Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Palm Springs Art Museum: “We don’t want art that is offensive”

Could 2020 get any more interesting? Still over a month to go so I’m sure there will be a competition for dumbest art move of the year.

The Palm Springs Art Museums has openly stated that they are against exhibiting art that shows nudity. Well, not quite, but they are against showing kitsch that shows nudity, which is to say, they not only think of themselves as the rightful arbiters of what is and isn’t “real” art, they are meeting the demands of “woke” and cancel culture by agreeing that a sculpture of Marilyn Monroe “objectifies women, is sexually charged and disrespectful?”

Anyone who reads this blog knows quite well that the foundation of art is violence, religion, and…nudity. So, go out and see it, take a selfie, Instagram it. You have three years.


How to erase history or, Mass MoCA deserves to be scathed

Mass MoCA’s banner describing Christoph Büchel installation project (Ca.2007)

The NY Times’ Robin Pogrebin pens a glowing recap of Mass MoCA director Joe Thompson, and the amount of good he did for the institution, the community, and the art world. I’m curious why she fails to mention that it was Thompson who initiated and strategized the first lawsuit by an art institution against a visual artist, (Christoph Büchel), seeking to exhibit the artist’s work without his permission?

If you need a reminder, here’s Roberta Smith, also of the NY Times, elaborating in 2007 why she thought Mass MoCA had erred: “The museum deserves to be scathed.”


SF Artists Sue Property Owner for Painting Over Beloved Murals

I’m quoted in this Artnet article.


Is Nick Cave’s artwork “an announcement, direction or advertisement…”?

Truth be told, I think it’s an artwork and not afoul of the law.


“To many of the people who run our museums—not art people but bean counters—art is merely branding for the institution.”

The Nation’s Barry Schwabsky on why the the National Gallery and three other museums should not “hide the Art of Philip Guston.”

Never mind that [Darren Walker, the head of the Ford Foundation] cannot distinguish between racist imagery and imagery depicting racists. The real tell is that in a statement he said that to mount the exhibition now would have been “tone deaf.” That’s the language of corporate image control. To many of the people who run our museums—not art people but bean counters—art is merely branding for the institution.


Applications for the spring 2021 Art & Law Program Now Being Accepted

APPLICATIONS FOR THE SPRING 2021 TERM ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED. The deadline for submitting your application to the Spring 2021 term is December 21, 2020. Application link via bio

Location, Dates, Times, Retreat

The Spring 2021 colloquium will take place on January 11, 2021 until April 12, 2021, each Monday night from 6pm EST to 9pm EST, and will be held via Zoom. Pending Covid-19 and travel restrictions, the Spring 2021 colloquium will conclude with a retreat where fellows will have a chance to come back to life and connect with Sergio as well as Program alumni and friends. At this time the retreat may take place in (a) Denniston Hill, (b) Marfa, Texas, (c) Austin, Texas, or (d) New York City.

Spring 2021 Topic

In the Spring 2021, the Program will primarily examine two concerns: (1) the effects of law on visual art, with a particular emphasis on the previous 20-years, and (2) the artist as corporation and the corporation as artist. We will question whether art is hindered or aided by the direct and indirect impact of law, legal discourse, and legal practice on art. In effect, we will discuss whether, and to what extent, artists should engage with the law, or, whether artists are better served by studying outlaw practices.

The colloquium will be led by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento.


At the last minute, Baltimore Museum of Art board votes to pause controversial artwork auction

Money talks; bullshit walks.


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