Blogs Centerpoints

Centerpoints: Architecture, Alzheimer’s and Malcolm X

• Architectural waste — and sometimes entire houses — from the U.S. often find unexpected, new lives across the border in Tijuana in a process documented by photographers Laura Migliorino and Anthony Paul Marchetti. Featured in the 2008 Walker exhibition Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes, Migliorino tells Minnesota Photoblog: The history of United States architectural […]

• Architectural waste — and sometimes entire houses — from the U.S. often find unexpected, new lives across the border in Tijuana in a process documented by photographers Laura Migliorino and Anthony Paul Marchetti. Featured in the 2008 Walker exhibition Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes, Migliorino tells Minnesota Photoblog:

The history of United States architectural recycling is pretty old. The first flatbeaded pre-manufactured housing shipping began in the 1940s after World War II: a military housing development in San Diego was shipped over the border and planted in Mexico for reuse, and now it’s a Tijuanan housing subdivision. This process of moving American houses continues still in various forms–most of it is suburban housing now; it’s a thriving business, actually.

• “[A]rt can trigger the emotional memory that often remains strong in Alzheimer’s patients, and can give them access to other memories as well,” says Anne Basting, director of the Center on Age and Community at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in ArtNews‘ look at museum-based programs for people living with the disease. The Walker’s version, the monthly Contemporary Journeys Tours, meets next on Nov. 30 with a tour of Graphic Design: Now In Production for people with Alzheimer’s, their caregivers and families.

• Around 20,000 people worldwide have donated to Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei to help pay $2.3 million in back taxes Chinese authorities claim he owes. He’s taken in more than $840,000 in small donations. Ai said Monday, “This shows that a group of people who want to express their views are using their money to cast their votes. It shows that in the Internet age, society will have it own judgment and its own values.”

• Meanwhile, a sculpture of Ai — depicted dead on the floor in a blue suit and titled The Death of Marat — is causing a stir in the German town of Bad Ems: The piece by Chinese artist He Xiangyu is so realistic that “dozens” of people passing the gallery where it’s displayed called the police to report the death.

• Writing that designer Saul Bass turned the movie title sequence into an artform, design thinker Alice Rawsthorn includes a cute tidbit:

To celebrate his engagement to [designer Elaine] Makatura, Bass even allowed himself a joke. The closing credits for “West Side Story” are “written” as graffiti on the New York streets, including the initials “SB” and “EM” inside a heart.

At Designer Observer, Reinhold Martin looks at how “urbanistic — and to a lesser extent, architectural — considerations have played a key role in the physical occupation of prominent sites in cities and towns.”

• Video: For his show Glenn Ligon: AMERICA, on view now at LACMA, Ligon discusses his “Coloring” series (among other topics), in which he made paintings based on the ways kids he worked with colored pages from late-’60s/early ’70s coloring books made by black educators and featuring civil rights–era leaders:

So a five-year old is doing a drawing of an image of Malcolm X and they give him blue eyeshadow and lipstick, which is a sort like queering up the father figure, which is something I would’ve done when I was five years old…. Looking at that as an adult, you bring all the things you know about Malcolm X to that image, and it’s quite scandalous, in some ways… I was interested in a kind of adult anxiety about images, but also to think about how slippery images are and how they mean different things over different moments.

Centerpoints: Art links from Ai to Sze

• “Women hold slightly more than half (52.3 percent) of creative class jobs and their average level of education is almost the same as men,” writes Richard Florida. “But the pay they receive is anything but equal. Creative class men earn an average of $82,009 versus $48,077 for creative class women. This $33,932 gap is […]

• “Women hold slightly more than half (52.3 percent) of creative class jobs and their average level of education is almost the same as men,” writes Richard Florida. “But the pay they receive is anything but equal. Creative class men earn an average of $82,009 versus $48,077 for creative class women. This $33,932 gap is a staggering 70 percent of the average female creative class salary.”

Sarah Sze, whose work is the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden’s conservatory, has installed a bird city on the High Line in New York — and you can see it on Google Street View.

Modern Art Notes is launching a podcast that “will become a sort of ‘Fresh Air’-for-art,” writes Tyler Green. First guest on the MAN Podcast, which launches Nov. 10: Artist Chris Burden.

