Glue-Wielding Climate Activists Hit Vatican, Prehistoric Megalith Complex Found in Spain, and More: Morning Links for August 19, 2022

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The Headlines

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BINDING AND LOOSING. These glue-wielding climate activists do not quit! Their latest target: the Vatican Museums. Protestors glued their hands to the storied ancient Laocoön sculpture on Thursday morning, ITV and Hyperallergic report. Three people were taken into custody. The Ultima Generazione group claimed responsibility, comparing the tale of Laocoön (whose cautionary statements about the Trojan Horse went unheeded) to the treatment of contemporary global-warming protestors. “Today activists are trying to warn humanity, but they are ignored and repressed just the same,” the group said. Protestors have also glued themselves in recent months to a Botticelli at the Uffizi in Florence and a wide array of works at museums in the United Kingdom.

CHECKING IN WITH THE ARTISTS. With his Guggenheim retrospective arriving in New York this fall, living legend Alex Katz was profiled in T: The New York Times Style Magazine. “He’s devoted his life to one thing,” dealer Gavin Brown said. “He’s kind of like a weird bird of paradise perfecting his dance, or perfecting the construction of this nest.” Aria Dean is also in T, and has a parlor game you might enjoy: Name an artist and try to label them a painter or sculptor. “Painters are interested in what something looks like and how it’s expressed,” Dean said. “Sculptors are interested in how something works, how it moves, how it enters the discourse.” Last but not least, Apollo checked in with Lily van der Stokker in her studio. Her partner sometimes plays classical piano music in the next room while she works. That sounds lovely. 

The Digest

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia is taking down a Jordan Griska sculpture made of a 45-foot-long airplane that has been on its grounds for more than a decade. (It was originally slated for a one-year stay but ended up being popular). A John Rhoden piece is set to take its place. [NBC 10 Philadelphia]

Architect Andrés Jaque has been named dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He’s the founder of the Office for Political Innovation, which has offices in New York and Madrid. [The New York Times]

Journalist Janelle Zara attended a staging of The Six Day PlayHermann Nitsch’s “epic and notoriously gory 1998 performance art piece,” at the late artist’s Prinzendorf Castle in Austria. An excerpt from her report: “As the blood pooled around my feet, something about the sound of heavy splatter combined with the overpowering smell fomented a mix of nausea and panic in my body.” [Cultured]

Speaking of great real estate, a grand villa on the French Riviera where Pablo Picasso spent time in 1924 is on the market for $27 million. It is rumored that the artist painted the garage’s walls during his stay, but no trace of his work remains. [Architectural Digest]

Archaeologists have discovered in Spain’s southern Huelva province a megalith complex with more than 500 standing stones. It may date to the fifth or sixth millennium B.C.E. The site was found during a survey ordered by the government before the area was turned into an avocado plantation. [The Guardian]

The Kicker

SURF’S UP. A word to the wise: While visiting the Venice Biennale, do not cruise on your motorized surfboard down the floating city’s Grand Canal. Two tourists did that on Wednesday and were slapped with fines of €1,500 (about $1,530), the Associated Press reports. Additional charges may be filed. Venice’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, termed the offenders “two overbearing imbeciles who are making a mockery of the city.” [AP]


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