College Art Association

CAA News Today

Each week CAA News publishes summaries of eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

By Paying Artists Nothing, We Risk Severing the Pipeline of UK Talent

Contrary to public expectation, but not the experience of many in the sector, most galleries in the United Kingdom do not pay exhibiting artists. In the past three years, 71 percent of artists didn’t get a fee for contributions to publicly funded exhibitions. And this culture of nonpayment is actually stopping artists from accepting offers from galleries, with 63 percent forced to reject gallery offers because they can’t afford to work for nothing. (Read more from the Guardian.)

Looking beyond the Tenured

An interesting dilemma lies ahead: where will all the academic administrators come from? Historically most administrators in academic affairs—whether they be department chairs, program directors, deans, or provosts—have come from the ranks of tenured faculty. But with faculty increasingly being contingent and off the tenure track (70 percent), there has not been much consideration of where administrators within academic affairs will come from. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Let’s All Stop Worrying about Grade Inflation

This month, all over the country, thousands upon thousands of college instructors are losing sleep over grade inflation. They’ve worked hard all semester to make their students better thinkers and writers with a wider base of knowledge. They’ve done their level best to assess their students’ performance in class fairly and accurately. They’ve devoted many hours to choosing the most appropriate assessment criteria for the their classes’ objectives. And yet, staring at a long list of As, A-minuses, and B-pluses, these otherwise confident and self-assured teachers feel real guilt at adding to what is surely the scourge of American education. (Read more from Vitae.)

“Empathetically Correct” Is the New Politically Correct

When I was attending graduate school in the late 1980s and early 1990s, political correctness reigned supreme. Lassoing the powers of language, literature, and the law, the movement dubbed PC initially worked toward the good goal of greater inclusiveness for marginalized communities. Eventually, it morphed into a tyranny of speech codes, sensitivity training, and book banning. But it seems political correctness is being replaced by a new trend—one that might be called “empathetic correctness.” (Read more from the Atlantic.)

Prehistoric Hunting Scenes Unearthed in Spanish Cave

A series of hunting scenes dating from seven thousand years ago have been found by archaeologists on the six-meter long wall of a small cave in the region of Vilafranca in Castellón, eastern Spain—but it is being kept a secret for now. A layer of dust and dirt covered ten figures, including bulls, two archers, and a goat. The murals were exposed to harsh weather, but the paintings pigments have not seriously deteriorated. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

Impressionists with Benefits? The Painting Partnership of Degas and Cassatt

In her novel I Always Loved You, Robin Oliveira imagines a passionate scene between Edgar Degas—a French artist known for his paintings of dancers—and Mary Cassatt—an American painter known for her scenes of family life. The kiss in the novel is pure fiction, but then again, “nobody knows what goes on in their neighbor’s house, let alone what happened between two artists 130 years ago,” the author says. (Read more from National Public Radio.)

Glasgow School of Art Archivists Begin Fire Salvage Effort

Specialist archivists from the Glasgow School of Art have begun the operation to conserve items damaged by the fire that ripped through the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building in the city center last week. The salvage effort will also retrieve the work of students who were preparing for their final-year degree show in the building at the time of the fire, which is believed to have started in the basement. (Read more from the Guardian.)

Faculty Refuse to See Themselves as Workers. Why?

Many academics, especially those in the tenure track, just resist seeing themselves as laborers. Academics, even many adjuncts, continue to think they belong to a loosely meritocratic system in which the best work rises to the top, peer review remains the optimal way to judge the quality of work, and if you work hard enough, you’ll be fine. (Read more from Vitae.)

Filed under: CAA News

Last month CAA restructured its membership program and added exciting new benefits, including: online access to The Art Bulletin and Art Journal; online access to additional journals in the Taylor & Francis collection; and access to JPASS, JSTOR’s expansive selection of more than 1,500 journals, at a 50 percent discount. As part of this restructuring, CAA included a new category for Part-Time Faculty among its discounted memberships. And now, based on thoughtful feedback CAA received from supportive members, we have expanded this category to include “Independents” to help support independent artists, scholars, designers, and the like.