• Artist Wim Delvoye, whose Caterpillar #5 found its home in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden for a time, has offered to recreate on his land in Belgium the Shanghai studio of Ai Weiwei that was demolished by Chinese authorities in January. Ai’s assistants say Delvoye, who has ties to China, risks “trouble” if he goes through with the plan. Asked if he would, should Ai agree, he said, “Of course.”

• A cleaner who mistook layers of dried paint in a black rubber trough for a mess needing her attention damaged a work by the late Martin Kippenberger. A museum spokesperson says the cleaner “removed the patina from the four walls of the trough” of the piece, When It Starts Dripping From The Ceiling, which is valued at around $1.1 million.

• Rick Poynor considers online reading and whether links distract from meaning. Follow this link to read all about it.

• Another Walker hard-rock logo: After the Walker’s black-metal look, a glimpse of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s AC/DC-inspired stencil.

Centerpoints: UNESCO vote, Ai’s taxes, a design ‘ur-exhibit’

• UNESCO – the UN body that maintains World Heritage sites, among other activities – will lose a quarter of its budget after the U.S. announced it wouldn’t pay its dues following a vote by 107 nations to accept Palestine as a member. • “The idea of ‘beauty’ represents the unexamined terminology of utopian thinking,” […]

UNESCO – the UN body that maintains World Heritage sites, among other activities – will lose a quarter of its budget after the U.S. announced it wouldn’t pay its dues following a vote by 107 nations to accept Palestine as a member.

• “The idea of ‘beauty’ represents the unexamined terminology of utopian thinking,” said Jake Chapman (pictured) at New York’s 92nd Street Y last week, “and it dangerously asserts one idea: that humanity is progressing and should progress towards a sort of Romantic sublime. I think the best art challenges the idea that beauty is a universal term.”

• Chinese authorities have served Ai Weiwei with an official demand telling him to pay 15 million yuan — or $2.3 million — in back taxes within 15 days, according to the artist, who says he doesn’t have the money to pay.

• New on Ubuweb, all the tracks on the 1993 two-disk release,  A Chance Operation: The John Cage Tribute. Unfortunately chopped into small bits, the album features artists  Laurie Anderson (performing/reading Cage’s text Cunningham Stories), Frank Zappa (doing Cage’s silent symphony 4’33”), and Yoko Ono, among others.

• “The best creative years for a photographer, I’d proclaim, are 20 to 40,” Alec Soth blogs, “but the peak is 25 to 35.” Commenters weigh in — en masse.

• Design thinker and a former New York Times art director Steven Heller calls the Walker’s Graphic Design: Now in Production the “ur-exhibit of the 2000s.

• The Occupy Wall Street protests  in New York are “kind of art object: a living installation or social sculpture made of bodies, animals, alternative barter stations for food, clothes, and books, a kitchen with composting, literature tables, public lectures, assemblies, a ‘community sacred space,’ drum circles, protesters, media center, press team, visiting journalists, walkways taped off for tourists, and lots and lots of text—painted, written, scrawled, and printed on every conceivable surface,” writes Martha Schwendener. “How could art — that is, the stuff made in the art world — compare with this?” One artist who’s taking a shot at the question is Pedro Reyes: He took his Karl Marx and Adam Smith puppets from the Walker’s Baby Marx exhibition to the New York protests.

 

Skull, Skull, Skull, and Buried Human Skeleton

Just digging up some festive art for today. Happy Halloween! Katharina Fritsch, Totenkopf (Skull), 1997/1998, porcelain/paint Sherrie Levine, Skull, 2001, bronze Kris Martin, Still alive, 2010, silver-plated bronze Installation shot from The Quick and the Dead For 2009’s exhibition The Quick and the Dead, Kris Martin created a piece that involved burying a human skeleton […]

Just digging up some festive art for today. Happy Halloween!



Katharina Fritsch, Totenkopf (Skull), 1997/1998, porcelain/paint

Sherrie Levine, Skull, 2001, bronze

Kris Martin, Still alive, 2010, silver-plated bronze
Installation shot from The Quick and the Dead

For 2009’s exhibition The Quick and the Dead, Kris Martin created a piece that involved burying a human skeleton somewhere on the Walker’s grounds. Where is it? To find the location of the skeleton, follow the coordinates printed on the official certificate. Where did we get the skeleton? It was donated to the Walker by Kiki Smith who was given the skeleton by David Wojnarowicz.

