Richmond Monuments Head to MOCA L.A., California Biennial Returns, and More: Morning Links from September 1, 2022

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The Headlines

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MONUMENTS MAN. Four of Richmond’s Confederate monuments are officially coming to the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles for a 2023 exhibition called “Monuments,” which is being spearheaded by curator Hamza Walker. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, one of those removed statues is a monument to Jefferson Davis that was spray painted ahead of the 2020 murder of George Floyd and then removed altogether following the uprisings that ensued. It’s a victory for Walker, who in 2021 told Artnet News that he was having a difficult time navigating the bureaucratic boundaries that kept the monuments in the cities where they’d once stood. He’s now at work on the show with MOCA senior curator Bennett Simpson and artist Kara Walker.

THE CALIFORNIA BIENNIAL IS BACK. After a five-year interval, the Orange County Museum of Art in Santa Ana is reviving the recurring exhibition, the Los Angeles Times reports. The show has been through various iterations, including ones where it had a geographic focus and ones where, confusingly enough, it was a triennial and not a biennial. Now, however, it is a biennial again, and this forthcoming edition will be curated by Elizabeth ArmstrongGilberto Vicario, and Essence Harden. It’s also got an all-star line-up that includes artists such as Candice LinSimphiwe Ndzube, and Clare Rojas. The biennial will be one of the first shows mounted when the OCMA reopens in a newly expanded building this October.

The Digest

The Ukrainian government is lobbying UNESCO to add the city of Odessa to its World Heritage List of protected sites. Doing so could keep the city from being damage and could trigger certain consequences, should Russia choose to attack it, as some analysts expect. [The Kyiv Post]

In spite of allegations of abuse and multiple arrests, actor Ezra Miller will not be cut from the film Dalíland, in which he plays a young version of the Surrealist painter. Ben Kingsley stars as the older Salvador Dalí[Indiewire]

Some San Francisco dealers rebutted a New York Times article earlier this week that suggested that the city’s gallery scene was on the decline after Pace and Gagosian’s departures. “This community continues to thrive despite those galleries leaving,” said gallerist Jessica Silverman[The San Francisco Dispatch]

Artist and filmmaker Ja’Tovia Gary has signed with the talent agency WME. Versions of her film The Giverny Document have been seen theatrically and in museums, including most recently at CCS Bard’s Hessel Museum of Art in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. [Deadline]

Israeli artist and curator I. S. Kampa has opened a protest-minded exhibition in an AirBnB in Kassel, Germany, where Documenta 15 is currently taking place. He said the show was meant to highlight the lack of Israeli artists in Documenta, which has faced allegations of anti-Semitism. [Artnet News]

The Kicker

A STATE FAIR IS IN A HORRIBLE STATE after one of its first-place prizes went to an AI-generated artwork. The Colorado State Fair gave its top honors in the digital art category to Jason Allen, president of the gaming company Tabletop Games, and many are displeased because they say he isn’t the work’s true creatorVice reports. His winning work, an image of a theater that’s titled Théâtre D’opéra Spatial , was made using a software called Midjourney. Because of that, it has gone viral on Twitter, where many have bemoaned the piece as a sign of art’s uncertain future. “We’re watching the death of artistry unfold before our eyes,” wrote one user in a comment that accrued more than 2,000 likes. Allen called the concerns over his piece “hypocritical.” [Vice]


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