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Banksy: Bike disappears from street artist’s recent mural in Nottingham


Nottingham residents have shared their frustration after a new Banksy artwork was vandalised.

The piece of street art appeared on Ilkeston Road in Radford in October. The piece, which combined graffiti and a real bicycle, depicts a young girl hula-hooping with the wheel of a bicycle, while a real bike was chained to a nearby pole – with its back wheel missing.

Banksy revealed that he was behind the new work soon after, as he shared a picture of the artwork to his Instagram account.

However, over the weekend (21-22 November), the bike appears to have been stolen from the pole it was chained to.

Speaking to The Guardian, teacher and local resident Tracy Jayne said that she’d spotted it was missing when visiting the piece on Sunday (22 November).

“It’s a shame if someone has taken it and chosen to be that disrespectful, not just to Banksy himself but to the whole of Nottingham,” she said.

“It’s really saddening there are people like that who want to destroy his art, what are they going to achieve from it?” Jayne said. “I’m hoping the bike will be recovered. Sometimes things magically reappear.”

Nottinghamshire police have not yet received any reports about the missing bike.

Last month, Banksy’s ‘Show Me the Monet’ became the artist’s second most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, after fetching £7.5m.


MTV EMAs: BTS, Lady Gaga and Little Mix dominate distanced awards


BTS were the big winners at the 2020 MTV EMAs, taking home four prizes, including best song and best group.

The Korean boyband also won the “biggest fans” category for the third time, overtaking One Direction and Justin Bieber, who have each won twice.

Lady Gaga was named artist of the year, just as she did at the US equivalent of the MTV-branded show in September.

The virtual ceremony was hosted by Little Mix, minus Jesy Nelson, who had to pull out after falling ill.

The 29-year-old was also forced to miss the grand final of the BBC One talent show Little Mix: The Search on Saturday night.

Her bandmates performed new single, Sweet Melody, as a trio; and later picked up the best pop prize.

“We just wish our girl Jesy was here to receive this with us,” said Leigh-Anne Pinnock. “She’d be so happy.”

Singer Jade Thirlwall also poked fun at social distancing regulations, wearing a belt studded with spikes that enforced a two metre perimeter around her at all times.

“I may borrow that when I go to the supermarket,” quipped her bandmate, Perrie Edwards.

They weren’t the only ones to take extra precautions: Alicia Keys performed Love Looks Better with her face completely covered by a gem-encrusted mesh mask.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis across, this year’s EMAs featured filmed performances from various locations around Europe – enabling musicians to stage more spectacular performances than they’d have managed in the usual arena setting.

British punk-pop star Yungblud strapped on angel wings and flew around London’s historic Roundhouse venue, while singing his hits Cotton Candy and Strawberry Lipstick.

David Guetta and Raye played on a specially-constructed stage at Budapest’s Széchenyi Bath – bathed in a waterfall of lights.

Their performance marked the fact that the ceremony was originally supposed to be held in Hungary before Covid-19 struck.

Sam Smith played their new song Diamonds in an empty theatre, against a dramatic backdrop of red light and lightning strikes.

The singer, who revealed they were non-binary last year, ended their performance with a stark message about LGBT rights.

US rap star DaBaby used his performance to deliver a message about police brutality and racial justice.

As he started singing the number one hit Rockstar, the rapper was seen being arrested and slammed into the hood of a police car.

Transitioning to the song Blind, he appeared in court defending himself and wrapped up the performance giving a victorious press conference on the steps of the courtroom.

Lewis Hamilton presented the “video for good” award to H.E.R. for I Can’t Breathe – which compiled footage of protests against police brutality and systemic racism from around the world, culminating with a register of the names of people who have been killed, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

“In what’s been an extremely challenging year, it’s great to see that music is still a unifying force,” said the Formula 1 driver, “whether it’s offering hope, solidary and comfort – or powerfully standing up for what’s right.”

The show also included tributes to stars like Chadwick Boseman, Juice WRLD, Popsmoke and Glee actress Naya Rivera, and a montage dedicated to rock legend Eddie Van Halen – “a musician who helped build MTV in its early days”.

DJ Khaled was awarded best video for Popstar, his hit with Drake and Justin Bieber; while Cardi B was named best hip hop, Coldplay won best rock, and Hayley Williams snagged the award for best alternative.

