Contemporaneous Extension


Hard Pressed

I’ve been making homemade tomato sauce this afternoon and reading up on some art headlines over the last few weeks. The international art scene is filled with variables and is ever-changing (quite obviously), but here are some significant highlights.

Philly’s Murals: I haven’t been to Philly in years but even the first mural in the feature makes me want to make the 4hour trek. The intensity of the mural initiative was begun in 1984 by Jane Golden of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and consists of approximately 3,000 revolving murals (not officially, but they come and go). They have evolved with the city and track different tensions and the history of spaces in general. They have adjusted to issues and technologies available to contemporary artists and continue to thrive.

Butterflies of the Carribbean mural by Salvador Gonzalez, completed 2000 (photo: Jack Ramsdale)

Butterflies of the Carribbean mural by Salvador Gonzalez, completed 2000 (photo: Jack Ramsdale)

Steve Hermann’s ‘Glass Pavillion’: I’d be worried about moose running into my living room before public nudity, break-ins, or throwing stones. I’m obsessed with the two bathrooms and living room in the slideshow. If only one could live so glamorously in the forest for less than $35mill…

–  Mucha’s machismo: I love catching up with news in Prague, especially when the posterboy is throwing DOWN. The Slavic Epic was a piece my History of Czech Art teacher was extremely bitter about, making a point to relay Mucha’s ultimate dream to have it displayed in Prague for all to see.  The article looks into the tender state of Mucha’s revoked request, finding its way into his grandson’s hands and the basis of such a debate. Also, the last paragraph is worth the full read.

'The Abolition of Serfdom in Russia,' 1914.

'The Abolition of Serfdom in Russia,' 1914.

'Slavs in their original homeland,' 1912

'Slavs in their original homeland,' 1912

'The Printing of the Bible of Kralice in Ivančice,' 1914

'The Printing of the Bible of Kralice in Ivančice,' 1914

Museums spy too: Although museum traffic isn’t something I think too extensively about, this article presented tactics for contemporary museums surviving the future. Many museums are less dependent on tourists than the museums I’ve been spoiled by in NYC. They must, thus, cater much more specifically to the tastes of their direct community and are employing spies to assist in such a transition. The article is based on the experiments in the Detroit Institute of Arts (not as maniacal as it reads).

Faking North Korea’s contentedness with art: an intriguing article about the capabilities of art and exposing the full spectrum of influence. A slew of North Korean art is being shown in Vienna, boasting one of the first time in years that art has escaped the sealed vat of the Totalitarian country. Much of the art is from the last 10 years and relays a perspective reminiscent of World War II propaganda in its lack of variation and overwhelming optimism (in theme and artistic technicalities of color and form). However, I’m wondering how this exhibition could manage to be anywhere near as informative or open without a critical text on the show or any educational opportunities. There’s lots of talk about “mutual respect” and “culture,” but is the truth too much for art that isn’t particularly remarkable and, rather, SO obviously serves an unmentionable purpose? Can bridges be formed if people prefer to just gaze rather than absorb, view rather than process what these images are? ((great supplementary article on it))

exhibition view

exhibition view

Kim Myong Gon's propaganda poster ("Establish a Reading and Studying Atmosphere Throughout the Whole Society!"), 2010

Kim Myong Gon's propaganda poster ("Establish a Reading and Studying Atmosphere Throughout the Whole Society!"), 2010

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