The creation of these new membership categories is part of CAA’s response to changing conditions in the workplace for many professionals in the visual arts. CAA is committed to supporting part-time, non-tenure-track faculty, and those in transition, who receive limited institutional support, as well as independent professionals with no institutional affiliation.

Visit the Individual Membership section of the CAA website to learn more about all the new categories.

Filed under: Membership, Workforce

Each week CAA News publishes summaries of eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

The New Manifestos: Six Artist Texts That Are Defining Today’s Avant-Garde

Once upon a time, you couldn’t flip through a European newspaper without coming across the polemical manifesto of a budding avant-garde artists’ movement. The major movements of the twentieth century all started with formal statements of intent written by artists, not critics, and often in inflammatory prose. In contrast, today’s categories like “conceptual art,” “relational aesthetics,” “bio art,” and “new media” refer to general trends in contemporary art as a whole rather than describing specific groups of artists who are professionally or socially associated with one another. What’s more, these terms are more often cooked up by critics than by artists themselves. (Read more from Artspace.)

Metropolitan Museum Initiative Provides Free Access to 400,000 Digital Images

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced today that more than four hundred thousand high-resolution digital images of public-domain works in the museum’s world-renowned collection may be downloaded directly from the museum’s website for noncommercial use—including in scholarly publications in any media—without permission from the museum and without a fee. The number of available images will increase as new digital files are added on a regular basis. (Read more from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

An Academic Working Dad

At a recent meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, I spoke on a panel about the challenges and possibilities of being an academic and a parent. I took the panel, organized by the group’s graduate-student council, as a positive sign that next-generation scholars in my field believe that it’s possible to integrate their professional and personal lives. Here’s the problem: not one male graduate student attended. (Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Judge Rules Detroit Bankruptcy Creditors Can’t Remove Art from DIA Walls

Judge Steven Rhodes ruled today that he won’t allow some of Detroit’s largest creditors to remove art from the walls at the Detroit Institute of Arts in order to inspect and appraise the works as part of the city’s bankruptcy. He also denied the creditors’ motion seeking access to up to a million additional pages of historic documents about the art housed at the city-owned museum. However, Rhodes said he would allow creditors to work with DIA officials to gain access to artwork in storage at the museum for purposes of inspection. (Read more from the Detroit Free Press.)

Detroit Bankruptcy Judge Nixes Art Access Request

A judge in Detroit’s bankruptcy refused to grant hands-on access to a valuable trove of art last week, telling creditors who face steep losses in the case that they can visit a city museum and browse the walls like any other patron. Bond insurers have pointed to the art as a possible billion-dollar source of cash in the bankruptcy. But the city is firmly opposed to any sale and instead is banking on a separate, unique deal that would protect the art forever and soften pension cuts for thousands of retirees. (Read more from ABC News.)

Writing Environments

One of my priorities when I teach my university’s first- and second-year writing courses is to help students become more self-aware and reflective about their own writing practices. As you might expect, this means that each semester I also find myself reflecting on my own writing practices. Sometimes even experienced writers forget to consider the physical and temporal environments within which we write. We often fall into habits, and once a habit is established, it can lull us into a sense of comfort, or stagnation. It is a lesson not only that novice student writers need to learn but one from which experienced writers may also benefit. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

The Three Letters of Recommendation You Must Have

I am currently a visiting assistant professor at a regional campus of a state university system. Should I still be including a letter of recommendation from my grad-school advisor in applications? I’m three years out of grad school, and my advisor is great—always updates the letter, takes into account new work I’ve published, and so on—but does it look bad (too “grad student-y”) to rely on an advisor’s letter at this point in my career? (Read more from Vitae.)

Should I Go to Grad School? versus MFA vs. NYC

PhD and MFA programs are costly; job prospects are dim; graduate student labor is not recognized as work; there is a huge opportunity cost to spending seven years toiling away on book you worry will never see the light of day. These are urgent problems. (Read more from the Billfold.)

Filed under: CAA News

At its May 4, 2014, meeting, the Board of Directors agreed to suspend the Professional-Development Fellowships in Art History and Visual Arts until a thorough analysis of the program and an exploration into other professional-development opportunities take place. When CAA’s newly approved Strategic Plan 2015–2020 begins on July 1, 2014, the board will, among the plan’s priorities, investigate the full range of possibilities that might best serve the professional-development needs of CAA’s membership.

