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News Jun 15, 2008 No Comments

“Australia’s peak visual arts body has slammed suggestions from a child welfare activist that a vetting system be established to determine artists’ bona fides in working with children.

“At a Sydney censorship forum on Thursday – organised to discuss the furore over Bill Henson‘s photographs of naked young girls – Bravehearts executive director Hetty Johnston questioned the art world’s ability to prevent pedophiles from passing themselves off as artists.

“National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) executive director Tamara Winikoff said yesterday a panel of scrutineers making decisions about artists and their work was not an appropriate way to fight child pornography. “Real pornographers would laugh at the impotence of this kind of proposal, while the work of genuine artists may be compromised by the laboriousness and potential conservatism of such a requirement,” she said. “We have seen too many cases of artworks being misjudged or suppressed in their own time and later recognised as the defining cultural icons of their age…”

Art censorship isn’t the answer, The Australian.

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“As the designer R. Buckminster Fuller liked to tell it, his powerful creative vision was born of a moment of deep despair at the age of 32. A self-described ne’er-do-well, twice ejected from Harvard, a failure in business and a heavy drinker, he trudged to the Chicago lakefront one day in 1927 and stood there, contemplating suicide. But an inner voice interrupted, telling him that he had a mission to discover great truths, all for the good of humankind.

A model of R. Buckminster Fuller’s “Dymaxion Dwelling Machines” community, about 1946. An exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art will offer a review of some of his grandest designs.

“That was the pivot on which, he claimed, his life turned. The onetime loser entered a period of such deep reflection that he was struck silent, then emerged bursting with creativity as he developed the “Dymaxion” inventions: technologies that he promised would transform housing, transportation, urban organization and, eventually, the human condition. From 1927 on, Fuller seemed utterly self-assured, even messianic, as he developed innovations like the geodesic dome, equal parts engineering élan and poetry…”

The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller, The New York Times.

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“Leipzig’s Gallery of Contemporary Art (GfZK) is facing strong criticism for hosting a series of exhibitions which gives dealers, collectors and corporate art collections complete freedom to display their works as they wish. Chris Dercon, the director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich, describes the initiative, entitled “Carte Blanche”, as “exactly the kind of thing that we do not need in public galleries”.

“The GfZK, which is a public-private partnership, receives much of its funding from public sources. It has now ceded curatorial control of half of its galleries until 2010.

“The museum’s director, Barbara Steiner, defends the initiative, describing it as an “open experiment in the way that public and private resources can be used together…”

German museum under fire for ceding control of exhibitions to dealers and collectors
, The Art Newspaper.

* * *

“It was reported in the Telegraph yesterday that a Damien Hirst, owned by Chris Evans, might have been accidentally taken to a charity shop. It is an appealing story, and not the first time art has been mistaken for junk. Last year an early Anish Kapoor sculpture made from polystyrene, resin and cement was chucked out by waste disposal experts.

Marc Quinn‘s infamous frozen blood head was rumoured to have been defrosted in Saatchi’s freezer and staff at Tate Britain threw out a sculpture by Gustav Metzger, mistakenly thinking it was a bag of waste paper. The acceptable response to such stories appears to be one of horror and incredulity, not for the loss of the artwork, but for its original cost and the collector who bought it. Surely there is no greater evidence that the work was rubbish, than its accidental trashing…”

Modern art is rubbish, The Guardian Art & Architecture Blog.

Andrew Frost

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