Artworld news roundup 4 – 10 July 2020

Philippine lawmakers shut down country’s biggest broadcaster
In climate of greatly diminished media freedom, a legislative committee has voted not to renew the license of ABS-CBN. the broadcaster had been subject to repeated threats from President Rodrigo Duterte, following its decision not to air some of his paid campaign advertisements int he runup to the 2016 presidential elections. ABS-CBN’s television broadcasts had been taken off air in early May following an order from the Philippines’ National Telecommunications Commission. For more on the implications of the move for the arts see Marv Recinto’s feature for ArtReview Asia.

Baltic Triennial Curators Announced
Valentinas Klimašauskas and João Laia have been announced as curators of the 14th edition of the triennial, which is hosted by the CAC Vilnius and scheduled to take place in July 2021. Klimašauskas is a curator and writer, while Laia is chief curator for exhibitions at Kiasma – Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. The pair collaborated to curate Máscaras (Masks), on view at Oporto City Hall Gallery, Porto until 16 August  2020

Thaddaeus Ropac announces Corona-aid for Salzburg
The Austrian gallerist (whose eponymous business boasts outposts in Paris, London and Salzburg itself) is offering cash grants of €5,000 to up to 20 local artists. Awardees will be selected by the Salzburger Kunstverein, which is administering the scheme, and applicants have until 1 August to submit their applications to the institution.

PAD London 2020 postponed
The art and design fair has announced that the event scheduled for London this October has been ‘postponed’ to next year (which to ArtReview means that this year’s fair is cancelled). The decision was made after consultation with the selection committee and potential exhibitors. While conceding that the UK government is yet to give any advice on staging fairs and trade shows, the organisers note that ‘Despite positive signs of recovery in many European countries including France, the health situation in the UK at this time remains unstable and this prevents us from organising PAD London 2020.’ PAD’s Paris fair, scheduled for late October continues as planned. Meanwhile, plans for the London editions of the Frieze fairs, also scheduled for October are yet to be revealed.

MOCAD Director placed on leave following allegations of racism
Elysia Borowy-Reeder, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit has been placed on administrative leave by the board of directors while staff allegations of racial and gender bias are independently investigated. The move comes within a week of the institution reopening following a 17-week closure and following an open letter sent to the board by a group called MOCAD Resistance (which includes more than 40 former staff members) accusing the director of ‘racial microaggressions, violent verbal outbursts, retaliations, misrepresentation of community partnerships, and tokenization of marginalized artists’.

Museums back in lockdown in Victoria, Australia
As the Australian state of Victoria recorded another 165 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the regional government has reinstated a lockdown forcing the National Gallery of Victoria, both NGV International and NGV Australia sites, to close to the public. ‘Our thoughts are with the Victorian community at this time. We will continue to do our best to deliver important virtual art and design experiences to enable us to stay connected to art and each other during this time’ said NGV Director, Tony Ellwood.

New dates for Liverpool Biennial
The Liverpool Biennial will take place 20 March – 6 June 2021 – the exhibition was originally scheduled to have opened this week. Curated by Manuela Moscoso it carries the title The Stomach and the Port and will explore ‘notions of the body and ways of connecting with the world.’ Moscoso was previously senior curator at Tamayo Museo in Mexico City.

Carnegie International curator appointed
Sohrab Mohebbi has been appointed curator of the 58th Carnegie International, which opens in 2022. Mohebbi, who has curated exhibitions by Banu Cennetoğlu, Dave Hullfish Bailey, Tamara Henderson, John Knight and Falke Pisano, among others, will leave his role at New York’s SculptureCenter to take on the survey show. He previously worked in various curatorial roles at REDCAT, the Hammer Museum and the Queens Museum. Now operating in a four-year cycle, the exhibition was first organised at the behest of industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1896 in Pittsburgh. Mohebbi says he envisages his show will spread across various locations in the city.

