Around five weeks ago a new statue named ‘Fearless Girl’ was placed opposite to Di Modica’s Charging Bull in Manhattan’s Financial District.

Di Modica isn’t happy about the recent addition of the widely buzzed-about Fearless Girl to downtown Manhattan park Bowling Green. In a press conference Wednesday, Di Modica’s lawyers argued that the bronze girl defiantly staring down Charging Bull (1989) isn’t so much art as an advertisement by the work’s corporate sponsors, allowing them to profit from Di Modica’s piece and violating his copyright. But they also charge that the new statue—which ostensibly highlights the gender and pay gap on Wall Street—alters the originally positive message of Charging Bull without Di Modica’s permission, violating the artist’s legal rights. Although a lawsuit has not yet been filed, even the potential claim raises novel legal questions about whether a statute known as the Visual Artist Rights Act (VARA) protects the intangible message of a work of public sculpture.’

[read full article here by artsy]

SO,  Back in 1987 there was a global stock market crash. […] Arturo Di Modica, a Sicilian immigrant who became a naturalized citizen of the U.S., responded by creating Charging Bull — a bronze sculpture of a…well, a charging bull. It took him two years to make it. The thing weighs more than 7000 pounds, and cost Di Modica some US$350,000 of his own money. He said he wanted the bull to represent “the strength and power of the American people”. He had it trucked into the Financial District and set it up, completely without permission. It’s maybe the only significant work of guerrilla capitalist art in existence.

People loved it. The assholes who ran the New York Stock Exchange, for some reason, didn’t. They called the police, and pretty soon the statue was removed and impounded. A fuss was raised, the city agreed to temporarily install it, and the public was pleased. It’s been almost thirty years, and Charging Bull is still owned by Di Modica, still on temporary loan to the city, still one of the most recognizable symbols of New York City.

And that brings us to March 7th of this year, the day before International Women’s Day. Fearless Girl appeared, standing in front of Charging Bull. On the surface, it appears to be another work of guerrilla art — but it’s not. Unlike Di Modica’s work, Fearless Girl was commissioned. Commissioned not by an individual, but by an investment fund called State Street Global Advisors, which has assets in excess of US$2.4 trillion. That’s serious money. It was commissioned as part of an advertising campaign developed by McCann, a global advertising corporation. And it was commissioned to be presented on the first anniversary of State Street Global’s “Gender Diversity Index” fund, which has the following NASDAQ ticker symbol: SHE. And finally, along with Fearless Girl is a bronze plaque that reads:

Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference.

Note it’s not She makes a difference, it’s SHE makes a difference. It’s not referring to the girl; it’s referring to the NASDAQ symbol. It’s not a work of guerrilla art; it’s an extremely clever advertising scheme. This is what makes it clever: Fearless Girl derives its power almost entirely from Di Modica’s statue. The sculptor, Kristen Visbal, sort of acknowledges this. She’s said this about her statue:

“She’s not angry at the bull — she’s confident, she knows what she’s capable of, and she’s wanting the bull to take note.”

It’s all about the bull. If it were placed anywhere else, Fearless Girl would still be a very fine statue — but without facing  Charging Bull the Fearless Girl has nothing to be fearless to. Or about. Whatever. Fearless Girl, without Di Modica’s bull, without the context provided by the bull, becomes Really Confident Girl.

Fearless Girl also changes the meaning of Charging Bull. Instead of being a symbol of “the strength and power of the American people” as Di Modica intended, it’s now seen as an aggressive threat to women and girls — a symbol of patriarchal oppression.

In effect, Fearless Girl has appropriated the strength and power of Charging Bull. Of course Di Modica is outraged by that. A global investment firm has used a global advertising firm to create a faux work of guerrilla art to subvert and change the meaning of his actual work of guerrilla art. That would piss off any artist.

See? It’s not as simple as it seems on the surface. It’s especially complicated for somebody (like me, for example) who appreciates the notion of appropriation in art.  Appropriation art is, almost by definition, subversive — and subversion is (also almost by definition) usually the province of marginalized populations attempting to undermine the social order maintained by tradition and the establishments of power. In the case of Fearless Girl, however, the subversion is being done by global corporatists as part of a marketing campaign. That makes it hard to cheer them on. There’s some serious irony here.