Receiving the best song award for their pop smash Dynamite, BTS thanked their fans, saying: “This means so much for us, because we really wanted to enjoy this song with our fans at this difficult time.”

“We’ve been working hard to be a group that can touch hearts and people and give them hope through music,” added RM.

The full list of winners is below.

Best Video

  • DJ Khaled feat. Drake – Popstar
  • Billie Eilish – everything i wanted
  • Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion – WAP
  • Karol G feat. Nicki Minaj – Tusa
  • Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande – Rain On Me
  • Taylor Swift – The Man
  • The Weeknd – Blinding Lights

Best Artist

  • Lady Gaga
  • Dua Lipa
  • Harry Styles
  • Justin Bieber
  • Miley Cyrus
  • The Weeknd

Best Song

  • BTS – Dynamite
  • DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch – Rockstar
  • Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now
  • Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande – Rain On Me
  • Roddy Ricch – The Box
  • The Weeknd – Blinding Lights

Best Collaboration

  • Karol G feat. Nicki Minaj – Tusa
  • BLACKPINK, Selena Gomez – Ice Cream
  • Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion – WAP
  • DaBaby feat. Roddy Ricch – Rockstar
  • Justin Bieber feat. Quavo – Intentions
  • Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande – Rain On Me
  • Sam Smith, Demi Lovato – I’m Ready

Best Pop

  • Little Mix
  • BTS
  • Dua Lipa
  • Harry Styles
  • Justin Bieber
  • Katy Perry
  • Lady Gaga

Best Group

  • BTS
  • 5 Seconds of Summer
  • Blackpink
  • Chloe x Halle
  • CNCO
  • Little Mix

Best New artist

  • Doja Cat
  • DaBaby
  • Jack Harlow
  • Roddy Ricch
  • Yungblud

Biggest Fans

  • BTS
  • Ariana Grande
  • Blackpink
  • Justin Bieber
  • Lady Gaga
  • Taylor Swift

Best Latin

  • Karol G
  • Anuel AA
  • Bad Bunny
  • J Balvin
  • Maluma
  • Ozuna

Best Rock

  • Coldplay
  • Green Day
  • Liam Gallagher
  • Pearl Jam
  • Tame Impala
  • The Killers

Best Hip Hop

  • Cardi B
  • DaBaby
  • Drake
  • Eminem
  • Megan Thee Stallion
  • Roddy Ricch
  • Travis Scott

Best Electronic

  • David Guetta
  • Calvin Harris
  • Kygo
  • Marshmello
  • Martin Garrix
  • The Chainsmokers

Best Alternative

  • Hayley Williams
  • blackbear
  • FKA twigs
  • Machine Gun Kelly
  • The 1975
  • twenty one pilots

Video for Good

  • H.E.R. – I Can’t Breathe
  • Anderson .Paak – Lockdown
  • David Guetta & Sia – Let’s Love
  • Demi Lovato – I Love Me
  • Jorja Smith – By Any Means
  • Lil Baby – The Bigger Picture

Best Push

  • Yungblud
  • AJ Mitchell
  • Ashnikko
  • Brockhampton
  • Conan Gray
  • Doja Cat
  • Georgia
  • Jack Harlow
  • Lil Tecca
  • Tate McRae
  • Wallows

Best Virtual Live

  • BTS Bang Bang Con – The Live
  • J Balvin – Behind The Colores Live Experience
  • Katy Perry @ Tomorrow Land – Around The World
  • Little Mix – Uncancelled
  • Maluma – Papi Juancho Live
  • Post Malone – Nirvana TributeRead from source

New York artists find second chance in Governors Island residency programme


Governor's Island.
Wikimedia Commons

As art fairs nationwide are derailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 13th edition of the beloved annual artist-run fair Portal: Governors Island, has found a new way to forge ahead as a studio residency programme.

“There [is] still a strong need among artists for workspace to restart and create new work,” say Jack Robinson and Nicole Laemmle, the organisers of 4heads, the non-profit organisation that operates the fair, which was scheduled to open in September in the decommissioned military base in New York.