Centerpoints: Minnesota high in art, publishing jobs, NEA finds

• A new National Endowment for the Arts survey finds there are 2.1 million Americans are employed as artists, including more than 42,000 right here in the Land o’ Lakes. Minnesota ranks fairly well: We’re among the top 14 states that have the highest percentage of the workforce employed in the arts: 1.5 percent, compared […]

• A new National Endowment for the Arts survey finds there are 2.1 million Americans are employed as artists, including more than 42,000 right here in the Land o’ Lakes. Minnesota ranks fairly well: We’re among the top 14 states that have the highest percentage of the workforce employed in the arts: 1.5 percent, compared to the nation-leading New York, where 2.3 percent of the labor force is involved in arts industries. Minnesota leads the nation in the concentration of jobs in book publishing, with eight times more publishing jobs — largely in the Twin Cities — than the national average. Minneapolis’ concentration of theater jobs is twice the national average.

• As Occupy Wall Street gets a visual manifesto vaguely reminiscent of diagrams by the late Mark Lombardi, Shepard Fairey has released a series of free downloadable protest posters in solidarity with the movement.

• A talk on education reform by Sir Ken Robinson went viral — earning nearly 6 million views on YouTube — after the Royal Society of Art hired illustrator Andrew Park to turn it into a whiteboard animation. See the video in the Walker’s design show.

• With all the buzz about MOMA acquiring Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija‘s Untitled (Free/Still), one of the first works dubbed “relational aesthetics,” Greg Allen looks at a less discussed side of the artist — as a maker of “some of the blingiest, sexy-shiniest, most ridiculously commodified luxury objects around.”

Franco & Eva Mattes of 0100101110101101.org say they got a fake Dieter Roth artwork — a glass jar filled with dead flies — into a St. Louis gallery show. “The piece has been shown for over a month, and nobody questioned its authenticity or worthiness. The image of the jar with flies started circulating on the Internet, and it’s also mentioned in Roth’s biography in Wikipedia.”

• Carsten Höller, the insect scientist turned artist whose two-story slide is now installed inside the New Museum: “Subjective personal experience in science is a no-no. In starting to make art, I wanted to bring in what had been forbidden.”

• Today in infographics: Word frequencies in the Bible and the Qu’ran. Via Information Aesthetics.

Centerpoints: The #OWS carnival, Ai’s innovation, ‘I’m Banksy’

“The carnivalesque occupation of Wall Street is a symbolic struggle to break the high-low binarism that has besieged contemporary American society,” writes Claire Tancons, a curator (and former Walker staffer) who has focused on carnival traditions in recent years.

• Since she finished her Walker curatorial fellowship in 2003, curator Claire Tancons has focused on carnival traditions in the Americas — a lens through which she’s now viewing the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York. Carnival, “as medium of emancipation and instrument of political protest, is alive and well,” she writes in an essay for the NYC Independent Media Center, also noting that the NYPD clampdown on masks suggests law enforcement has a “fear of carnival as a potent form of political protest.” She writes:

What is at stake here is not so much whether or not the carnivalesque is at works in turning Occupy Wall Street into a revolutionary movement. Rather, it is the realization, through carnivalesque ritual strategy and hierarchy inversion, of the expanse (and expense) of the political antagonism and binary extremism between the 1% and the 99%. As much a site of resistance as a relational mode, the carnivalesque occupation of Wall Street is a symbolic struggle to break the high-low binarism that has besieged contemporary American society.

• After being dubbed the most powerful figure in the art world by Art Review, Ai Weiwei gets “innovator of the year” honor from the Wall Street Journal.

I’m Spartacus? More like: I’m Banksy.

• The New Museum’s installation of a giant slide by Carsten Höller is coming along nicely. View the installation shots on Flickr.

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts has started a campaign around a proposal by some GOP state legislators to divert money from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, created in 2008 by a voter-approved constitutional amendment, to a Vikings stadium.

• Today: Picasso was born (in 1881); Sen. Paul Wellstone died (in 2002).