Berlin Biennale artists announced
The curators of this year’s Berlin Biennale, María Berríos, Renata Cervetto, Lisette Lagnado and Agustín Pérez, have announced their artist list. The four South Americans say that in developing the programme they bring ‘baggage from our South, artistic alibis and stories, devices to help us navigate the metropolis and listen to its inhabitants.’ The main exhibition of the biennial runs 5 September – 1 November and will feature Pacita Abad; Noor Abuarafeh; Marwa Arsanios; Shuvinai Ashoona; Paula Baeza Pailamilla; Aline Baiana; Virginia Borges, Gil DuOdé and Virginia de Medeiros (and guests: Pêdra Costa, Marie Monteiro, Bárbara Richter); Deanna Bowen; Felix Brüggemann; Cansu Çakar; Edgar Calel (in collaboration with Fernando Pereira dos Santos); Flávio de Carvalho (in collaboration with Raymond Frajmund); Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide); Colectivo de Serigrafía Instantánea; Francisco Copello; Léo Corrêa; Kiri Dalena; Cian Dayrit; Die Remise (Ali Akyol, Jacqueline Aslan, Stefan Bast, Muriel Biedrzycki, Julia Brunner, Fatma Cakmak, Stefan Endewardt, Tobi Euler, Melina Gerstemann, Ayşe Güleç, Juanita Kellner, Angelika Levi, Carmen Mörsch, Shanti Suki Osman, Ayse Preissing, Markus Schega, Miriam Schickler, Aylin Turgay and pupils from the Nürtingen and Heinrich-Zille elementary schools and guests: Çiçek Bacık, Aïcha Diallo, Saraya Gomis, Kotti-Shop, Annika Niemann, Tuğba Tanyılmaz); Zehra Doğan; El Palomar; Brenda V. Fajardo; FCNN – Feminist Collective With No Name (Dina El Kaisy Friemuth/Anita Beikpour) with Neda Sanai; Feminist Health Care Research Group (Inga Zimprich/Julia Bonn) (and guest: Sickness Affinity Group); Andrés Fernández; Galli; Sandra Gamarra Heshiki; Till Gathmann; Mauricio Gatti and Grupo Experimental de Cine (Alfredo Echániz, Gabriel Peluffo, Walter Tournier); Pélagie Gbaguidi; Eiko Grimberg; Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe; Emma Howes and Justin Kennedy in collaboration with Balz Isler; Francisco Huichaqueo; Âlut Kangermio; Käthe Kollwitz; La rara troupe; Delaine Le Bas; Mapa Teatro – Laboratorio de Artistas; Christine Meisner; Meyer-Grohbrügge; Dana Michel and Tracy Maurice; Małgorzata Mirga-Tas; Dorine Mokha; Pedro Moraleida Bernardes; Óscar Fernando Morales Martínez; Marcelo Moreschi; Carlos Motta; Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende (MSSA), CL; Museu de Arte Osório Cesar, Franco da Rocha, BR; Museu de Imagens do Inconsciente, Rio de Janeiro, BR; Andrés Pereira Paz; Antonio Pichillá; Mirja Reuter and Florian Gass; Naomi Rincón Gallardo; Florencia Rodriguez Giles; Aykan Safoğlu; Mariela Scafati; Solvognen (The Sun Chariot) Theater Group; Young-jun Tak; Teatro da Vertigem; Elena Tejada-Herrera; Teo; The Black Mamba – Natasha Mendonca & Suman Sridhar; Sinthujan Varatharajah; Cecilia Vicuña; Azucena Vieites; Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro; Bartolina Xixa; Osías Yanov and Sirenes Errantes; and Katarina Zdjelar.