Through an ongoing partnership with the Trust for Governors Island and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), 4heads was able to maintain its three-month lease on the historic buildings in Colonels Row. They offered a group of 19 artists expanded studio spaces, versus the usual 80 artists featured in the fair. Artists were “comfortable with the programme as long as there was no public interaction and sufficient spacing”, the organisers say.

The artists in residence are showcasing their work through a series of digital conversations on their studio practices, their experience working on the typically bustling summer destination in the city through this surreal time, and how the past six months have inspired them and affected their work.

Among some of the more striking presentations is a series of mixed-media paintings and wistful sculptural installations by the Queens-based artist Eric Hagan that animate two characters in conversation and aim to illustrate both our magnified introspection and longing for normalcy amid the pandemic.

Eric Hagan, For those that seek truth may you find certainty (2020)
Portal: Governors Island

One character is installed in the artist’s studio and looks onto the outside world to “observe, catalogue and attempt to imagine something that he can grab onto in order to feel secure”, while the other is seen cupping the building in an “anxious but hopeful state even with everything going on around him”, Hagan says. The characters symbolise ideas around “truth, comfort and isolation”, he adds.

The artists Lauren Petty and Shaun Irons say that after receiving funding from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts (Nyfa), they were faced with the bittersweet realisation that their presentation, envisioned as an immersive hour-long performance within a room flooded with botanical, psychedelic projections, will likely have its debut via Zoom.

Shaun Irons and Lauren Petty, All Over Everywhere, 2019-2020
Portal: Governors Island

“We finally got some funding and were booking the theatre, scheduling rehearsals and so on, and then coronavirus hit,” Irons says. “So now we’re virtually restructuring everything but the work is really meant to be experienced live and with a group of people.”

Petty adds: “We’re fortunate to still have this room and space to work, but there’s been some logistical issues, since we’re usually in the same room as the performers and now it’s been mostly remote. The work has these moving parts and is supposed to have an element of surprise that might be missing in this different format, but we’ll find out.”

The Brooklyn-based artist Tim Fite has reimagined the lanRead More – Source


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Sackler family to pay $225m in civil settlement with US government


At a news conference held by Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen at the Justice Department in Washington, DC, a poster compares the distribution chain for prescription and illicit opioids
Yuri Gripas/Pool via AP

Under a major settlement announced today by the US Department of Justice, members of the Sackler family involved with Purdue Pharma have agreed to pay $225 million in civil penalties to resolve the government’s allegations that the company's aggressive marketing of OxyContin caused doctors to overprescribe the opioid, leading to abuse and addiction.

It also settles the government’s claims that the Sacklers transferred assets from Purdue into holding companies and trusts to protect that money from future creditors in a bankruptcy case. However, it does not release the Sacklers or Purdue executives from criminal or civil claims in future lawsuits, the Justice Department says in a statement.

The Sackler family amassed a fortune through Purdue, and several members used the largesse to support cultural institution in the US and the UK. (Arthur Sackler, one of three brothers who built up Purdue Pharma, died in 1987, before the development of OxyContin, and his heirs sold their interest in the company before its release.) After the company’s involvement in the opioid crisis came to light, the artist Nan Goldin, who had suffered from addiction to the drug, started organising actions against the Sacklers’ “toxic philanthropy” at museums and galleries that have accepted funding from the family, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Tate and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Institutions began to distance themselves after family members were named in dozens of lawsuits filed by states and communities hit by the opioid crisis, and several announced that they would no longer be accepting Sackler donations.

In a statement, the Sackler family members said that those “who served on Purdue's board of directors acted ethically and lawfully, and the upcoming release of company documents will prove that fact in detail. This history of Purdue will also demonstrate that all financial distributions were proper.”

Their statement adds that the board “relied on repeated and consistent assurances from Purdue's management team that the company was meeting all legal requirements, as shown in hundreds of pages of compliance reports that will become part of the public record”. The family said the agreement with the US government was made “to facilitate a global resolution that directs substantial funding to communities in need, rather than to years of legal proceedings”.

The Sackler family will also give up its ownership of Purdue, which will be run as “public benefit company” after it emerges from bankruptcy. This means it will continue to produce “legitimate prescription drugs in a manner as safe as possible, but it will aim to donate, or provide steep discounts for, life-saving overdose rescue drugs and medically assisted treatment medications to communities”, the Justice Department says in its statement.