•  “The Picasso of pumpkin carving.”

Centerpoints: Boetti, Murakami, Klein and di Suvero

In today’s edition, resurgences: In interest in Alighiero Boetti’s Afghani-made maps, in austerity, and in free expression around the world.

di Suvero

• There’s renewed interest in the work of late Italian artist Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994), whose work is the subject of a new book, Boetti by Afghan People: Peshawar, Pakistan, 1990, and the new exhibition game plan at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid. For his Mappa series, he hired Afghanis — first in their native country, then in exile in Pakistan after the Soviet invasion — to embroider a giant world map in which land masses are filled in with the flags of the countries that control them. As photographer and Boetti collaborator Randi Malkin Steinberger notes, the artist (who was affiliated with the Arte Povera movement) “wasn’t going to Afghanistan because it was cheap labor, he considered them to be co-authors of the work.”

• Now open in Paris’ Galerie Perrotin, Takashi Murakami’s Homage to Yves Klein. Murakami — whose Walker projects include a commissioned billboard (2004), wallpaper installation (2002) and the exhibition Superflat (2001)  — riffs on International Klein Blue (IKB), a staple of last winter’s Walker/Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden show Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers.

• Now installed in New York’s Zuccotti Park, Mark di Suvero‘s Joie de Vivre — the “Weird Red Thing” on Occupy Wall Street maps — has become an icon for the movement, writes Greg Allen, “[w]hich is good, because di Suvero himself is an icon of artistic involvement in political action, activism, and social justice.” (Photo via Hyperallergic.)

• At the New York Review of Books, Tony Judt ponders austerity, in art and in politics: “The wealth of resources we apply to entertainment serves only to shield us from the poverty of the product; likewise in politics, where ceaseless chatter and grandiloquent rhetoric mask a yawning emptiness.” Via C-Monster.

• Citing ousters of despots in places like Libya and Egypt, the Columbia Journalism Review‘s Justin Martin hails a “global surge in freedom of expression“:

I’m not declaring victory. Dictatorships will exist long into the future, and many journalists in places like Mexico, Pakistan and Russia currently live in outright hell. But the capacity of autocrats to control their country’s conversation is slipping, and with it slides the longevity of their fiat.

• As photographer Nan Goldin lends her lens to luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo, Damien Hirst has designed a label for Somerset Cider Brandy.

Centerpoints: Surfing Mary, participatory design, Soth’s visa problem

• Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment was passed by voters in 2008 to “protect drinking water sources; to protect, enhance, and restore wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat; to preserve arts and cultural heritage; to support parks and trails; and to protect, enhance, and restore lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater.” But what some legislators […]

Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment was passed by voters in 2008 to “protect drinking water sources; to protect, enhance, and restore wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat; to preserve arts and cultural heritage; to support parks and trails; and to protect, enhance, and restore lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater.” But what some legislators want the fund to help pay for: A new Vikings stadium.

• The kind of visa troubles we at the Walker have faced in bringing overseas artists into the U.S. is happening elsewhere, too. The New York Times writes that the UK’s “cumbersome and unevenly interpreted immigration rules” are preventing many arts organizations from including foreigners in their work. Among those affected is the Twin Cities’ own Alec Soth (subject of a recent Walker solo show):

The American photographer Alec Soth, meanwhile, ran into trouble when he told immigration officials he had been invited to take photographs to be displayed at the Brighton Photo Biennale. He finally got into the country after hours of interrogation — but only after promising not to take photographs. (His 7-year-old daughter, traveling with him, took them instead.)

Google Image Search and the “digital readymade.”

The Atlantic looks at the grassroots movement that coalesced around a California guerrilla mural depicting a surfing Virgin Mary.

• The just-published book Participate: Designing With User-Generated Contentincludes some familiar names: Writing the foreword is Ellen Lupton, the Cooper-Hewitt design curator who co-curated our exhibition, Graphic Design: Now In Production. Her partner on that show, the Walker’s Andrew Blauvelt, is interviewed, as is Daniel Eatock, a former Walker Design fellow and an artist in the show.

• Karen Archey at ArtInfo.com: “Why is Occupy Wall Street Protesting NYC Museums, and Not Super Rich Galleries and Art Fairs?

