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Tuesday 10.31.17

« All Hallows Picks | Main | First Thursday Picks November 2017 »

End of October links

Hyperallergic looks at the Istanbul Biennial... exploring what makes a good neighbor (in the Middle east, ugh). Interesting how the smaller biennials seem to get how art needs to relate to the unspoken things that grease the wheels of our world. The work itself?... a tad too illustrative and reliant on cues that it is contemporary art, but I'm not expecting bold moves.

Most any intellectual worthy of the word has found Artforum of the past 20+ years to be an avoidable style guide for looking like the boorish art inteligencia ... and should also applaud that the magazine is vowing to turn over a new leaf after its former head stepped down in scandal. Now David Velasco is the new Editor in Chief. Congrats to David who has contributed to PORT in the past! He's a fresh smart guy whom Ive always found to be probing and forthright in the way that complicates discussions in a good way. Hopefully his presence can reform more than just its workplace dynamic and return it to its role as an important intellectual gadfly in the artworld's ointment?

RACC is now formally starting its search for a new executive director. Issues like community and equity will come up but the ideal candidate can also give the somewhat officious agency a strong vision that includes keeping and attracting the best talent to Portland. To do this Portland has to get over its phobia of ambition and ability to turn this crucial corner. We have to celebrate what can often be uncomfortable yet incredible. True diversity is uncomfortable,excellence celebrates diversity through outstanding and outspoken work (not just watered down work that doesnt raise any hackles). Frankly, I'm annoyed that some of the strongest artists in Portland are constantly asked to sit on diversity panels (because the arent white) yet are constantly passed over for high profile awards because their work makes people uncomfortable. RACC could be an agent for change but Im not certain they truly understand the problem. Do they? RACC should fund that which questions what we accept and it needs to become as serious as the art scene became quite a while ago.

LACMA released new renderings of its planned Zumthor designed expansion. Now some are hung up on the hanging methods and the Jetsons like outside which spans Wilshire but my biggest question is how vibrant will its curatorial program be? When I was growing up in the art world curators like Kirk Varnedoe were just part of a long tradition of those who took institutions out of their comfort zones. My point is a museum that serves art should not be a comfort zone... asset class art likes comfortable context but it is bad for civilization in general. We require Art that doesnt fit neatly into its niche market and museums have a role in this as a kind of sanctuary from the market (not separate from it but a kind of time out). I have much more on this coming but in general I am interested in the new way LACMA is looking at art history... will it just be more digestible version of art or something that returns a bit of art's inherent radicalism and critique in a safe institutional setting? That's the rub, how to move the discussion when patronage isnt expecting to be challenged in any way but their potential as donors? Museums span the shism between the haves and have nots and its making them timid about being serious. ... I know, we live in odd times.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on October 31, 2017 at 19:39 | Comments (0)


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