Critics of this move, including the attorneys general of 25 states that have filed lawsuit against the Sacklers and Purdue, say in aRead More – Source


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Phillips London sets new records for Emily Mae Smith and Portia Zvavahera in £26.3m contemporary evening sale


Dana Schutz, “Trump Descending an Escalator” (2017).
Courtesy of Phillips

Kicking off this week’s sales in London, Phillips hosted its 20th Century and Contemporary Art Evening Sale tonight with a total of 38 lots netting a healthy sell-through rate of 94.7%. Just two works failed to sell, pieces by Jason Rhoades and Wolfgang Tillmans, while Damien Hirst’s The Body of Christ (2005) and Hard Feelings (2010) by KAWS had been withdrawn before the auction began. A dozen works (31%) carried guarantees going into the sale and, all in all, the evening netted a handsome £26.3m with fees (all prices include buyer’s premiums unless otherwise indicated), squarely within its pre-sale estimate of £22.2m to £30.85m.

One of the evening’s most talked about lots was Dana Schutz’s Trump Descending an Escalator (2017), which sold for £550,000 (£688,000 with fees) just two weeks before the impending and already contentious US election. An early lot in the sale, the painting of the controversial US president by the controversial US artist inspired a quick bidding war between three buyers on the phone before selling at the top end of its estimate. At seven by six feet, the canvas is as overbearing as the orange-faced figure it represents; Schutz originally created the work for We need to talk…Artists and the public respond to the present conditions in America, a fundraiser hosted by Petzel Gallery just after the 2016 election. Immediately following, a version of Banksy’s signature image, Girl with Balloon & Morons Sepia (2007) doubled its low estimate of £500,000, hammering for a clean £1m (£1.3m with fees).

Yet the top lot of the evening, Georg Baselitz’s vibrant and fiery self-portrait Das letzte Selbstbildnis I (1982), sold for £4.1m, just under its £4.7m to £6m estimate. The piece, which comes originally from the collection of Parisian collector Marcel Brient, is a nod to one of Baselitz’s influences, Edvard Munch, who also created distorted and harrowing self-portraits.

Emily Mae Smith, "Alien Shores" (2018).
Courtesy of Phillips

There was, however, plenty of interest in the work of several emerging contemporary artists. Emily Mae Smith’s surrealist canvas Alien Shores (2018) clobbered its £40,000 to £60,000 estimate, raking in a grand total of £277,000 and more than doubling the record for the US painter who was picked up by Perrotin last year. New records was also set for the Zimbabwean artist Portia Zvavahera, whose Arising from the Unknown (2019) sold for £163,800. Additionally, Salman Toor’s Read More – Source


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‘Trying to tap into the memory of the place’: As Storm King turns 60, artists reflect on the storied outdoor art centre


As peak leaf-peeping season descends on the Hudson Valley in New York, the Storm King Art Center—celebrating its 60th anniversary this year—offers a sanctuary from the chaos of 2020, reminding us of the irrefutable power of art and nature.

The beloved outdoor art centre was originally envisioned as a museum devoted to Hudson River School painting in 1960 by its founders, the late H. Peter Stern and Ralph E. Ogden. It gradually shifted its focus to Modern sculpture and swelled to its current 500 acres as works and installations by artists like David Smith, Isamu Noguchi and Roy Lichtenstein began to populate the landscape.

Beyond its visually rapturous value, the Storm King region also had a pivotal—but lesser-known—role in the development of American environmental law and policy. After petitioners contested the construction of a hydropower plant near Storm King Mountain in 1962, President Lyndon Johnson pledged to “end the poisoning of our rivers and the air we breathe”. He signed the Storm King Doctrine, a law for the preservation of sites of aesthetic or recreational value.

The document protected the landscape around the art centre, which was named after its proximity to Storm King Mountain, and eventually led to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, a cornerstone of the environmental grassroots movement that grants citizens legal standing to protect the environment.

Among various environmental initiatives, Ogden also acquired 2,300 acres of Schunnemunk Mountain in an effort to preserve Storm King’s vista, which became known as the art centre’s “green wall”.

