New York City’s pay phones are obsolete, and, by early next year, they will also be history—removed to make way for Wi-Fi kiosks. Through Jan. 3, a dozen artists (including Glenn Ligon, Patti Smith, and Jimmie Durham, whose contribution is pictured above) are making creative use of phone booths along Sixth Avenue, from Fifty-first to Fifty-sixth Streets. The project, called “Titan,” was co-curated by Damián Ortega and Bree Zucker, in collaboration with the Kurimanzutto gallery.
Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Friday, January 3.
Meet the Art World’s 20 Least Powerful People – At the top of Hyperallergic’s annual list of the least powerful people in the art world are adjunct professors, who suffer from low pay and job insecurity, often earning just a few thousand dollars for teaching a whole course. People who call out sexual harassment come in at number two, who have seen little concrete consequences for those they have accused more than two years after the start of the MeToo movement. Also highly placed on the list are the feminist artists fighting Instagram censorship and workers laid off by the now-shuttered Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles. (Hyperallergic)
Can a Perspex Flood Barrier Save St. Mark’s? – St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice wants to build a transparent flood barrier to protect its medieval facade. The church’s governing body is working on a plan to erect a two-meter-high Perspex wall, with sink sheet piles planted four meters deep into St. Mark’s Square. The project’s budget has not been revealed, though the the cost to repair the damage to the church following catastrophic flooding in November is estimated to be around $3.4 million. (TAN)
Does the Museum Model Work? – Jezebel asks a variety of curators, art workers, and activists a provocative question: who does the existing museum model serve? Chaédria LaBouvier, who organized the exhibition “Basquiat’s ‘Defacement’: The Untold Story” at New York’s Guggenheim Museum last year, says she was shocked by how the institution struggled to engage with “an empowered person of color.” Izzy Johnson, a former docent and organizer at the Marciano Art Foundation, thinks that you still need to independently wealthy or have some other source of income to afford to work in an art museum. New Museum union organizer Dana Kopel puts it more bluntly: the whole museum model in the US is “unethical and unsustainable,” she writes. (Jezebel)
Remai Modern’s Former Director Removed From Harassment Complaint – Gregory Burke, the former director of Remai Modern in Saskatoon, tweeted his relief that a Canadian judge had suspended a harassment complaint made by a former staffer in 2015. Judge Brenda Hildebrandt ordered Burke’s name be removed from the complaint to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, writing that a 31-month-long investigation had resulted in “significant prejudice” against the director. Burke resigned from the Canadian museum last year and was due to take the helm of the Auckland Art Gallery in New Zealand, but withdrew from the post when the harassment allegation surfaced. “I look forward to resuming my career in 2020,” he tweeted. (ARTnews)
Demand for US Freeports on the Rise – As the US imposes new tariffs on art and antiques, demand is spiking for New York’s first freeport art storage facility. Arcis in Harlem has found particular success with its viewing rooms, which allow international sellers to show work to prospective buyers without ever having to pay import taxes (though they will need to pony up once the work leaves the facility—unless the buyer has space at Arcis, too). (The Art Newspaper)
COMINGS & GOINGS
Hong Kong Artist Cheung Yee Has Died – The Chinese artist has died in Los Angeles at the age of 83. Cheung Yee, who came to prominence in Hong Kong in the 1960s, is best known for his sculptural bronzes, which combine Western and traditional Chinese aesthetics. (Artforum)
Brooklyn Museum Curator Heads to Cleveland – Kristen Windmuller-Luna is the Cleveland Museum of Art’s new curator of African arts. She previously served as African art curator at the Brooklyn Museum, where her hire sparked controversy in 2018 over whether the institution should have hired a white academic for the job. (ARTnews)
Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye Will Become a Museum – The influential Modernist architect’s masterwork, Villa Savoye, will become a museum and library dedicated to Le Corbusier. Work to turn the house in Poissy, on the edge of Paris, into a museum could begin in 2024, with a public opening scheduled for 2027. (Le Parisien)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Damien Hirst Sculptures Get a Facelift Ahead of Retrospective – The British artist is preparing for a retrospective by sprucing up some of his older works. Several large-scale bronzes surfaced outside his Gloucestershire studio complex last week, including Charity (2002–3), The Virgin Mother (2005–6), and Temple (2008). A spokeswoman confirmed they “are currently being worked on for a retrospective exhibition.” (The Art Newspaper)
Princeton’s Newest Portraits Honor Blue-Collar Workers – The Ivy League university typically hangs portraits that honor (almost entirely white) founders, presidents, and donors. But Princeton’s latest display is different: a new series of 10 portraits by Mario Moore honors workers from across campus, including those in the facilities, dining, and security departments. Moore said he wanted to put the predominantly African American workers “in positions of power.” Some of the works will now enter the Princeton University Art Museum’s collection. (CNN)
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First virtual Carmichael Art History Lecture 'absolutely fabulous' – OrilliaMatters
ORILLIA MUSEUM OF ART & HISTORY (HISTORY COMMITTEE)
“Absolutely Fabulous.” “A wonderful presentation, truly exceptional experience of art and land.” “A true labour of love.”
These were some of the online comments about Jim and Sue Waddington and their presentation, “In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson.”
