Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The Seven Year Itch

no12.jpg(Vija Celmins, Night Sky No.12)

Some of us have always been curious as to what museum guards really think when they have to stand guard over piles of debris, merde in cans, or chicken-scratch on walls. Well, we just found out.

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Tony Oursler’s Near Art Basel Arrest

Along with a 30% increase in insurance demands, this year’s Art Basel almost caused Tony Oursler’s arrest.

“[W]hen [Tony Oursler] crossed the nearby German-Swiss border, German customs officers discovered more than 1,000 dollar bills stuffed in his bag. The daily said the officers counted every note to make sure that the booty did not exceed Germany’s legal export limit of $10,000.”

More from Findlaw.com.


“All censorship is doomed and so is all liberal rationalisation of art”

We reported recently about a Helsinki artist who was found guilty of using images of children to critique, get this, child pornography. There’s an ongoing battle going on over at The Guardian over a proposed U.K. law which would make digital depictions or drawings of child abuse illegal. David Hockney has weighed in on this debate, and so has The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones:

“And this is the wondrous truth contained in our museums: that you cannot control the human mind or predict its vicissitudes. All censorship is doomed and so is all liberal rationalisation of art. A man I met at the Klimt exhibition in Liverpool told me there’s something ‘evil’ in Klimt’s art. Maybe he’s right. But in a museum, we have the freedom to see evil.”

The U.S. provides ample First Amendment protection for fictional depictions of children. However, there are criminal sanctions for the promotion of child pornography.


Alleged Thief Charged

A young man was caught and has now been charged over the theft of five Lowry paintings worth up to £1million from art collector Ivan Airds home in Greater Manchester last May. Apparently the thief made his swipe possible by tying up the collector all while threatening his wife and two-year-old daughter.

The paintings remain missing and the £70,000 reward is still up for grabs. More from the BBC.


No More Museum Shenanigans

The New York Times reported yesterday that The Association of Art Museum Directors “will announce new guidelines on Wednesday for how their institutions should collect antiquities[.]…The Association … says the new policy will probably make it even more difficult for museums to build antiquities collections through purchases or… through gifts and bequests from wealthy private collectors. But they assert that the change will help stanch the flow of objects illegally dug up from archaeological sites or other places. The new policy advises museums that they ‘normally should not’ acquire a work unless solid proof exists that the object was outside its country of probable modern discovery before 1970, or was legally exported from its probable country of modern discovery after 1970.”


Imminent Lawless Action

So we know we can’t yell fire in a crowded theater, but we can say the word fire. As always, over at Donn Zaretsky’s Art Law Blog there’s an interesting story concerning a performance art piece, “assasination” language, and what were the two Democratic candidates: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

“Performance artist Yazmany Arboleda set up a show called ‘The Assassination of Hillary Clinton/The Assassination of Barack Obama’ in a storefront across the street from the New York Times offices in Midtown.” According to Arboleda, “It’s art. It’s not supposed to be harmful. It’s about character assassination — about how Obama and Hillary have been portrayed by the media. … It’s about the media.” Zaretsky points out that according to the New York Times, “[t]he police and Secret Service promptly shut it down.” Donn has an update and analysis of this issue and story by Eugene Volokh.


Louis Vuitton: The Road to Darfur Paved With Lawsuits (UPDATE #2)

Update 2: We just noticed this notice on Plasner’s website: “I have agreed with LV’s lawyers to stop commenting on the case and to cease the sales of Simple Living products while we are working towards a solution.” Must of been some meeting on May 31st!

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