Art Industry News is a daily summary of the most important developments in the art world and the art market. Here’s what you need to know this Monday, August 1st.
NEED TO READ
What is the role of art in times of war? – Critic Jason Farago is harshly judgmental of recent attempts to use culture to show solidarity with Ukraine, saying they are just an extension of “the participatory prerogatives of social networks: you have to react, you have to commit. Instead, he quotes the critic Margo Jefferson, who wrote about the role of art after 9/11, saying that “history cannot exist without the discipline of the imagination”. Farago advises his readers to seek instead Rubens painting The consequences of war (1638-1639) to see how great art can make a more lasting statement: “it is as if paint oneself went to war,” he wrote. (New York Times)
The British Museum wants to have a “Parthenon partnership” with Greece – In an interview with the Sunday timeBritish Museum deputy director Jonathan Williams said the museum wanted to “changing the temperature of the debate” around the Parthenon marbles, and considering new types of partnership in the face of calls for their full return to Greece. “We need to find a way forward around cultural exchanges of a level, intensity and dynamism that has not been conceived until now.” He, however, ruled out the proposal that the museum donate the originals and instead show fancy 3D copies: “People come to the British Museum to see the real thing, don’t they?” (Sunday time, Guardian)
Taiwan Palace Museum Preparing for War – The National Palace Museum in Taiwan works to protect its treasures in case Beijing launches an attack on the nation. Last week, it conducted its first-ever “wartime response exercise” centered on evacuating its artifacts. According to CNN, “the museum said it will focus on safeguarding approximately 90,000 relics from its collection of 700,000, prioritizing artifacts of greater value and those that take up less space.” The National Taiwan Museum, National Museum of Taiwan History and National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts are also developing evacuation plans. (CNN)
Photos of Abu Ghraib at the Berlin Biennale Spark Protest – One of the most controversial works at this year’s Berlin Biennale is that of Jean-Jacques Lebel Soluble Poison, a literal maze of images made from magnified details of the famous Abu Ghraib prison torture photos. An open letter written by Rijin Sahakian and co-signed by 15 others denounces the inclusion, saying the biennale’s curators should have obtained permission from the subjects featured in the photos and Iraqi artists exhibited nearby should have been consulted, instead to be forced”navigate in a space that the organizers acknowledge could “trigger negative or traumatic reactions”. According to the letter, a curator, Ana Teixeira Pinto, resigned for the job of Lebel, while Sajjad Abbas removed his works from it and Raed Mutar requested that his works be moved as well. (art forum)
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
Experimenter stretches from Kolkata to Mumbai – In a big move, the Indian gallery will open a second location in Mumbai in a space of more than 3,000 square feet in a 19th century building. “It’s not the same as a gallery in Cologne opening a second space in Berlin. Mumbai is almost a three hour flight from Kolkata. Right now, if we need to solve something on the other side of the country, we can’t do it immediately,” said co-founder Priyanka Raja. The space opens in September. (The arts journal)
Hitler’s ‘golden’ watch sold for $1.1 million – Although many Jewish groups condemned a sale of wartime memorabilia, including a dog collar that once belonged to Eva Braun, Maryland-based auction house Alexander Historical Auctions proceeded with a sale of Nazi artifacts . The star lot was that of Adolf Hitler Huber watch, which dates from 1933 and was given to the murderous dictator on the occasion of his 44th birthday. It was sold to an anonymous bidder for an alarming amount. (BBC)
North West is now making art for Yeezy – Kim K. and Ye’s (Kanye West) daughter makes art for her dad’s brand, according to her mom’s social media posts. His sketches show alien faces with fake hair and wraparound sunglasses. (The cup)
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