The artworks in Storm King underscore the natural beauty of the Hudson Highlands, and recent projects like the exhibition Site Ecology: Land, Leadership Art—which the centre launched virtually earlier this year after it was forced to shutdown its anniversary programming amid the Covid-19 pandemic—continue the conversation around the centre’s environmental efforts, as well as its significant commissions, including Richard Serra’s Schunnemunk Fork (1990–91) and Andy Goldsworthy’s Storm King Wall (1997-89).

John P. Stern, the son of the Storm King co-founder who became the president of the centre in 2008, says the centre is “honoured to have worked with talented artists at every moment in their careers and to have fostered meaningful, lasting relationships as a result”. Storm King’s anniversary “not only celebrates Storm King’s legacy but also highlights collaborations which have inspired some of its ambitious works”.

In their own words, artists share how Storm King has inspired them and share their experiences working at the centre:

Martha Tuttle, A stone that thinks of Enceladus (2020) (installation view). Outlooks: Martha Tuttle is on view from until 9 November, 2020. Photo: Jeffrey Jenkins. Courtesy of the artist and Storm King Art Center.

“My first strong impression was when [the Storm King team] came to visit me at UrbanGlass, where I was casting the glass stones for my project. We had quite a deep conversation, but also it was kind and lively and fun, which has come to summarise how I feel about the Storm King in general—profound, kind, fun. It has been beyond beautiful to go up there several times in the last few months and to see people acting with buoyancy and lightness—folks sitting together with a picnic, toddlers taking advantage of a nice hill to run down—and surrounded by art. I have been continuously impressed at just how supportive, both logistically and emotionally, Storm King has been to me personally, and also, most importantly, to the audience they serve.” Martha Tuttle, 2020.

Heather Hart, The Oracle of Lacuna (2017). Courtesy the artist. © Heather Hart. Photo: Storm King Art Center © 2020

“This landscape has the capacity to really give artwork space to breathe, there is an amazing slippage, a constant shifting that happens with scale as you walk, as you approach each work; the mountain to the landscape, the landscape to the artworks, the artworks to my body… And it is constantly a new composition to see since the nature is constantly changing! It is a rare place that mimics the existential questions artists continually grapple with, yet in such a beautiful and hopeful way.” Heather Hart, October 2020.

Richard Serra, Schunnemunk Fork (1990-91) (installation view). © 2017 Richard Serra/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Jerry L. Thompson.

“What I tend to do is take cues from the landscape to place the artifice in a way that makes sense in relation to walking and looking. [This field] goes to the core of what Storm King is about: the relationship between sculpture and the Storm King landscape. And I think if one comes here and spends some time with [SchunnemunRead More – Source


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Seasons for Change launches four £10,000 artist commissions to support climate action


Season for Change, the nationwide arts commissioning and events programme, has announced its first four Common Ground artist commissions.

The organisation, co-founded by the London-based climate charity Julie’s Bicycle and the advisory service Artsadmin, is devoted to inspiring inclusive action on climate change. Its mission acknowledges that socio-economic justice and the climate crisis are deeply entwined.

Accordingly, these commissions aim to support four UK-based artists and makers to create collaborative works centred around underrepresented communities in the climate movement.

“The programme will support artists who may not have responded directly to environmental concerns before, but will have a clear sense of the people, communities and environmental challenges they want to work with,” says a statement on the organisation's website.

Applications were welcomed from Black, Asian, minority ethnic, refugee, deaf, disabled, neuro-divergent, working class and LGBT+ creators. The four successful projects reflect this focus on promoting climate justice, challenging imbalances and exploring the impact that climate change is having on communities historically excluded from the climate conversation.

For his commission, the artist Hwa Young Jung will be working with young people at risk of entering the criminal justice system to co-produce Wilding Nature, a game that focuses on biodiversity and rewilding; while the theatre-maker Jennifer Farmer and the writer and maker Zoe Palmer is proposing to bring together an intergenerational group of people of African-heritage and British farmers in the West Country to explore relationships with the British countryside and rural landscape in The Dream(ing) Lab. And in Airs of The South Circular, the recording artist, songwriter and producer Love Ssega will address the effects of air pollution on the Black communities in the London boroughs of Lewisham and Southwark. The project will generate an EP, a pamphlet and a comic.