Carlos Motta Hacia una historiografía, Fom Jan_Feb 2015 Feature Carlos Motta
Carlos Motta, Hacia una historiografía homoerótica (Towards Homoerotic Historiography), #1 – 13, 2013. Motta will participate in the Berlin Biennale

Petition to remove ‘racist’ painting from Städel Museum
The Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main says it will not remove a painting by Georg Herold from a temporary show of recent acquisitions, despite a petition calling on it to do so. Der Ziegeln**** (The Brick N******, 1981) shows a brick being hurled at a black man by an angry white mob. The online protest, started by students at the Städelschule claims Herold’s work ‘makes light of racialized violence that continues to be the reality for Black communities in Germany now, when the Black Frankfurt community is busy on the streets demanding justice for the cases of Oury Jalloh, Rooble Warsame, William Tonou-Mbobda, and countless others who died as a result of racist violence in Germany and around the globe.’ The museum interpretation admits the painting to be typical of a style of 1980s art, demonstrating ‘a marginal, violent and often tasteless provocation.’ Harold studied under Sigmar Polke and was grouped with a number of provocative artists of his generation including Günther Förg, Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen. The curators go on to write that the ‘blatantly racist title can be read as an attempt by the artist to investigate a general concern of (political) art: namely the question of what art is permitted to do and where its freedom comes to an end. Even at a remove of four decades, the viewer must ask himself whether the artist was using the racist statement of the work and its title to refer to himself. Even if we do not impute a racist background to the artist, both the title and the work – if we take them at their word – are scandalous. And they issue a challenge to both art-historical classification and the exhibiting of art, which deliberately rejects an access devoid of ambiguity or an assertion based on contents.’

Ayse Erkmen wins Ernst Franz Vogelmann Prize for Sculpture
The Turkish artist will receive €30,000 and will show work at the Heilbronn City Museum in southwest Germany from July. The artist is known for her largescale architectural interventions. For Skulptur Projekte 2017, Erkmen laid a jetty just below the surface of the water in the city’s inland harbour, which, when walked on, made it appear visitors were walking on water. Based in Berlin and Istanbul, in 2011 she represented Turkey at the Venice Biennale, installing a complex purification unit that filtered water from the canal to drinking-quality before piping it back outside. Erkmen graduated from Mimar Sinan University Department of Sculpture in 1977. She participated in the DAAD International Artist Residency Programme (Berliner Künstlerprogramm) in Berlin in 1993. From 1998–99 Erkmen worked as the Arnold Bode Professor at Kassel Art Academy, and as lecturer at Frankfurt Staedelschule 2000-2007.

Ayse Erkmen, Plan B, 2011, commissioned by the Turkish Pavilion for the Venice Biennale

Takashi Murakami’s ‘heartbreak’
Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has said in an Instagram video that his company faces bankruptcy as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Murakami said he had been forced to cancel several projects, including a sequel to his film jellyfish eyes (2013). ‘Today’s story is my very heartbreak story,’ he says. ‘With the sudden swoop of COVID-19, my company faced bankruptcy and I had to give up on a number of projects, the most symbolic of which being the production of my sci-fi feature film, jellyfish eyes part 2: mahashankhn. […] The enormous budget I poured into this project, as well as my tenacious persistence, put a constant and tremendous stress on my company’s operation for the past nine years.’ The Japanese artist said that he was a ’silly human being’ – and that he would be following up with a series of videos announcing the film’s discontinuation.

Courtesy: Instagram

France returns skulls to Algeria
France has returned 24 skulls of decapitated Algerian resistance fighters to Algeria – they were taken by French troops during the colonial era and have been kept at Paris’s Musée de l’Homme. The skulls were buried in a ceremony marking the 58th anniversary of independence from the former colonial power. The restitution has been seen as a warming in relations between the countries – the French presidency described it as part of an effort to ‘reconcile the memories of the French and Algerian people’.

In appointments
Bergen Assembly – the Norwegian triennial launched in 2013 – has appointed artist Saâdane Afif as its convener for its fourth edition, scheduled for 2022. And France has a new culture minister – Roselyne Bachelot was nominated by new prime minister Jean Castex (following the resignation of Édouard Philippe) to the job in the latest cabinet reshuffle, replacing Franck Riester.

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