• LACMA’s Unframed blog has four questions for artist Glenn Ligon, a staple of the Walker collection.

• With scenes for the new Batman movie set to be filmed this month near Wall Street, the question arises: Will the Occupy Wall Street protesters be ousted, or will the movement be included in the film?

 

Centerpoints: Occupy George, Draplin’s Philly poster, Gugg Paint

• As Occupy George brings infographics about the U.S. economy to dollar bills, some New York activists say they’re bringing Occupy Wall Street elsewhere: To art museums. Hyperallergic publisher Hrag Vartanian calls Occupy Museums “the most peculiar Occupy Wall Street/art-related thing I’ve heard about yet.” He continues: “Where were these protesters yesterday during the Sotheby’s […]

• As Occupy George brings infographics about the U.S. economy to dollar bills, some New York activists say they’re bringing Occupy Wall Street elsewhere: To art museums. Hyperallergic publisher Hrag Vartanian calls Occupy Museums “the most peculiar Occupy Wall Street/art-related thing I’ve heard about yet.” He continues: “Where were these protesters yesterday during the Sotheby’s art handlers protest? Since August 1, members of the 99% (i.e. art handlers) have been locked out by Sotheby’s, and they continue to need help standing up to the art market’s disregard of workers who make the system run.”

• At SFMOMA, Adrienne Skye Roberts asks an open-ended question about Occupy Wall Street: “[W]hat is the place of artists in this movement and what can we learn here?”

• Laughing Squid gives a shout out to Aaron Draplin — MCAD-educated graphic designer, Field Notes creator and participant in our design show — for his new Philadelphia Freedom! poster, printed by Minneapolis’ Burlesque.

• A foundation has been launched to raise funds to buy Christo’s iconic Wrapped Reichstag and present related drawings and documentation in an upcoming exhibition.

• At the Visual Arts blog, Walker director Olga Viso writes about what the Istanbul Biennial is lacking: “an indefatigable spirit of generosity and faith in the potential of art to not only transcribe the exigencies of the present moment but transcend them too.”

BLDG BLOG: “The Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera, designed by Jonas Pfeil as part of his thesis project at the Technical University of Berlin, creates spherical panoramas after being thrown into the air.”

• The Guggenheim diversifies… into house paint.

Centerpoints: The Durer code, funeral trade show, “metadada”

• LA Times critic Christopher Knight excoriates LA MOCA for promoting Christies’ rental of gallery space for an auction over the weekend of items from Liz Taylor’s estate on its website. “The Christie’s deal is just its usual commercial enterprise, with the auction house doing what auction houses do and MOCA doing what art museums […]

LA Times critic Christopher Knight excoriates LA MOCA for promoting Christies’ rental of gallery space for an auction over the weekend of items from Liz Taylor’s estate on its website. “The Christie’s deal is just its usual commercial enterprise, with the auction house doing what auction houses do and MOCA doing what art museums don’t do — acting as a shill, publicist and partner for a business.” (LA MOCA gets a cut of admissions — which went for $20-$50 a pop — to the auction.) He zings director Jeffrey Deitch: “He should have held out for a cut on the sale of Liz’s famous 33-carat Burton diamond, expected to ring up between $2.5 and $3.5 million. The only thing worse than selling out is selling out cheap.”

• An exhibition of 43 engravings by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., tells a curious story: Dürer included what an art collector believes are hidden messages about his background in his work.

• Comic book artist Sara Varon — who designed an identity for the Walker’s Family Programs and a Walker-themed comic book — got top billing in the New York Times‘ Friday preview of New York Comic Con, held over the weekend.

• Photographer Robert Rutöd attended this year’s Devota, a trade show for the funeral industry in Europe, documenting wares from egg-shaped, pastel-colored coffins for fetuses and “precious stones made out of the cremation ash of the deceased” to a hearse manufactured by Maserati.

• Tim Williams — who says he co-created the spoof art movement “metadada” with a friend in 2006 — writes about art hoaxes and frauds, from Duchamp’s Rose Sélavy to the “invented artist” Pietro Psaier.

• A court in New York ruled that artist Andy Golub “is permitted to paint bare breasts any time, anywhere, but the G-strings have to stay on until daylight goes out.”

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