CAA’s fellowship program began in 1993 and, with the exception of 2009, when it was suspended for a year due to the global financial crisis, has provided grants to worthy graduate students about to receive their terminal PhD or MFA degrees. The program has benefitted 51 graduate students in the last seven years and 154 since 1993.

The board hopes to reinstate the fellowships by May 2015 or to design another program to help professionals in the visual arts and art history.

caa.reviews invites nominations and self-nominations for two individuals to join its Council of Field Editors, which commissions reviews within an area of expertise or geographic region, for a three-year term: July 1, 2014–June 30, 2017. An online journal, caa.reviews is devoted to the peer review of new books, museum exhibitions, and projects relevant to art history, visual studies, and the arts.

The journal seeks two field editors for books in two areas: Korean art and African diaspora art. Candidates may be artists, art historians, critics, curators, or other professionals in the visual arts; institutional affiliation is not required.

Working with the caa.reviews editor-in-chief, the caa.reviews Editorial Board, and CAA’s staff editor, each field editor selects content to be reviewed, commissions reviewers, and reviews manuscripts for publication. Field editors for books are expected to keep abreast of newly published and important books and related media in his or her field of expertise. The Council of Field Editors meets annually at the CAA Annual Conference. Field editors must pay travel and lodging expenses to attend the conference.

Candidates must be current CAA members and should not be serving on the editorial board of a competitive journal or on another CAA editorial board or committee. Nominators should ascertain their nominee’s willingness to serve before submitting a name; self-nominations are also welcome. Please send a statement describing your interest in and qualifications for appointment, a CV, and your contact information to: caa.reviews Editorial Board, College Art Association, 50 Broadway, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10004; or email the documents to Mallory Roark, CAA publications department assistant. Deadline: June 15, 2014.

Filed under: caa.reviews, Publications, Service

Mapping Titian is a new digital resource that allows users to visualize one of the most fundamental concerns of the discipline of art history: the relationship between an artwork and its changing historical context. Focusing on the paintings executed by the Venetian Renaissance artist Titian (ca. 1488–1576), this site offers a searchable provenance index of his attributed pictures and allows users to create customizable collections of paintings and customizable maps that show the movement of the pictures over time and space. Mapping Titian has been generously funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation through a digital art-history grant to Boston University.

Mapping Titian contains the most up-to-date information available from print publications and from museum websites for the provenance of the paintings. The sources for each work’s provenance are cited each time the picture changes ownership and/or location. A references page includes a complete bibliographic entry for these sources. Users are encouraged to share new information or to offer corrections to the current database. As of now, the site has only paintings attributed to Titian and, because of attribution questions, does not yet include drawings by the artist. Information is still being entered and refined, and the site should be fully developed by September 2014.

Titian’s paintings have proven to be an especially rich microcosm of possible directions for the future project, Mapping Artworks, of which this current site would be one part. The application would provide a template for other scholars and educators to map other groups of objects, whether by artist, medium, or another criterion. Future phases of this project will include additional ways beyond geographic maps to visualize these “lives,” including nongeographic networks and three-dimensional virtual reconstructions of important collecting spaces in history.

CAA members who are interested in joining the advisory board for Mapping Titian and/or have any questions can contact Jodi Cranston, professor of Renaissance art at Boston University.

Image Caption

Titian, Madonna of the Pesaro Family, 1519–26, oil on canvas, 16 x 9 ft. Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice (artwork in the public domain)

 

Filed under: Art History, Research — Tags:

CAA has begun accepting nominations for the 2015 Awards for Distinction, which will be presented at the 103rd Annual Conference in New York. Please review the guidelines below to familiarize yourself with the nomination process and to download, complete, and submit the requested materials. Deadline: July 31, 2014, for the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award and the Alfred H. Barr Jr. Awards; August 31, 2014, for all others.

