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Art Movements

Joe Caslin, “Yes Equality” (2015) (photo by David Sexton

Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world.

Artist Joe Caslin completed a 45-foot-tall mural on the side of a remote Irish castle. The work, which depicts two women in embrace, was created to mark Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum, which takes place today.

New York’s City Council passed a bill requiring public hearings before certain public art projects are installed. The bill was introduced by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer following criticism of a Ohad Meromi sculpture commissioned for Long Island City’s Jackson Avenue. The bill needs to be signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio before it becomes law. De Blasio recently signed a bill that requires the Department of Cultural Affairs to analyze its art and community activities in response to the economic hardship felt by the majority of the city’s artists and arts professionals.

Abdel Majid Touil was arrested in connection to the March attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis, Tunisia, which resulted in the deaths of 22 people.

Arts advocate Margaret Kargbo and disability activist Frank Barham were killed in a highway accident. Kargbo was documenting “Wheel 2 Live,” a project commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Following a freedom of information request filed by Gawker’s Matt Novak, the FBI published 44 heavily redacted documents from its files on architect Buckminster Fuller.

Detained Cuban artist Tania Bruguera will stage a 100-hour reading of Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) at her home in Havana.

The Bank of England will include an artist on the new £20 note. Members of the public can submit their nominations through the Bank of England’s website.

James Knowles III, the mayor of Ferguson, announced that the city will erect a permanent memorial to Michael Brown.

Film producer Valeria Richter, who has part of her left foot amputated, was initially barred from the Cannes Film Festival for not wearing high heels. Richter was one of a number of women who claimed that female guests were required to wear heels.

Max Liebermann’s “Two Riders on a Beach” (1901) will go to auction next month, making it the first work from the art hoard of Cornelius Gurlitt to go on sale. Last week, a German court approved the painting’s return to the heirs of its rightful owner.

Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz brought her mattress to her graduation ceremony. Sulkowicz embarked on an ongoing performance entitled “Performance: Carry that Weight” after alleging that a fellow student – Paul Nungesser – raped her. University President Lee C. Bollinger turned away from Sulkowicz as she crossed the stage, refusing to shake her hand.

New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission decided that the interior of the Four Seasons restaurant should not be altered. The owner of the Seagram building, art collector Aby Rosen, had proposed changes to the building’s interior.

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) voted to discontinue the title “intern.”

The Victoria and Albert Museum is collaborating with Imperial College and University College London to devise conservation methods for works of design made of plastic.

Danny Boyle gave a speech at the opening of Home, a new £25-million (~$38.7 million) arts centre in Manchester. Boyle, who is perhaps best known as the director of Trainspotting (1996) and Slumdog Millionaire (2009), is a patron of the venue.

Charles Le Brun’s “Everhard Jabach and His Family” (ca. 1660) went back on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art following a ten-month conservation project.

The Met Museum’s riggers hanging Charles Le Brun’s “Everhard Jabach (1618–1695) and His Family” (c. 1660)

New York City’s Department of Transportation unveiled the murals it commissioned for the 191st Street tunnel.

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities denied claims by the Egypt Heritage Task Force that the Apis Bull of Hadrian had been broken into pieces during transit.

The 2015 Biennial of the Americas will open on July 14 in Denver.

The New York Times produced a short documentary on Chris Burden’s seminal performance art piece “Shoot” (1971).

The Sir John Soane’s Museum opened up previously inaccessible rooms to the public.


The Heritage Lottery Fund donated £9.5 million (~$14.7 million) to the British Library’s digitization of its sound archives.

The Winton Guest House, a home designed by Frank Gehry, sold for $1.5 million at auction, despite having been previously valued at $4.5 million.


The W.A.G.E. logo (via
Diverse Works, Light Industry, Machine Project, Three Walls, and Side Street Projects became W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) certified.

Anne Pasternak was appointed director of the Brooklyn Museum.

The Whitney Museum of American Art promoted Donna De Salvo to deputy director for international initiatives and senior curator, and Scott Rothkopf to deputy director for programs and chief curator.

Michael Taylor was appointed chief curator and deputy director for art and education at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The Luminato Festival hired Anthony Sargent as its new CEO.

Vivian Li was appointed a curator of Asian art at the Worcester Art Museum.


Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum was named European Museum of the Year by the European Museum Forum.

Frank Gehry will receive the J. Paul Getty Medal for leadership in visual art on September 28.

Alexandre Arrechea was named artist of the year by the Farber Foundation.

