Artist Anicka Yi Does TED Talk, MASS MoCA Workers Stage One-Day Strike, and More: Morning Links for August 22, 2022

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The Headlines

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BACK HOME. The New York Times has a report from Cotonou, Benin, where an exhibition is on view of 26 objects that were looted in 1892 by France, which returned them to the country last year. They had previously been in the collection of Paris’s Quai Branly museum. The exhibition occurs as many African countries are calling for the repatriation of works that were taken amid colonialism. Staged at Benin’s presidential palace, it has drawn more than 200,000 visitors, and many there hope that it will be the first of many such displays. “We want the most emblematic artworks, those speaking to our soul,” Benin’s culture minister, Jean-Michel Abimbola, told the Times.

LIVE ON STAGE. Hot on the heels of her star turn at the Tate Modern Turbine Hall in London, a survey at Hangar Bicocca in Milan, and an outing at Gladstone Galley’s Seoul branch, artist Anicka Yi has participated in the TED talks program. Yi was joined for her lecture by one of the floating “aerobes”—the autonomous balloon creatures—that bewitched viewers at her Tate show. “What if our machines could be more than just our tools, and instead, a new type of companion species?” the artists asks. “I believe we have to embrace who we are as symbiotic living beings, and design machines to reflect this.” Her presentation is 10 minutes long has been viewed more than 275,000 times.

The Digest

On Friday, workers at MASS MoCA followed through on a plan to stage a one-day strike amid ongoing contract negotiations. One union member called the status of the talks “disappointing.” A museum spokesperson said that “we are also disappointed in their decision” to strike. [The Art Newspaper]

Latisha Chong, a hair stylist who worked in-depth with designer Telfar Clemens, and whose work has graced models in many high-profile shoots, has died at 32. She “was part of what the critic Antwaun Sargent called the New Black Vanguard,” Vogue contributing editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson said. [The New York Times]

A prototype for the Apple-1 Computer dating to the mid-1970s sold at RR Auction, of Boston, to an anonymous Bay Area collector on a winning bid of $677,196. [The Associated Press]

In the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest this summer, an ancient pictograph was damaged by someone carving initials into it. The rock art is believed to date to between 650 and 1300. Officials do not have any leads in identifying suspects. [The Art Newspaper]

Supermodel Heidi Klum is an avid painter, and is getting ready to release a series of NFTs. [Artnet News]

The Kicker

THE CULINARY ARTS. The American grocery chain Trader Joe’s is famed for the handmade signs at its more than 500 stores, which market mandarin orange chicken, affordable wines, and everything in between. Who creates these artworks? The Washington Post investigated . Many of those responsible are current or former art students, and have active art practices beyond the grocery-store walls, it turns out. McKinna Salinas, who is among their ranks, said, “Since at work I’m like, drawing corn, it pushes me to be even more creative and abstract at home.” [The Washington Post]


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