General Guidelines

In your letter, state who you are; how you know (of) the nominee; how the nominee and/or his or her work or publication has affected your practice or studies and the pursuit of your career; and why you think this person (or, in a collaboration, these people) deserves to be recognized. We also urge you to contact up to five colleagues, students, peers, collaborators, and/or coworkers of the nominee to write letters; no more than five letters are considered. Letters of support are important for reference, but the awards decisions are the responsibilities of the juries based on their expert assessment of the qualifications of the nominees.

Nominations for book and exhibition awards should be for authors of books published or works exhibited or staged between September 1, 2013, and August 31, 2014. Books published posthumously are not eligible. Letters of support are not required for the Morey and Barr awards. All submissions must include a completed 2015 nomination form and one copy of the nominee’s CV (limit: two pages); book-award nominations do not require a CV (see below for the appropriate forms for the Morey and Barr awards and the Porter Prize).

Charles Rufus Morey Book Award

To give the jury full opportunity to evaluate each submission fairly, submit materials well before the deadline. Please review the following nomination guidelines:

  • A publisher may submit no more than five titles. In addition, CAA accepts nominations from its membership, jury members, reviews editors for The Art Bulletin and Art Journal, and field editors from caa.reviews
  • Publishers may not submit the same title for the Morey and Barr awards. The Morey jury does not accept exhibition catalogues
  • Eligible books must have been published between September 1, 2013, and August 31, 2014
  • Books published posthumously are not eligible
  • CAA and each jury member must receive a copy of the nominated book. A total of six copies of the book must be sent. To receive the mailing addresses for the jury, please contact Lauren Stark, CAA manager of programs
  • Complete and submit the Morey nominaton form
  • Letters of support are not required

Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award

To give the jury full opportunity to evaluate each submission fairly, submit materials well before the deadline. Please review the following nomination guidelines:

  • A publisher may submit no more than five titles. In addition, CAA accepts nominations from its membership, jury members, reviews editors for The Art Bulletin and Art Journal, and field editors from caa.reviews
  • Publishers may not submit the same title for the Morey and Barr awards. The Morey jury does not accept exhibition catalogues
  • Eligible books must have been published between September 1, 2013, and August 31, 2014
  • Books published posthumously are not eligible
  • CAA and each jury member must receive a copy of the nominated book. A total of six copies of the book must be sent. To receive the mailing addresses for the jury, please contact Lauren Stark, CAA manager of programs
  • Complete and submit the Barr nomination form
  • Letters of support are not required

Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize

To determine eligibility, authors of articles in The Art Bulletin must complete the Porter nomination form.

Frank Jewett Mather Award

Please submit copies of critical writings, which may be website links and printouts, photocopies or scanned pages of newspapers or magazines, and more. If the writing is contained in a single volume (such as a book), please provide the publication information.

Distinguished Teaching of Art and Art History Awards

Letters for these two awards are particularly important for the juries because of the personal contact involved in successful teaching.

Contact

Please write to Lauren Stark, CAA manager of programs, for more information about the nomination process. Visit the Awards section of the CAA website to learn more about the individual awards.

CAA caught up with DeWitt Godfrey, the new president of the CAA Board of Directors, via email shortly after the board’s spring meeting, which was held on May 4, 2014, to talk about the organization’s direction.

Godfrey, professor of sculpture in the Department of Art and Art History at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, recently began his two-year term. A board member since 2009, he has served on the Executive Committee as secretary (2010–12) and vice president for committees (2012–14). Godfrey succeeds Anne Collins Goodyear, codirector of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Bowdoin, Maine, who has led the board since May 2012.

You reorganized the Professional Practices Committee to bring many of the guidelines and standards up to date. What progress has been made over the past few years?

During my term as chair, the Professional Practices Committee created a set of procedures and practices that would ensure that each standard and guideline would be reviewed—and updated as needed—on a regular schedule. Over the past few years, using these “guidelines for guidelines,” the committee has updated dozens of our standards, some of which had languished for decades. The Standards and Guidelines section is one the most visited on our website, and the CAA staff members field inquiries concerning best practices in the field on almost a daily basis. This section is one of the most important services we provide for membership, institutions, and the field more broadly.