And yet, there she is, the Fearless Girl. I love the little statue of the girl in the Peter Pan pose. And I resent that she’s a marketing tool. I love that she actually IS inspiring to young women and girls. And I resent that she’s a fraud. I love that she exists. And I resent the reasons she was created.

I love the Fearless Girl and I resent her. She’s an example of how commercialization can take something important and meaningful — something about which everybody should agree — and shit all over it by turning it into a commodity. Fearless Girl is beautiful, but she is selling SHE; that’s why she’s there.

Should Fearless Girl be removed as Di Modica wants? I don’t know. It would be sad if she was. Should Di Modica simply take his Charging Bull and go home? I mean, it’s his statue. He can do what he wants with it. I couldn’t blame him if he did that, since the Fearless Girlhas basically hijacked the meaning of his work. But that would be a shame. I’m not a fan of capitalism, but that’s a damned fine work of art.

I don’t know what should be done here. But I know this: Arturo Di Modica has a point. And I know a lot of folks aren’t willing to acknowledge that.

source: https://gregfallis.com/ 

                              Image courtesy of Paul Weston.

This past Sunday, artist Paul Weston vowed to mail one piece of art to Donald Trump every day for the next four years of his presidency. Why? “I’m not his biggest fan,” says Weston. “But I thought, ‘If he keeps taking things away—arts funding, basic rights—I’m going to keep giving.’”

Like many artists and members of the cultural community across the U.S., Weston didn’t take kindly to the news last week that a proposed budget includes axing the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)—along with the funding the organizations provide to artists and arts organizations across the country.

Weston wasn’t immediately sure where to direct his anger, or how to help effect change. “I’m not a political person. I really just know a few jokes and how to make art,” Weston confides. “And I do have tons of art. So I thought, ‘maybe that’s my ammunition.’”Photos courtesy of Paul Weston.

 

For the past 20-some years of his adult life, Weston’s work has looked at the influence of consumerism and media on contemporary culture. He’s forged artworks, zines, buttons, and stickers. Often, they’re disseminated through Weston’s alter-ego, the not-so-subtly dubbed “Instigator.” But, indeed, his mail art campaign—called #148milliondollars, after the amount of funding the NEA will lose if Trump’s proposed budget is approved—takes a decidedly more political tack.

To date, Weston has mailed six works of art to the new President. Some have gone to the White House itself and some to Trump Tower. They aren’t text-heavy or overtly aggressive. But they are bold expressions of creativity. One shows a drawing of an igloo topped with a TV antenna—it could be read as a statement against global warming by a concerned artist, or simply the pastime of a man on his Sunday morning.

Another work, which he hasn’t mailed yet, shows the word “NO” with a heart embedded in the middle of its second letter. For Weston, the heart conveys numerous meanings, among them his own resilience: “My heart isn’t broken yet by this new administration, but pumping like Hell,” he says.

The artist hopes others will join him in his campaign to help expand its impact—and he’s begun to spread the word. “This isn’t a me thing, it’s a we thing. Everywhere I’m going I tell whoever I see—at openings, at lectures, in the streets. I’m not someone who usually asks for help, but I am now.Photos courtesy of Paul Weston.

 

Weston began speaking about the project and broadcasting it through his Instagram account on Monday. And he says a number of other artists including Brock EnrightT.R. Ericsson, and DB Burkeman, have already agreed to join up and send their own art to the White House and Trump Tower, albeit not everyday for the next four years as Weston himself has pledged.

But it’s not just professional artists who Weston aims to engage. “My five-year-old niece Ellis is my most vocal spokesperson,” he says. “She is really angry that Big Bird could be going into the deep fryer,” he continues, referencing the fact that Sesame Street, his niece’s favorite TV show, is hosted on PBS, which also loses funding under the proposed cuts. Ellis will be sending art to Trump too, and Weston hopes other children will follow suit.

Weston has budgeted to spend $178.85 in stamps over the next year into order to fulfill his mission, a small price to voice his support for the NEA’s important work on behalf of creatives. And next month, he plans to use his presence at the L.A. Art Book Fair to bring the #148milliondollars campaign to an even wider audience. If enough artists and average citizens take part in the project, Weston hopes that “it will show [Trump] the talent and creativity that is here in the United States.” Whether that will be enough to save the agency remains to be seen.

