Rolling news: 17–23 August 2019

Keb Cerda, Super Nardo: False Profits (2019), one of the winners of the Ateneo Art Awards 2019 visual arts category

Back in July, the International Committee of Museums (ICOM) announced that it would hold a vote on a new definition of what constitutes a museum, stating that the current definition no longer ‘reflects and expresses adequately the complexities of the 21st century and the current responsibilities and commitments of museums, nor their challenges and visions for the future’. 

The winners of the 2019 Ateneo Art Awards have been revealed. Costantino Zicarelli was awarded one of three Fernando Zóbel Prizes for Visual Art for his graphite-on-paper drawings that were exhibited during his solo show Years of Dust Will Build A Mountain (2019) at Manila’s Artinformal Gallery. The other two prizes went to Keb Cerda for his Super Nardo: False Profits (2019), an augmented reality work comprising paintings of deserted landscapes that are rendered into a computer game when viewed through a mobile app, and Archie Oclos, for Lupang Hinirang (2018), a largescale mural which portrays a shrouded figure in reference to the extrajudicial killings under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Oclos also picked up the People’s Choice Award for this work. The three winners will receive a residency grant from Ateneo Art Gallery in partnership with La Trobe University in Bendigo, Australia; Artesan Gallery + Studio, Singapore; and Liverpool Hope University, in the United Kingdom. Zicarelli, Cerda and Oclos were selected from a shortlist of twelve artists. An exhibition of works by the shortlisted artists is on view at Ateneo Art Gallery through 27 October.

Washington DC’s Middle East Institute (MEI), a non-profit cultural centre and think tank, has announced the opening date of its new MEI Art Gallery. When the gallery opens to the public on 14 September it will coincide with the DC-wide art festival Art All Night, and will become the state's first gallery dedicated to showcasing contemporary art from the Middle East. The gallery will also offer a public programme of artist talks, film screenings, and panel discussions. Its inaugural exhibition titled Arabicity | Ourouba will explore themes of identity, memory, war, and displacement through the paintings, sculptures, installations, and video works of 17 artists. The exhibition will be on show through 22 November.

US president Donald Trump announced a delay in the tax on some imported Chinese goods, but art and antiques failed to make the list. Consequently, as part of the trade war heating up between the two countries, a ten percent tariff on Chinese art will be implemented from 1 September. On Wednesday Künstlerhaus Stuttgart appointed Eric Golo Stone artistic director. The German institution was founded by artists in 1978, with each director serving a five year term. Golo Stone, a former curator at LAXART in Los Angeles will take over from Fatima Hellberg in the new year.

On Thursday it was celebrations for Ragnar Kjartansson, who was announced as winner of the Ars Fennica, Finland's biggest art prize. A shortlist was drawn up by Kiasma director Leevi Haapala; Amos Rex director Kai Kartio and the artist Jussi Kivi. The director of the Museum Tinguely in Basel, Roland Wetzel, then selected Kjartansson as winner. The 5th Istanbul Design Biennial, which will take place September 2020, has announced Mariana Pestana as its curator. Pestana, who works between Porto and London, is one of the co-founders of The Decorators, a collective of architects working in the public realm.