The 2015–2020 Strategic Plan addresses advocacy for part-time faculty, instituting leadership ladders at CAA, building membership, and social networking. How would you like CAA to respond to these four issues during your term as president?

I can think of no issue of greater importance to CAA and our membership than the rapidly changing academic workforce and the plight of part-time and contingent faculty. CAA has been premised on the assumption that the basic needs of our academic members—economic stability, benefits, support for scholarship—would be met by their home institutions. With the increasing reliance on part-time and adjunct faculty, those assumptions are eroding, sometimes with alarming consequences. CAA must respond to these challenges through expanded advocacy at the governmental and institutional level (we are already members of the Coalition on the Academic Workforce) and moving to understand and meet the professional needs of this growing segment of our constituents.

A strong organization requires strong leadership. We are striving to cultivate leaders among the members of our standing Professional Interests, Practices, and Standards Committees and our awards and publishing-grant juries. We are also working to persuade CAA members of the benefits of committee service who can help us meet the organization’s challenges both now and in the future. We often reach out to members and even beyond CAA for specific expertise to augment the work of committees and task forces. We volunteer our time and talents, committed to the vision of CAA as the preeminent international leadership organization in the visual arts. We also recognize how CAA has supported our own teaching, practice, and service in myriad ways and want to provide the same benefits for our colleagues at all stages of their careers.

As CAA begins its second century, we face many of the same issues confronting other membership organizations in a digital world in which access to rich troves of information and services are decentralized and diffuse. The arts are where a diversity of disciplines come together. Over time, the needs and interests of our membership have undergone dramatic transformation; we want to continue to provide programs, publications, services, and opportunities that reflect the changing needs in the field and to deliver critical support to individual members over the course of their careers. We need to ask what benefits CAA membership provides. What can CAA do for it members that other learned societies cannot? How can we advocate the visual arts more broadly? How can we cultivate a membership with a diversity of practices and practitioners?

DeWitt Godfrey, Layman, 2012, corten steel and bolts, 23 x 7 x 8 ft. Currently installed at Lehman College Art Gallery, Lehman College, Bronx, New York (artwork © DeWitt Godfrey)

How has teaching art changed over the last fifteen years?

Over the last fifteen years the disciplinary model of studio teaching has come under pressure, mirroring the shifting, overlapping boundaries of artistic practices. The challenge is to provide an equivalent depth and rigor of a particular disciplinary practice in an art world and context in which disciplinary distinctions have lost much of their meaning and value. More dramatically, the reach of digital tools into every area of art practice is creating a wholesale revolution, a fundamental disruption of how and what we make, how and what we teach, and how we understand the role of art and design in the twenty-first century.

How have your travels and study in other countries—Japan, England, and Scotland—affected how you teach art

Work and travel in other countries provides both rich new worlds and materials and new vantage points from which to examine on your own history and experience. As Buckaroo Banzai put it, “wherever you go there you are.” Different cultures and people understand the world in different ways. I draw upon my international experiences that bring alternative perspectives to my process and practice—often from outside an art context—which helps me to reimagine familiar materials, ideas, and histories.

The Cambridge Arts Council in Massachusetts recently commissioned a public-art project called Waverly. What’s the progress like?

We are currently working the engineers on the location and design of the foundation elements, ahead of the road and bike path improvements that my project will be part of. My piece will span a bike path in a converted railway right of way, along the edge of MIT housing. The path also provides access for fire and safety vehicles, so my sculpture must meet strict width and height requirements. Right now we are projecting a completion sometime in 2015.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags:

Each week CAA News publishes summaries of eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

Sustaining Open Access

A recently proposed model on open-access publishing has drawn praise for rethinking the roles institutions, libraries, and professional organizations play in promoting scholarly communication, but can its collaborative structure be sustained? The proposal envisions stakeholders forming partnerships, each handling one or more of the duties of funding, distributing, and preserving open-access scholarly research—specifically in the humanities and social sciences. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Detroit’s Clever and Likely Illegal Art-for-Pensions Deal

The $816 million art-for-pensions deal that is designed to preserve the Detroit Institute of Arts collection is fascinating, imaginative, and clever. But it’s almost certainly illegal. And I’ll show you why. (Read more from the Washington Post.)