The Baker Artist Awards announced their 2015 Mary Sawyers Baker Prize winners.

Paul McCarthy and Diane Keaton will be honored at the Hammer Museum’s annual gala in October.

Paul McCarthy, “Santa with Butt Plug” (2007), vinyl-coated nylon, four fans, rigging, 24.40 x 12.20 m / 80 x 40 ft, at Paul McCarthy – Air Pressure, De Uithof, City of Utrecht, Netherlands, 2009 (photo by Mark Vos © Paul McCarthy, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth)

Trend Video Art as a Multivalent Medium

Trend Video Art as a Multivalent Medium
Video art is still in the process of establishing itself. Despite the fact that art has been created through the medium over the course of the past century, it’s still hard to pin down what forms video art can take, and what vocabulary we use to talk about it. At New York University’s 80WSE gallery, a current exhibition entitled By Chance, a Video Show.
marshals together video art in its multivalent states, from video-as-installation to video-as-flat surface to video-as-collage. Artists including Alejandro Cesarco, Jason Varone and Nayda Collazo-Llorens explore the different possibilities of video art.
Though not meant to be an encyclopedic or entirely academic exercise (the exhibition’s wall text poses it as a kind of emotional tone poem, the most confusing aspect of the entire show), By Chance, a Video Show manages to represent a few of the different strategies artists use when dealing with video. Arranged in loose succession without a strong over-arching narrative, the exhibition is more impressive for its art than its curation, however. Though the show begins with Seoungho Cho’s superficial, overly flashy 4-screen installation “Neon 2” (2010), the exhibition’s heart lays elsewhere.

Still from Alejandro Cesarco, “Two Stories” (2010)
Nayda Collazo-Llorens’ room-size installation “Unfolding the Triangle (NYC)” (pictured at top) is more of a trip, chiefly for the fact that it stretches outside of video art as an end in itself, instead placing video monitors and footage in the context of other materials. Snaking reflective tape lines wind their way around the walls, connecting bits of text, drawings and images that all loosely form narratives of UFO spottings, strange encounters and supernatural phenomena that have occurred around New York City. Video screens dot the walls as well, with looping abstract moving images like soft-focused search beams pointed at a conspiracy theorist’s camera. Intriguing for its embrace of multiple media, the piece’s actual content and execution leave a little to be desired.
Both Beryl Korot and Alejandro Cesarco use the medium of video for narrative storytelling with pieces that take the now-normal single-channel format projected movie theater-style against a large wall. Korot’s “Florence” (2008/09) mingles rain and rushing water imagery with the primary source narrative of a soldier slogging flooded through trench warfare. The writer’s words also fall like rain. Cesarco further destabilizes the concept of a narrative with “Two Stories” (2010) (seen above), a French New Wave-style exploration of an empty European parlor room, voiced over by a narrator who narrates himself telling an unnamed story to a now-absent audience seated in the same room. The narration loops in circles, with no beginning or end. Cesarco had by far the most delicate, and perhaps the most traditionally art-world-ready, piece in the exhibition. I quite liked his confused sense of teller and listener, voyeur and witness.

Jason Varone, “Dromospheric Pollution” (2011)
If Collazo-Llorens’ use of video in the context of multimedia collage was a little too loose, artists Jason Varone and Jaime Davidovich have sharper takes on that strategy. Varone’s “Dromospheric Pollution” (2011) was both wall drawing and projection. Broiling clouds, or maybe plumes of smoke from some unseen tragedy, sharply etched in thin black lines cover the walls of the artist’s space while video projectors added strings of apocalyptic news headlines descending from the clouds, again, like rain. The mingling of the hand-drawn and the digital is powerful, and the headlines, from environmental catastrophes to medical emergencies, are urgent and relevant in a time of 24/7 media onslaught, but I wish the work felt more ambitious and more finished. It’s the beginning of an inquiry well suited to a university gallery. Davidovich’s installation is less successful but perhaps more superficially pretty, with videos of bucolic scenes projected onto small painted canvases. The canvases give the videos a physical surface and texture, but that doesn’t make their content any more interesting.
This exhibition excels by its artists, who present object examples of different ways to think about video art. Whether strictly narrative, ambient, collaged into a greater installation or some combination of all of the above, together these artists presented an expanded portrait of video art important for its diversity. We could all use more shows like these to further our own understanding of the different possibilities and avenues that video art takes, presented in a context that facilitates contrast and comparison. What’s immediately apparent here is that video art can’t simply be defined by a single strategy.