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#Hashtags: The Global in the Local

Wendelien van Oldenborgh. La Javanaise, 2012. Film production still. Photo by Bárbara Wagner.

#globalization #museums #access #representation #decolonization #history A recent conference at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, “Collecting Geographies—Global Programming and Museums of Modern Art,” invited participants to question the responsibilities accrued to arts institutions when they present works of global cultural production as a response to market interest. Each of the topics raised by these questions—globalization, colonial collections, and the critical history of the museum among[.....]

Subverting the Sublime: Wondermountain at Penrith Regional Gallery

Hua Tunan, Fluorescent impression shanshui, 2013, spray paint, 300 x 500, image courtesy the artist

It seemed entirely appropriate that my journey to see Wondermountain at the Penrith Regional Gallery and Lewers Bequest was through rain, a concrete landscape of freeways and overpasses obscured by my windscreen wipers. I arrived beside the swollen Nepean River, the Blue Mountains shrouded in mist, reflecting on the continuing importance of shanshui (mountain/water) painting. A poetic approach to representing landscape evolving from the Tang Dynasty, the[.....]

#Hashtags: The Social and the Political

#engagement #social practice #institutions #academia #authenticity #representation Berkeley has lately been abuzz with social practice of a politically conscious nature that befits the People’s Republic. The Berkeley Art Museum is presenting David Wilson’s The Possible, an exhibition as creative platform that includes numerous artist collaborators and participatory activities for the public. Concurrent with that exhibition, UC Berkeley’s Center for South Asia Studies presented the conference “Collecting[.....]

Feeling Is Mutual at Chicago Artists Coalition

Latham Zearfoss, Court of Apology #1 (COPA #1), 2014. Plexiglas, wood, subwoofer, audio. Courtesy of Chicago Artists Coalition.

Steven L. Bridges’ catalog essay for Feeling Is Mutual at Chicago Artists Coalition invokes a quote by Marcel Duchamp as a mission statement for this exhibition of performance and relational art works. Duchamp’s quote reads, “The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the[.....]

#Hashtags: The Importer/Exporter

Jeffrey Augustine Songco. Blissed Out, 2013. HD looping video. © Jeffrey Augustine Songco. Courtesy of the artist and Steven Wolf Fine Arts, San Francisco.

#commerce #spirituality #appropriation #commodification #orientalism The third and final installment of the Asian Art Museum’s Proximities series of contemporary art exhibitions addresses Asia’s central role in networks of trade, manufacturing, and information. On the whole, this series’ focus on looking at Asia through an American lens has revealed significantly more about America and the Bay Area than about Asia. As with the first and second[.....]

Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art

Cai Guo-Qiang, Heritage, 2013. 99 life-sized replicas of animals, water, sand, drip mechanism; installed dimensions variable
 commissioned for the exhibition ‘Falling Back to Earth’, 2013; proposed for the Queensland Art Gallery collection with funds from the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Diversity Foundation through and with the assistance of the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation.

Ninety-nine animals stand in a circle, heads bent, drinking from a clear pool of impossibly blue water. Predators and prey are lined up in peaceful harmony: lions and tigers together with giraffes, zebras, and antelope; a big black bear with small furry creatures. What utopian vision is this? In Cai Guo-Qiang′s allegorical installation for the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, he has abandoned his usual[.....]

Alex Prager: A Face in the Crowd at Lehmann Maupin

Alex Prager. Face in the Crowd, 2013; installation view, Lehmann Maupin, New York City. Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin.

Alex Prager’s first exhibition at Lehmann Maupin makes a blood pact with the myth of cinema. The gallery’s downtown location hosts large-format stills from Prager’s newest film, A Face in the Crowd, alongside highly staged photographs taken from slightly different angles than those represented in the film. Lehmann Maupin’s Chelsea gallery features more of these beautifully rendered, high-quality stills, as well as a viewing room[.....]