The Common Ground projects will be developed between now and May 2021. Each artist will receive £10,0000 towards their project and will be supported throughout with a professional development programme.

On 26 October, Season for Change is also reaching out to the arts sector with the launch of Season for Ex-Change, a digital events programme to equip organisations and individuals with ideas and toRead More – Source


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ArtRio forges ahead, making it the first major event to take place in Brazil since the pandemic began


Pesca Waurá at Pyulaga Lagoon (2016) by Renato Soares, part of a series of works documenting the Indigenous communities of Brazil over 30 years.
Renato Soares

These days, it is news when an art fair manages to go ahead rather than be postponed due to the pandemic and Brazil's ArtRio in Rio de Janeiro is one such rare example, with both a live event and a digital edition. Despite the fact that Brazil is the second country in the world with the most deaths from Covid-19 and the third with the most infections, organisers have made available a limited number of tickets for the live event (until 18 October), with health protocols being strictly enforced. The online portion, which extends until 25 October, includes talks, virtual tours and debates.

“We are prioritising buyers and collectors for the live event while the digital edition will reach a wider audience, who can be anywhere in the world,” says Brenda Valansi, ArtRio's co-founder and president. Although there were plans to commemorate the fair's tenth anniversary year in great style, Valansi says those quickly had to change due to the pandemic.

"This year we will have an edition appropriate to the current scenario. The big celebration will have to wait until 2021,” she adds.

Guests for the live event have their temperatures taken at the door and are required to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Organisers say that hand sanitiser will be available at all stands and that viewing should be limited to two hours, although Valansi stresses they will not "kick anyone out who remains for longer".

“We opted not to have an extra tent put up so that guests can remain outside, in the garden if they want to linger a bit, or if inside becomes crowded,” she says.

It [is] a great accomplishment to be able to put on a live event in the current scenario
Brenda Valansi

Galleries are also doing their part in trying to meet safety protocols. “We are reducing the number of people at our stands from five or six to just two and have done away with the usual small room for private guests and customers,” says Alex Gabriel from Fortes, D’Aloia & Gabriel.

In all, 47 galleries have stands at the physical pavilion, while 71 galleries will promote virtual booths. The online event will have live conversations with artists, lectures, guided tours to artists' studios and music performances.

Participating galleries will be divided between Visya, dedicated to emerging galleries (ten years or younger) with projects developed exclusively for the fair, and Panorama, for galleries established in the modern and contemporary art market.

Works by the African artist, filmmaker and activist Xangôs Abdias Nascimentooo, who died in 2011, are presented for sale for the first time at this year's edition of ArtRio.
Mapa Galeria

One of the highlights of this year’s event is the MaPa Gallery which presents the unpublished works by Abdias do Nascimento (1914-2011). With the theme A(rt) FRO, the gallery will present works by artists who dedicated their work to the valorisation of African culture. It will be the first time Nascimento’s work will be available for sale. Actor, director, playwright, militant, poet, writer and artist, Abdias immersed his work in the universe of ancestral deities, symbols and heroes of African myth.

This year ArtRio will have also have a space dedicated to images of Brazil including photos taken by Renato Soares of indigenous Brazilian communities he has befriended in the last 30 years. One-third of all his sales will be given the communities portrayed.

Although the number of galleries in last year’s edition was considerably higher, 80, Valansi said she was pleasantly surprised with the turnout.

“To tell you the truth I already consider it a great accomplishment to be able to put on a live event in the current scenario. We were expecting only about 25 galleries to agree to sRead More – Source


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Social media advocacy group calls for a boycott of all US museums in October


Protesters on the steps of the Cleveland Museum of Art earlier this week. Andrew Dolph/ZUMA Wire/Shutterstock

The activist group and Instagram account @changethemuseum has issued a public call to forgo visiting all US museums for the month of October, as many reopen after months of coronavirus-related closures. Yet some museum workers have expressed concerns that the initiative may actually harm workers, and fear that a boycott may not yield real institutional change.

The group’s demands, issued on its Instagram page with the hashtag #NoMuseumOctober, stipulate that until every institution publicly announces that frontline workers will be provided hazard pay and benefits for their labour until a Covid-19 vaccine is available, the museum-going public should “refrain from providing these ‘democratic’ institutions the admission dollars they so desperately crave”.

