College Art Association

CAA News Today

News from the Art and Academic Worlds

posted by Christopher Howard — May 17, 2017

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

Damien Hirst Show Sparks Accusations of Cultural Appropriation

Damien Hirst launched his first major show of new works in ten years earlier this month in Venice, shortly ahead of the opening of the Venice Biennale. But along with massive crowds, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable is attracting charges of cultural appropriation, with one of Hirst’s sculptures replicating a Nigerian work from the fourteenth century without proper historical context. (Read more from Artsy.) 

Cultural Appropriation and the Privilege of Creative Assumption

When the Canadian writer W. P. Kinsella died last year at age 81, many laudatory obituaries politely noted that he had been the subject of controversy involving cultural appropriation in the 1980s. Critics, both white and Indigenous, had objected vociferously to Kinsella’s “Indian” stories, in which the writer used a first-person narrator to tell funny tales of reserve life that included bumbling white bureaucrats and native tricksters. (Read more from the Globe and Mail.)

Words Fly on Free-Speech Bill

Numerous states are considering legislation designed to ensure free speech on college campuses, following violent protests over speakers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Middlebury College. Some of the bills would, controversially, mandate punishing students who disrupt campus speakers and require institutions to keep mum on political issues—and perhaps nowhere has the debate been as contentious as in Wisconsin. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Student Rights and the Role of Faculty

Despite the few reasonable similarities between students and customers, it’s still a hair-raising comparison for most faculty. I wonder if we might look at the issue more constructively by considering it from the vantage of student rights. (Read more from Faculty Focus.)

For Robert Rauschenberg, No Artist Is an Island

We tend to think of artists as natural loners, off in their studios, wrestling with their inner selves. But Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends, which opens soon at the Museum of Modern Art, points us in a different direction. It situates Rauschenberg’s work amid that of two dozen fellow artists who provided an audience for one another in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s. (Read more from the New York Times.)

The Arts Brand

“Branding” is a somewhat confusing topic. Briefly, our “brand” is the public’s awareness and perception of our organizations and the goods and services we offer. It is the sum of their perceptions and experiences and is created by all the various parts of our organizations. (Read more from Barry’s Blog.)

Demystifying the Journal Article

One of the most important parts of professionalization is publishing your research. Much of what I’ve learned about publishing comes from submitting papers to journals, incorporating reviewer comments, workshopping papers, and having conversations with colleagues and mentors. (Read more from Inside Higher Ed.)

Artists’ Commissions, Tech Gift, and Guns: The Legal Issues Facing US Museums

What’s keeping museum lawyers up at night? The new future. That was the message at the annual meeting of over two hundred museum professionals and lawyers in Dallas. They discussed how to stay out of trouble when commissioning installation and performance art, how to prepare for changes to US tax law, and how best to collaborate with technology companies. (Read more from the Art Newspaper.)

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