“You cannot be a contemporary art curator if you just spend your time looking at objects. You have got to engage deeply with artists, and sometimes you have to see yourself as an active co-conspirator with the artists you work with.”
The quote above is from Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City. It’s one of a series of tips offered by US Museum Directors in The Art Newspaper earlier this year. (Read the whole bunch here).
Following the lead of institutions including MOMA, Dia Beacon and the Getty, the Metropolitan Museum is considering a ban on selfie sticks (see irritating contraption pictured above). The Met’s chief digital officer Sree Sreenivasan has stated “I am pro-selfie, just not pro-selfie stick,” citing visitor safety and a desire to protect their collection as key motivations behind the proposed ban. So don’t be a psychopath, just put the stick down.
Nicholas Chambers, currently the the Milton Fine Curator of Art at The Andy Warhol Museum will be returning to Sydney, his home town, this November. After two and a half years at the Warhol Museum, he’s heading back to Australia to take up the role of Senior Curator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Warhol Museum Director Eric Shiner has confirmed that the institution will soon begin an international search for his successor.
Some Tauranga locals are up in arms over two images taken by NZ documentary photographer Fiona Clark in the early 1970s. Included in the current group exhibition Now and Then at Tauranga Art Gallery, the photographs were shot at a 1974 University of Auckland gay liberation dance and feature hand written ‘captions’ containing sexual references generated by the sitters. “This is not a good look for Tauranga” says resident Jocelyn Winwood, who is “disgusted that such exhibits can be viewed by the public” and has asked Bay of Plenty councillors to remove the works from exhibition.
The same images caused a stir when they were first exhibited in the seminal ‘Active Eye’ exhibition (New Zealand’s first survey of local contemporary photography) in 1975. Public outcry against Clark’s work was so strong that the show never opened at Auckland Art Gallery and the photographs were eventually removed from the touring component of the exhibition.
Nearly 40 years on there’s significant institutional support for Hall (she was the subject of a major exhibition, Go Girl, at Govett Brewster Art Gallery in 2002) and despite these renewed complaints, Tauranga Art Gallery is standing by the works. “We would not consider withdrawing any works as they are very much part of the exhibition” said Director Penelope Jackson. “Art often challenges us, both in good and bad ways. Given recent events with gay rights in New Zealand, the [Auckland University gay liberation] dance was part of our country’s history.”
It’s a shame that the same level of gallery support for ‘controversial’ work is lacking here in Melbourne, as the current Paul Yore furore attests. Rather than stand behind the work of the artist, Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts has simply closed its doors.
Visual artist and Psychic TV front wo/man Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is about to have h/er first solo institutional exhibition at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. S/HE IS HER/E contains over 100 works made by the artist from the 1970s to the present. Created in collaboration with his late wife Lady Jaye, P Orridge’s ‘Pandrogyne Project’ is the focal point of the exhibition. In an ongoing proposition, the couple sought to combine their two identities (through surgeries, cross dressing and hormone therapy) into one pandrogynous being; ‘Breyer P-Orridge’. The video above, included in the exhibition, addresses this collapsing of gender. Following the death of Lady Jaye in 2007, Genesis continues the project by occupying Breyer P-Orridge completely.
Chris Saines is the new director of the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane. Saines has been the Director of Auckland Art Gallery since 1996 and oversaw its recent redevelopment. He replaces QAG/GOMA’s former Director Tony Elwood, who became Director of the NGV here in Melbourne in August. Saines will replace Acting QAG/GOMA Director Suhanya Raffel at the end of April.
Next year’s Whitney Biennale – the last to be held in the museum’s Marcel Breuer-designed building – is taking a different tack. The survey of contemporary American practice will be curated across three different floors by three different curators; none of whom are based in New York. The curators are Stuart Comer (film curator at Tate Modern), Anthony Elms (associate curator at Philadelphia ICA) and Michelle Grabner (professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago).
Rather than collaborate, each curator gets a floor of their own, thus allowing for three diverse perspectives on contemporary art in the US. Chief curator of the Whitney Donna De Salvo says: “By flinging open the Museum’s doors metaphorically, we hope to create a platform in which voices from outside the Whitney can enliven the conversation around contemporary art in the United States.” (As an aside, all of these ‘voices’ happen to be white…). The exhibition opens in March.