The boycott is also intended to pressure institutions into developing and announcing comprehensive and meaningful diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion (DEAI) plans that address ongoing issues of racism and inequity within the museum field.

“As museums across the United States begin to reopen in the midst of a global pandemic, they do so by depending on the labour of essential, frontline workers. These museum professionals—the majority of whom identify as Bipoc [Black, Indigenous and People of Colour], and who barely make liveable wages—put their health and safety at risk so that museum administrators—largely white, and making six-figure salaries—can meet financial goals set by even wealthier, whiter museum boards,” the group’s statement reads. “Meanwhile, many of these museums have done little to address staff complaints of racist behaviours and severe inequities within their ivory tower walls.”

Announced on 28 September, the boycott has been slow to gain supporters, and many commenters have tried to dissuade the group from pushing ahead with it. “Hi, art museum frontline staff worker here! We definitely deserve hazard pay, but calling for a boycott will not achieve this goal. From inside the belly of the beast, I can say with absolute certainty that upper management will not hesitate to lay off or furlough frontline workers if revenue decreases,” one Instagram commenter wrote in response to the group’s post.

“Many of my BIPOC and queer coworkers live paycheck to paycheck— please don’t put their jobs in even more danger! Writing letters and sending emails to your local museums is a much more effective tactic that does not put jobs at risk.”

Some support has come by the way of the storied feminist activist collective known as the Guerrilla Girls, which shared the #NoMuseumOctober call to arms on its Facebook page today. Additionally, the @changethemuseum group shared another post acknowledging the concerns put forth by its social media community, assuring commenters that they had been in consultation with numerous advocacy groups in crafting their demands and their boycott strategy.

But further comments on the most recent posts suggest that many still fear the boycott to be mainly performative activism if not downright damaging to workers.

“Can you please be specific about the advocacy groups and individuals you consulted? This still reads as a campaign organised by people who are not on the frontlines,” one Instagram user commented. “To be clear, the outcry came from frontline workers. If you are listening to anyone else here then you dont [sic] actually represent their interests in the way you intended.”

Spokespeople for @changethemuseum and the Guerrilla Girls did not respond to a request for comment in time for this article’s publication.

Some museum boycotts have proven successful in auguring change in recent weeks. Last week the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (Mocad) pledged to make sweeping reforms meant “to dismantle the ongoing effects of settler colonialism and to serve Detroit's Indigenous communities, as well as implement substantial changes in museum staffing, board, and labour practices brought forward by former Mocad employees and current staff”, according to a press release. The changes include working to increase the diversity of the museum's board so that a third of the board will reflect economically and racially diverse communities.

The annoRead More – Source


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In search of la bella vita, Mendes Wood sets up in bucolic Italian villa


Works by Cristina Canale, Vojtěch Kovařík and Brice Guilbert are displayed around Villa Era in northern Italy

It is well documented that New York galleries and auction houses such as Pace and Sotheby's have flocked to open galleries in the Hamptons and, now, Palm Beach, following their wealthy clientele as they flee crowded Manhattan for second homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, the São Paulo, New York and Brussels-based gallery Mendes Wood DM has opened the Italian equivalent—an exhibition of three artists at the idyllic Villa Era, high in the hills between Milan and Turin. Works by the Brazilian Berlin-based artist Cristina Canale, the Czech painter Vojtěch Kovařík and the Brussels-based artist Brice Guilbert will be displayed across the ground and first floors of the 19th-century villa until 15 November and the show is open by appointment.

Since the pandemic hit, the gallery has been looking to show art in unusual places, outside big city centres. The aim of this show, a statement says, is to "slow down the traditional pace at which we experience art and present it in a bucolic context."

Cristina Canale's Paisagem (2020) © Renato Ghiazza. Courtesy of the artist

"We made this decision at Mendes Wood because we all feel that future art experiences are going to be very different even after this pandemic is put to bed, and this ties in closely to the future use of cities and dense urban centres," says Ermanno Rivetti, an associate director at Mendes Wood. "Everyone was dreaming of getting out to the countryside during lockdown, and I think that feeling will linger for many of us. With all this in mind, we are looking to bring art to the countryside." He adds: "While international travel was temporarily banned, many of us rediscovered Read More – Source


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