—Alexxa Gotthardt

 

source: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-artist-sending-trump-artwork-day-protest-elimination-nea 

In 1963, an artist named George Maciunas put forward a rallying cry for a new movement in art, one that he would call “Fluxus.” Like many of his avant-garde predecessors and peers, he chose to make his case known in the form of a manifesto. The document was itself a work of art, composed of several dictionary definitions of the word “flux,” from which Fluxus takes its name, followed by handwritten notes that expanded on its various meanings. Beneath the entry defining flux as a purging or discharge of fluids, Maciunas wrote in an insistent hand: “Purge the world of bourgeois sickness, ‘intellectual,’ professional & commercialized culture, PURGE the world of dead art, imitation, artificial art, abstract art, illusionistic art, mathematical art, — PURGE THE WORLD OF ‘EUROPANISM’!”

Fluxus’s spirit of rebellion against the commercial art market, elitism, and the conventions of both art and society had its roots in DadaFuturism, and Surrealism, while its irreverence and youthful energy were in tune with the burgeoning counterculture of the 1960s. Though its nucleus was in New York City, where Maciunas and many other artists were based, Fluxus projects popped up across Europe and in Japan. The movement attracted a loosely affiliated, international group of artists, designers, poets, and musicians who readily embraced one of its central tenets: the total integration of art and life. In his manifesto, Maciunas described the work that would result from this integration as “living art, anti-art…NON ART REALITY to be fully grasped by all peoples, not only critics, dilettantes and professionals.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Intentionally uncategorizable, Fluxus projects were wide-ranging and often multidisciplinary, humorous, and based in everyday, inexpensive materials and experiences—including everything from breathing to answering the telephone. When asked to define Fluxus, Maciunas would often respond by playing recordings of barking dogs and honking geese, perhaps confounding his questioner but also demonstrating the experimentation and embrace of absurdity at its core. Performances—which Fluxus artists called “Events,” in order to distinguish them from Happenings and other forms of performance-based art—were a significant part of the movement. These were largely based on sets of written instructions, called “scores,” referencing the fact that they were derived from musical compositions. Following a score would result in an action, event, performance, or one of the many other kinds of experiences that were generated out of this vibrant movement.

The Leaders of Fluxus

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-15-42-05With Maciunas as its founder and central coordinator, Fluxus lasted from 1962 until the artist’s untimely death in 1978. A polymath, the Lithuanian-born American studied architecture, art history, graphic design, and musicology. This formidable educational background and his highly playful, utopian vision shaped all of his work, not least the movement itself.

The artists, designers, poets, and musicians who rallied around Maciunas’s call for a radical, egalitarian new art were as diverse as the work that came out of the Fluxus movement. Many were inspired by elder artist, composer, and musician John Cage. Through his work and his charismatic teaching, he demonstrated that art and life could be fluidly interchangeable. He did this, in part, by welcoming chance into his musical compositions—including ambient noises or the sounds of audience members coughing, stirring in their seats, and sometimes even heckling the performers—and by using such things as everyday household objects as instruments. Cage’s drive to find artistic potential in the everyday resonated with the Fluxus artists.

Widely recognized as the originator of musical Minimalism, composer and artist La Monte Young was also associated with Fluxus. His compositions were characterized by their pared-down structures and exceptional length. In 1960, he collaborated with artist Yoko Ono to organize a series of events by artists, dancers, musicians, and composers held in Ono’s studio in downtown New York, known as the Chambers Street Loft Series. Maciunas attended, along with many other artists who would become involved with Fluxus. Ono’s studio would become a hub of innovative and experimental new work.

In 1964, Ono debuted one of her seminal performance works, Cut Piece. Sitting alone on a stage with a pair of scissors in front of her, she instructed the audience to take turns approaching her and using the scissors to cut off a piece of her clothing. She remained nearly motionless and expressionless as various audience members obliged, sometimes aggressively. As she wrote about the experience in 1966: “People went on cutting the parts they do not like of me finally there was only the stone remained of me that was in me but they were still not satisfied and wanted to know what it’s like in the stone.” Ono has reprised the piece over the years, and wrote a step-by-step performance score for anyone to recreate it—which many people have done, and many more will likely continue to do.

Like so many of their peers, early Fluxus members Nam June Paik and Alison Knowles worked across media. Paik, considered a progenitor of video art, was one of the first artists to make art out of televisions and video cameras. These technologies form the core of his pioneering sculptures, installations, and performances, which range from austere and meditative to cacophonous and bursting with an onslaught of imagery.