Artworks for Sale Online: It’s a Booming Way to Gatecrash the Elite Gallery World

The World Wide Web is frequently cast as the great enemy of traditional culture, undermining the music industry, the film industry, and publishing. Yet one form of art has now found a way through—perhaps even a way to thrive—and provide careers for artists of the future. The visual arts are booming online. Experienced art collectors and newcomers are both increasingly using websites to find original contemporary works and ordering them for delivery like furniture. (Read more from the Guardian.)

What’s the Most Common Mistake Artists Make?

Your question has set my head spinning. There are so many possibilities. So many mistakes that artists make—like not taking the business side of art seriously or only taking it seriously in the middle of a crisis when, as I mentioned in my last post, it is too late. Or romanticizing the “starving artist” notion. Or allowing themselves to become resentful of other artists’ success. (Read more from KCET.)

The Paradox of Art as Work

There are few modern relationships as fraught as the one between art and money. Are they mortal enemies, secret lovers, or perfect soul mates? Is the bond between them a source of pride or shame, a marriage of convenience, or something tawdrier? The way we habitually think and talk about these matters betrays a deep and venerable ambivalence. (Read more from the New York Times.)

Flipped Learning Skepticism: Do Students Want to Have Lectures?

Students in a flipped classroom are rebelling because they want you to lecture to them and to explain how to do everything so that they can earn a top grade in the class. Here are some responses to this issue that one could make. (Read more from Casting Out Nines.)

Teaching Outside Your Subject Area

This spring Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR) asked Jenn Ball if it could facilitate a project with her students with the intent of posting the process on the AHTR site. At her suggestion, the discussion focused on teaching a unit in the survey outside of one’s area of expertise, something art history professors are faced with each semester. (Read more from Art History Teaching Resources.)

Sixteen Artist Hangouts You Can Still Go To

Since the days of Hemingway and Faulkner, bars and cafes where writers, painters, and performance artists go to procrastinate have often caught the public’s imagination. The romance of the artist’s hangout is irresistible. From rivalries fermented over drinks to witty one-liners exchanged by Dorothy Parker and her well-read pals, these are the places of a struggling artist’s networking dreams. Even better, some of the most iconic artist hangouts and literary pubs that continue to welcome patrons today. (Read more from CNN.)

Filed under: CAA News

Each month, CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts selects the best in feminist art and scholarship. The following exhibitions and events should not be missed. Check the archive of CWA Picks at the bottom of the page, as several museum and gallery shows listed in previous months may still be on view or touring.

May 2014

Regina José Galindo, PIEDRA, 2013, San Paolo, Brasile, Foto di Julio Pantoja / Marlene Ramirez-Cancio, Commissionato e prodotto da Octavo Encuentro Hemisférico del Centro de Estudios de Arte y Política, Courtesy dell’Artista e PrometeoGallery (artwork © Regina José Galindo)

Regina José Galindo: Estoy Viva
Pac/Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea
Via Palestro, 14, Milan, Italy
March 25–June 8, 2014

Curated by Diego Sileo and Eugenio Viola, this is the first survey of the work of the acclaimed Guatemalan performance artist and poet Regina Jose Galindo (b. 1974). Galindo became first known for political performances in Guatemala in the late 1990s, including her bloody walk from the Congress of Guatemala building to the National Palace in protest against the presidential candidacy of Guatemala’s former dictator, Jose Efrain Rios Montt. In 2005 she received the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale, in the category of “artists under 30,” for her video Himenoplastia, a controversial feminist work featuring the artist undergoing surgical reconstruction of her hymen. Although Galindo has organized performances in which she does not take part, her work is distinguished for the political use of her own body in order to tackle a variety of social issues, including cultural traumas, and to denounce the ethical implications of social and cultural injustices, discriminations of race and sex, and, more in general, all kinds of abuses stemming from power. A postidentarian turning of her body into a symbolic evocation of the “social body differentiates the use of her self as the tool of her critique from the autobiographic one of several of her performance art progenitors.”

