Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On Trial for Institutional Critique

Wishing to elicit a conversation regarding the state of mental healthcare in Sweden, Anna Odell, a 35-year-old student at Sweden’s prestigious Konstfack Art Academy, is now on trial facing public disorder charges for making a film.

In May, the day after the opening of her film, entitled in Swedish Unknown woman: 2009-349701, she was charged with fraudulent practice, raising a false alarm and resisting arrest. If she is convicted she will be forced to pay back the cost of the care she received, estimated at the equivalent of £1,000, and would face a two-year suspended sentence and additional fines.

Now this is what we call institutional critique. More from The Independent.


Thriftstore Dalí Works Fake?

Another “real or fake” question has come up, this time dealing with Salvador Dalí. Several works attributed to him (and thought to be valued at $76,000) are currently on display next to a disheveled tie rack at a Salvation Army Family Thrift Store in Houston, Texas.

The works were given to the Salvation Army by an anonymous donor, and the man behind a two-year-old appraisal document — which suggests that they are worth more than $76,000 — says that he cannot be sure that they are the same pieces he evaluated and sold.

Brushing the question of authenticity aside, enough people have been interested in the Dalí’s that bids for the art had reached $8,000 for each of the three lots by last Friday.

More from the NY Times here.


U.S. Special Forces Recover Stolen Picasso

Although there are doubts as to its authenticity, the U.S. Special Forces have recovered what appears to be a stolen Picasso painting.

According to the Boston Globe,

The painting has a tag on the back with several misspellings that says it was sold by “the louvre” to “the museum of kuwait,” with the words Louvre and Kuwait in lower case. There are also several stamps bearing the name of the Louvre Museum in Paris.


…an official with the Louvre Museum said it has never had a Picasso in its collection and does not sell its works because they are government property. The official spoke on condition of anonymity according to museum policy.

More from the Globe here.


On the Visual Artists Rights Act and Conceptual Art

Yale Information Society Project Fellow Charles Cronin has just written a lengthy expose on conceptual art and the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 entitled, Dead on the Vine: Living and Conceptual Art and Vara (click to download pdf version).

Here’s the abstract:

The Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA), arriving in the wake of U.S. adherence to the Berne Convention, provides moral rights of integrity and attribution to artists who have created certain copyrightable physical works of visual art. Since – and before – the time of VARA’s enactment, however, many artists have been working with genres and media to produce art that is not comfortably accommodated within the scope of protected works contemplated by VARA. An increasing number of recent works of Conceptual and Appropriationist Art raise questions about fixation and original expression that are required for copyrightability that, in turn, is required for protection under VARA. This article discusses the uncomfortable fit of VARA and many contemporary works of art, and particularly those that incorporate to a significant extent living works in their natural state. The discussion focuses on the recent decision in a dispute involving a VARA claim in a living landscape (Chapman Kelley v. Chicago Park District, N.D. Ill., 2008). It concludes that works of art in which nature and chance play a dominant role are Conceptual works in which the artist’s contribution is limited to ideas that should not be protected by copyright or VARA.


Nude Model Arrested at Metropolitan Museum

NY City police say they arrested 26-year-old Kathleen “K.C.” Neill for posing naked for a photographer, and in full view of visitors, in the Metropolitan Museum’s arms and armor department on Wednesday. Neill faces a charge of public lewdness.


Tattoo Raises Constitutional Issue

A Pennsylvania State Police recruit has made a constitutional issue of a tattoo. Ronald Scavone says the police refused to hire him, after he successfully completed interviews and a background check, because he refused to “physically alter (his) body” by removing a tattoo, which he says could be easily covered up with clothing.


Brice Marden Painting “well done”

marden.jpg(Oil and wax on canvas. 64.5 x 78.4 in., 1969)

Brice Marden’s 1969 painting, Au Centre, was headed to Sotheby’s in NYC for auction. En route, it came loose inside its crate when a forklift operator smashed into it at Frankfurt airport in Germany. Gagosian Gallery’s insurance carrier, AXA Art Insurance Corp., filed suit against Lufthansa Airlines last Friday.


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