In his performance works, Paik immersed audiences in richly visual and aural experiences, centered upon ingeniously altered television sets and cleverly rigged video cameras. He collaborated with avant-garde cellist Charlotte Moorman on a number of musical performances, including one in which she played his TV Cello (1971). Paik crafted a working cello out of a stack of three television sets whose varying shapes and sizes together mirrored the contours of the actual instrument. Each set displayed images as Moorman played, switching between a live feed of the performance itself, a video collage of other cellists, and a television broadcast.

https://artsy-vanity-files-production.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/fluxus.html

For her part, Knowles created performances, sound pieces, installations, sculptures, book objects, and prints that have their roots, in part, in her early association with Cage. In 1962, the composer—who, as it turns out, was a mushroom enthusiast—co-founded the New York Mycological Society, which Knowles joined. “You can stay with music while you’re hunting mushrooms,” he once said. “[A] mushroom grows for such a short time, and if you happen to come across it when it’s fresh it’s like coming across a sound, which also lives a short time.” Knowles credits their time together foraging for wild mushrooms as important in helping her to develop her vision and leading to her incorporation of food into a number of her Fluxus projects.

Why Does Fluxus Matter?

While it might be an overstatement to say that the Fluxus movement revolutionized the art world or the real world in the ways that Maciunas called for in his manifesto, it did help to radically change notions of what art could be. With their work, the Fluxus artists pushed art well outside of mainstream venues like galleries and museums. Their informal, spontaneous, and often ephemeral pieces were not only difficult to collect and codify; they were also sometimes hard to recognize as art. But museums and galleries eventually caught up and absorbed their work. So too did younger generations of artists, who continue to build on the freedom that the movement introduced into artmaking with their own work. The next time you walk into an art space and find a pot of curry bubbling on a burner (as in the well-known piece, Untitled (Free), 1992, by the Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija) or a sculpture composed of things you might find in your own home, thank Fluxus for helping to lay the groundwork.

—Karen Kedmey

 

[Source: artsy]

 

 

 

The new video “Khaled’s Ladder” documents the journey of multidisciplinary artist Khaled Jarrar along the U.S.-Mexico border and the making of his new work that takes the border wall as its raw material.

‘ I do it in the name of art, and I like how art gives us all this freedom and space to practice our creativity on the ground, not just on paper. This is how we can raise the questions and tell the stories that lead to solutions that will allow us to go beyond borders.’

On January 27, Khaled Jarrar set out on an uncommon journey: traveling in a 34-foot RV from San Diego, California, to Juarez, Mexico, crisscrossing and following the U.S.-Mexico border along the way. Jarrar was traveling as part of Culturunners, a project initiated by Edge of Arabia in partnership with Art Jameel, in which artists travel from place to place in order to explore contested boundaries. On the journey the group encountered border patrol agents on both sides of the border, met and worked with locals living near the border, and organized talks at galleries and public spaces. During his time on the road, Jarrar created and installed a new work, Khaled’s Ladder, using material pulled from the border fence. Coming from his home in the West Bank, where the Israeli separation wall shapes daily life and restricts freedom of movement, Khaled was alert to the ways in which the U.S.–Mexico border informs the experiences of those who live on either side of it. After completing the RV journey to Juarez, Khaled made the trip to New York and visited the Creative Time offices, where he talked to Creative Time Reports’ associate editor, Rachel Riederer, about his new work and his ongoing interest in dismantling walls and crossing borders.

You can find the full interview  here.

New York, 5th May 2016.

Darren Flook: The Tate have a slogan for the opening of their new building attached to Tate Modern: “Art Changes. We Change.” This made me think about how art has changed, or how your practice has changed. How are things different from when you started?

Ryan Gander: I think then I was so young that I had no idea what I was doing and it was quite logical to just be like, “Oh, I have an exhibition. I have to make an artwork.” And now, structurally, it doesn’t work like that. I don’t have to do anything logistical any more. I don’t even run the studio or the company. I’m a creative director. Now, I instigate situations that work will become a fall-out of. I’ve just designed this kitchen sink, which is a proper sink that works. It’s a company and a business. But I know that the fall-out of me researching Japanese sinks and using this sink will produce art.