The exhibition Estoy Viva is divided in five sections that, conceived as permeable categories, illustrate the focus of her critique and poetics: politics, woman, violence, organic, and death. It is titled after the eponymous performance conceived and performed for the opening of the exhibition and featuring the artist naked in a white chilly room on a sort of tombstone, her life proved only by her invisible breath’s imprint on a mirror held by each visitor in front of her nose. The exhibition is accompanied by a film by Cosimo Alemà, a cinematographic reading of her work produced in collaboration with the artist as an emotional key to her work.

Sara VanDerBeek
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
11400 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH
March 7–June 8, 2014

The New York–based photographer Sara VanDerBeek (b. Baltimore, 1976) is known for her formally striking employment of photography, sculpture, and performative gestures that contemplate the construction of images, their relation to objects, and the passage of time. For her solo exhibition at MOCA Cleveland, organized by David Norr, VanDerBeek responded to the city of Cleveland in line with her recent work. She began by testing the relation of photograph to object by photographing architectural objects made in her studio that were in turn turned into photographic objects, but her most recent work explores photographically cities central to American history, such as Baltimore, New Orleans, and Detroit, their personal, historical, and political connotations, as well as their distinct urban features. Engaging the city as a physical site and a system undergoing continuous change, the displayed photographs are combined results of VanDerBeek’s experience of Cleveland’s landscape and cultural monuments within a range of material and cultural shifts.

Hito Steyerl: Junktime (artwork © Hito Steyerl)

Hito Steyerl: Junktime
Home Workspace Program
Ashkal Alwan, Building 110, First Floor, Jisr al Wati, Street 90, Beirut 2066-8421 Lebanon
April 16–May 31, 2014

Ashkal Alwan Home Workspace Program 2013–14 presents Hito Steyerl: Junktime, a series of video installations, screenings, and conversations as part of Creating and Dispersing Universes That Work without Working, led by the resident professors Jalal Toufic and Anton Vidokle. The screening series includes twelve films and video installations developed by Steyerl between 2004 and 2014. Between them is presented How Not to be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File, launched in the Venice Biennale exhibition Il Palazzo Enciclopedico in 2013.

Born in Munich in 1966, Steyerl has produced a variety of work as a filmmaker and an author in the field of essayist documentary video. With the global circulation of images as her principal topic of interest, she focuses on the intersection of media technology, political violence, and desire. Departing from the digital image and using humor and charm as political means of expression, her films and essays envision a world in which war, genocide, capital flows, class conflicts, and digital detritus seem to take place only partially within images, thus reminding us we are no longer dealing with the virtual but with a “confusing concreteness.”

Eva Koťátková
Art en Valise
April 3–June 28, 2014


In collaboration with the scrap metal gallery in Dublin and the Unit E in Toronto, Art en Valise presents, as its inaugural project, the first solo exhibition of the multimedia Czech artist Eva Koťátková in Canada. Born in Prague (in 1982), where she lives and works today, Koťátková studied at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, as well as at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. The youngest-ever winner of the prestigious Jindrich Chalupecky Award for Czech artists, she has widely exhibited internationally, both in solo and group exhibitions, and her work was distinguished as one of the highlights of the exhibition The Encyclopedic Palace in the fifty-fifth Venice Biennale (2013).

Underpinned by her generation’s trauma—the contrast of her freedom to do what she wants as opposed to the suppression that haunted the dreams and desires of her parents generation—Koťátková creates work in various media, including collage, film collage, and “mad” sculptures, that seem to explore the often-failed attempts of people to both conform to and break free of the rules and codes of contemporary societal institutions, including family and school. Kotátková undermines and recontextualizes the values and mechanisms used to regulate our perception of the world, and, in turn, the way we perceive ourselves.

Bringing together drawing, collage, installation, sculpture, and performance, the exhibition investigates Kotátková’s process of deconstructing traditional behavioral systems to produce fragmented models that invite alternative ways of communication, while offering a unique opportunity to explore the idiosyncratic surrealist sensibility that underpins her multimedia practice, signature themes such as the cage, and her use of the body.