The Waddingtons appeared live via Zoom at the first ever virtual Carmichael Art History lecture hosted by the Orillia Museum of Art & History (OMAH) on Oct. 21.
When the OMAH History Committee, who coordinates this annual OMAH fundraiser, confirmed with the Waddingtons that the lecture planned for May would have to be cancelled, Jim and Sue rose to the occasion.
“Would you be interested in holding the lecture virtually?”
They were keen to help OMAH with their fundraising efforts by sharing their story this way.
Forced to step outside their comfort zone, OMAH and the History Committee partnered with the Waddingtons to make this virtual event a huge success.
Through their rich narration Jim and Sue shared with viewers a snapshot of their 43-year quest to find the over 800 actual sites where the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson painted, exhibiting their stunning photographs of the locations that mirrored each particular sketch or painting.
Special for the Orillia audience, they included many details about the Orillia-born Franklin Carmichael.
The audience was also treated to a “reveal” of the location where Carmichael painted Old Barns, Miner’s Bay, the painting OMAH hopes to purchase, which is in the la Cloche region of Ontario, not in the Minden area as was first thought.
It was a wonderful evening. Thanks go to the Waddingtons and to the community for supporting this event.
OMAH will be sending out a general survey regarding future virtual programming. In addition, a survey will be sent specifically to attendees at the virtual Carmichael Art History Lecture. We want to hear about what is in important to you so we can develop rich online experiences that meets your needs and interests.
OMAH is committed to find ways to stay connected to the community both at the museum and virtually. Stay tuned for more virtual programming in the future.
Qaumajuq_new name of Winnipeg Art Gallery's Inuit art centre, an act of decolonization – Turtle Island News
By Adam Laskaris
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
WINNIPEG, MAN-The Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Inuit Art Centre has a new name.
In a ceremony on Oct. 28, the gallery, known as WAG, announced the centre would be renamed Qaumajuq 1/8HOW-ma-yourq 3/8, an Inuktitut word meaning “It is bright, it is lit”.
Qaumajuq is set to open in February 2021 after construction began in March 2018 on a new 40,000-square-foot-building designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture with Cibinel Architecture. It’s home to the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art in the world.
The WAG building itself was given a name in Anishinaabemowin,Biindigin Biwaasaeyaah 1/8BEEN- deh-gen Bi-WAH-say-yah 3/8, meaning “Come on in, the dawn of light is here” or “the dawn of light is coming.”
The naming ceremony was hosted by Dr. Stephen Borys, director and CEO of WAG. The ceremony occurred with a small gathering of Borys and Julia Lafreniere, WAG manager of Indigenous Initiatives. A Qulliq lighting ceremony was conducted by Elder Martha Peet, with virtual appearances from Theresie Tungilik and Elder Dr. Mary Courchene. The latter two formally announced the new names in Inuktitut and Anishinaabemowin respectively.
Tungilik, an Inuk artist from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, said “Qaumajuq will be a place where all walks of life will experience, through the creation of Inuit art, our survival, hardships and resilience.”
Courchene, who comes from the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, said the Biindigin Biwaasaeyaah name was created to “include all the Indigenous populations of Manitoba, the First Nations, the Metis, and the Inuit populations.”
“The language keepers and Elders came together in a powerful moment of cross-cultural reflection and relationship-building,”
Borys said. “This initiative is an act of decolonization, supporting reconciliation and Indigenous knowledge transmission for generations to come in an effort to ensure WAG-Qaumajuq will be a home where Indigenous communities feel welcome. Where everyone feels welcome.”
In addition to the new name of Qaumajuq, which will serve as the primary name for the space, various areas within the WAG will also have new names in Inuvialuktun (Inuit), Nehiyawewin (Cree), Dakota, and Michif (Metis) that were given by Indigenous language keepers.
“Indigenous-focused and Indigenous-led initiatives will be at the heart of this new space and giving the spaces Indigenous names is just the start,” reads the WAG’s website where pronunciations and audio clips for the new names are available.
“We are thrilled to share the names of the spaces in the seven Indigenous languages of Manitoba and Inuit Nunangat,” said Dr.
Heather Igloliorte and Dr. Julie Nagam, co-chairs of the Indigenous Advisory Circle for Winnipeg Art Gallery, in a joint statement.
“The Circle demonstrates the breadth of knowledge that represents the relationship to the collection and the buildings and it has been an incredible experience for all Circle members. We are so honoured to gift the institution with these new names that point to a new path forward for galleries and museums in this country,” the statement continued.
The WAG also states that the “historic naming responds to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Article 13 and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 14i, both of which reference the importance of Indigenous languages.”
Article 13 reads:
Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.
TRC Call to Action 14i states: Aboriginal languages are a fundamental and valued element of Canadian culture and society, and there is an urgency to preserve them.
A press release issued by WAG states that Qaumajuq “will innovate the art museum, taking art from object to full sensory experience with Inuit-led programming.” One of these features includes the three-storey tall column called the `visible vault’ that is filled with thousands of Inuit carvings and immediately viewable upon entry into Qaumajuq.
“This is a place that amplifies and uplifts Inuit stories, connecting Canada’s North and South. This is a site for reconciliation… We can’t wait to unveil this new cultural landmark in the heart of the country with these new names honouring Indigenous voices and languages,” Borys said.
Adam Laskaris is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of Windspeaker. com. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
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