting nearby should have been consulted instead forced to be it”navigating a space that organizers recognize could trigger negative or retraumatizing reactions.” According to the letter, a curator, Ana Teixeira Pinto, resigned to the Lebel work, while Sayyad Abbas removed his artwork and Raed Mutar asked for his artwork to be removed as well. (art forum)
movers & shakers
Experimenter expands from Kolkata to Mumbai – In a major move, the Indian gallery will open a second location in Mumbai covering more than 3,000 square meters in a 19th-century building. “It’s not the same as a Cologne gallery opening a second space in Berlin. Mumbai is almost a three-hour flight from Kolkata. If we need to solve something on the other side of the country now, we can’t do it right away,” said co-founder Priyanka Raja. The space opens in September. (The art newspaper)
Hitler’s “Gold” watch sold for $1.1 million Although numerous Jewish groups condemned a sale of war memorabilia including Eva Braun’s dog collar, Maryland-based auction house Alexander Historical Auctions held a sale of Nazi artifacts. But the star lot is Adolf Hitler’s 1933 Huber watch given to the murderous dictator for his 44th birthday. It was sold to an anonymous bidder. (BBC)
North West is now making art for Yeezy – Kim K. and Ye’s (Kanye West) daughter makes art for her father’s brand, according to her mother’s social media posts. Her sketches feature alien-like faces with synthetic hair and wrap-around sunglasses. (The cut)
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