Dorothy Iannone, The Next Great Moment In History Is Ours, 1970. Courtesy die Künstlerin, Air de Paris, Paris, und Peres Projects, Berlin, Foto: Joachim Littkemann (artwork © Dorothy Iannone)

Dorothy Iannone: This Sweetness Outside of Time; Paintings, Objects, Books 1959–2014
Berlinische Galerie
Alte Jakobstraße 124–128, 10969 Berlin, Germany
February 20–June 2, 2014

The Berlinische Galerie presents This Sweetness Outside of Time, a major solo exhibition of the Berlin-based American artist Dorothy Iannone. This will be the first extensive retrospective to address the humorous and erotic oeuvre of one of the most unusual women artists of the twentieth and twenty-first century. This Sweetness Outside of Time includes paintings, objects, and books created by the self-taught artist between 1959 and 2014. The aim of this retrospective is to illustrate the radical subjectivity of this unique artist to a wider audience.

A pioneering spirit against censorship and for free love and autonomous female sexuality, Iannone (b. Boston, 1933) occupies a distinct place as an artist in the second half of the twentieth century. Her oeuvre spans more than fifty years and includes painting and visual narrative, autobiographical texts and films. Since the 1960s Iannone continues to go her own way without compromise, artistically and conceptually. She is a pioneer of women’s sexual and intellectual emancipation that draws uncompromisingly on her own life.

Iannone’s art frequently depicts the sexual union between man and woman with an unmistakably mystical dimension rooted in the spiritual and physical union of opposites. Through graphic paintings, object, and books, her visual universe portrays partly clothed and naked figures on bright psychedelic backgrounds of flora, mandalas, and biomorphic patterns in which male and female sexuality celebrate the joy of intimate relationships while subverting traditional gender stereotypes of control an dominance. This Sweetness Outside of Time presents a personal narrative of a passionate pursuit of “ecstatic unity” through transcendence and spirituality.

Tauba Auerbach, The New Ambidextrous Universe I, 2013, plywood, .75 x 96 x 48 inches. Photo: Vegard Kleven courtesy Standard (Oslo) (artwork © Tauba Auerbach)

Tauba Auerbach: The New Ambidextrous Universe
Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Mall, London
SW1Y 5AH, United Kingdom
April 16–June 15, 2014

The Institute of Contemporary Art, London, presents The New Ambidextrous Universe, the first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom of Tauba Auerbach (b. San Francisco, 1981), a New York–based artist who works in sculpture, photography, painting, weaving, prints, artist’s books, and performance. In her early career she created graphic sign paintings, producing abstract renderings of calligraphy and typography. In recent work she has developed a signature practice of ironing creases into her canvases and using industrial paint guns or hand-painted Ben Day dots to create the illusion of three-dimensional folded fabric that Auerbach describes as “Fold” paintings that occupy “a liminal state between two and three dimensions.” The artist plays with perceptions of space, taking a highly innovative approach to mechanical processes and color. For The New Ambidextrous Universe, Auerbach presents newly created sculptures and photographs that translate the scientific principles of symmetry and reflection in pallid plywood as a means “to hint at an alternate, mirror universe.”

2014 Open Engagement Conference

Open Engagement Conference 2014
Queens Museum of Art
New York City Building, Flushing Meadows, Corona Park, Queens, NY 11368
May 16–18, 2014

Open Engagement is a free international conference that sets out to explore various perspectives on art and social practice with the aim to expand the dialogue around socially engaged art making. The conference will examine how economic and social conditions connect to life values and philosophies, situating the everyday in relation to a larger political and social issues that includes labor, economics, food production, ways of being, and education.

Directed and founded by Jen Delos Reyes, the 2014 Open Engagement Conference is copresented by the Queens Museum of Art and A Blade of Grass and takes place in the Hall of Science, the Queens Theater, Immigrant Movement International, and various locations throughout New York. As in previous conferences, Open Engagement will include a partnership with graduate programs featuring art and social engagement. This year this partnership will include a number of New York–based programs led by Social Practice Queens at Queens College, City University of New York. The event also features two keynote presenters, Mierle Laderman Ukeles and J. Morgan Puett, and focuses on the theme of “life/work.” The legacies of these two seminal figures have through their practices defined and redefined how life and work can be the foundation for artistic exploration.

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