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Centerpoints: Superflex’s Power Toilets, Anish on Ai, Art Tattoos

In today’s roundup of art news, Superflex’s new look at seats of power, a run-down of art-themed tattoos, sculptor Anish Kapoor’s appeal for the art world to “shout” on the issue of free expression, and more.

At Index on Censorship today, sculptor Anish Kapoor discusses his vocal support of artistic expression in China: He pulled out of a show in Beijing in protest of the detention of Ai Weiwei earlier this year, and dedicated his sculpture Leviathan to the artist/architect. In a Q&A he says, “The art world is extremely fragmented. It is a place that’s also infiltrated by money and other instruments of influence. And it never finds itself in a place where it can shout. I think we need to learn how to do that and find a way to have singular voices.”

• Danish collective Superflex looks at seats of power in a new series that replicates key restrooms. In The Netherlands, it’s a replica of the toilets used by members of the UN Security Council in UN headquarters in New York, “one of the most secure buildings in the world.” And in a Greek restaurant on the Lower East Side, the public restrooms are now identical to those used by execs at J.P. Morgan Chase’s HQ. (Superflex’s video Flooded McDonald’s in on view in the Walker’s John Waters–curated exhibition Absentee Landlord.)

• War reporter Janine di Giovanni, who spoke at the Walker in 2007 (video here), has a new book out, Ghosts by Daylight: Love,War, and Redemption. The Guardian has an excerpt; here’s my interview with di Giovanni from her last visit to Minneapolis. She has a book signing tonight in New York.

• British design thinker Rick Poynor — now writing at Design Observer — is speaking at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design on Oct. 5.

• At the Minneapolis Beer Fest this weekend, we spotted a Spoonbridge and Cherry tattoo. It’s not the first: here’s one we blogged on a few years back.

• While we’re at it, some other contemporary art tattoos: Andy Warhol, Kiki Smith, Diane Arbus, David Shrigley, Charles and Ray Eames, Barry McGee, Shepard Fairey, Keith Haring, and, of course, Banksy.

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