Hundreds gathered in New York's Bryant Park well before the seven P.M. start time yesterday for an evening devoted to "The Last Pictures," a new project by artist Trevor Paglen, sponsored by New York public art agency Creative Time. Paglen discussed the project with filmmaker Werner Herzog, following a reading by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith.
Paglen's piece consists of files for 100 images, engraved on a disc, to be launched into space on a satellite, probably sometime next year ("rocket launches are a moving target," Paglen admitted) from a site in Kazakhstan. The project's central conceit is that perhaps some alien life form will come across the satellite and read the images—a prospect that, Paglen admitted during the discussion, is absurd.
Now in its second year, the Jerusalem Season of Culture is a two-and-a-half-month program of music, performance and art. The festival is an effort to establish Jerusalem as a city with diverse cultural offerings, not just a religious hotbed. Journalists were invited to experience the final days of the Season of Culture, which concluded this month. The Jerusalem Season of Culture was initiated by the Schusterman Foundation-Israel in cooperation with the Jerusalem Municipality and the Jerusalem Foundation. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has been an enthusiastic supporter from the outset.
It is impossible to consider the culture of Jerusalem without taking into account its military, political and religious context. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu daily beats the war drum to bomb Iran. Civil war rages in Damascus, just 130 miles from Jerusalem. Stateless Palestinians reside on the other side of a giant concrete barrier that runs along the highway to Jerusalem. The recent attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, following the distribution of an anti-Islamic video made by right-wing Americans, only heightens the need to question the political uses of culture.
On Sept. 10, thousands of miners travelled to a defunct coalmine, the venue for this year's Manifesta 9, a European art biennial that changes venues every two years. This edition, titled "The Deep of the Modern" marked the 25th anniversary of the closing of the mine in Genk, Belgium. Before a celebration cocktail in the evening, the miners were invited with their families to visit the exhibition, as the building and the works in the show relate to their past and culture.
Curated by Cuauhtémoc Medina, Katerina Gegos and Dawn Ades, this exhibition focuses on the effects of coal on art. This exhibition examines how coal affected and defined artistic production, on the collective memory of the coalminers, and offers some contemporary reflections on the changes that incurred in the production system worldwide in the 21st century. "This is and was a memorable moment for the mine workers in Limburg, which forces us to remember the 100 years of coalmining in Europe, the social struggle of the coal miners and to acknowledge the impact the closure of coalmining and the conversion processes afterwards had on our current industrial and social changes and structures," Hedwig Fijen, Director of Manifesta, told A.i.A. via email.
"Of course we all might have hoped Ken Price would be alive long enough to be with us," said Los Angeles County Museum of Art curator Stephanie Barron at a memorial service for the artist on Wednesday. It was the evening of the opening of "Ken Price: A Retrospective" (through Jan. 6, 2013). The sculptor died in February, after two and a half years working with Barron and architect Frank Gehry, who designed the exhibition. The show will travel to the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Tex. (Feb. 9–May 12, 2013), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (June 18–Sept. 22, 2013).
A lighthearted variety of Land art came to Queens, N.Y.'s Rockaway Beach on Friday via a sandcastle competition for artists, organized by New York public art organization Creative Time. Thirteen artist teams were invited to compete for gold, silver and bronze shovels.
Sand began to fly just before three o'clock. Artists hauled buckets of water to irrigate their patch of sand; planks of wood were deployed to form support structures; the artists, intent on their projects, talked surprisingly little trash, but instead put their backs into their work.
Two slide carousels, 80 slides each, approx. 9-minute loop. Courtesy Callicoon Fine Arts, New York.