[…]

The thing that strikes me about London is the impact of the expense of it on a lot of young artists and art galleries. It’s become so money-obsessed. The art scene has become very conservative due to the pressure to sell.
I’m creating this show at the moment with this group of kids in Leeds. And a part of me thinks, “They won’t get a shot at anything because they all live in Leeds.” A part of me feels like saying, “Come on, guys, you’ve got one chance. Move to London and, make a go of it,” But then I think, if they go to London, they’ll just turn into arseholes. They’ll be climbing over the backs of a million other people. There’ll be this contagion of aesthetics that exists in London where everything looks exactly the same.

I go to shows in London of young artists and they’re all going through this massive phase that’s so obvious. There’s no meaning to any of the work, it’s just purely retinal. It’s like the phenomenon of having pine or palm trees in shows; or the phenomenon of the colossal amount of artworks that contain water now.

Pieces with a cartoon sticker on it?
It’s insane. Bumper stickers on artworks! Just visual stuff. It’s something like gaga baby language.

But you don’t think that that’s always been the case? I mean, I remember having a conversation in the late 90s with someone. We joked, “What would be the perfect, most stereotypical artwork now?” And we worked out it would be a leather glove holding a fake diamond on a white fur rug.
That’s perfect. Might need a scorpion or a meteorite in there as well.

Now it would be a bumper sticker on a downloaded porn image with an iPad slapped on the front? Actually, I think I bought that work.
But, you see, it’s difficult for me to not be annoyed and embittered by all that, because the premise of what I do is that’s it not merely retinal. It’s nothing to do with the way it looks.

And anything that ends up being an artwork is just a by-product of an idea that makes it happen. And I don’t really have that much control over what comes out physically, over what it looks like.

So when you’re thinking about a show, you don’t think about what it’s going to look like?

No.

Really? Is that true?
I start with a theme or a perspective. It’s quite calculated and strategic. I usually build the show and then take things out. And make things invisible. And then make works incomplete or make them more complicated, to entertain my mind. It’s like making something very logical and then trying to make it into a puzzle.

[…]

Alex Turner said something like, “People from the North model themselves on things that they hate, not the things they like.” And what he meant by that, I think, is by knowing what you don’t like, you’re definitely not that. But it leaves everything else open for things you could be. But if there’s something that you like and you emulate that, you just become their carbon clone.

You need your own motivation that goes beyond any idea of success or career.
There is a massive fickleness in the art world so it has to be interesting for yourself or it’s not going to be interesting to other people. Considering artists are meant to be very, very creative and inventive, because their occupation, most artists are in fact massive conformists. When you go and see an artist’s show, I always think a really great value or currency is to defy expectation. I reckon 99% of shows that I see are exactly what I expect as I go into the show. I think that’s weird. And then I also think it’s very weird that, well, art can be anything, right?

You can make whatever you want.
Anything you want. It could be like a uniform for a McDonald’s drive-through. Or it could be a donation to a sperm bank. Or it could be a box full of sound, or anything. And still, 95% of art goes on the wall?! And that artists don’t even question that I find pretty weird. I value and judge people on how creative they are and not how good their work is. Often some of my favourite artists are the artists who make bad work as well.

I think you have to make bad work every now and again though.
Oh, absolutely. I don’t trust genius pieces whatsoever. I just think the whole point of making art is to learn, to evolve and to develop language and as a person. You only do that by making bad work you throw out. Or people see it and you’re embarrassed by it. And that’s good practice.

It’s like with studios. Do artists need studios? What is a studio? A studio’s just another conformity that’s been handed down through history. It’s a place to work. Well, does it have to be a studio? Living in the city. You don’t really need to live in the city.

[…]

To me, good artists are where the boundaries between practice and life don’t exist. You’re in their house. And, as you say, you suddenly realise a chair they’re sat on is something they’ve made…
And they serve you some food and you’ve never had anything like it before and they’ve invented it. But they also, you find out, hand-made the dish to serve it on because it complements the food that they’re serving. That act of being interested in the world around them, not just interested in the art world around them.

The artists I’ve worked with, the ones who fascinate me, are the ones that are like a stick of rock – you can break them anyway and it’s still the same thing going through the middle. How do I improve this, or alter it, or disrupt it? Someone like Carol Bove: she couldn’t find a school for her kids so opened one. Her art and her life are one.
I was just going to mention the Carol Bove example. My ideology of that reminds me of the Good Life. They’re not self-sufficient, but creatively self-sufficient. So instead of chickens you’re talking about how to make money on real things.

I like the Good Life idea. Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?
I was going say something about the economy of giving back as well. I think it’s important to give back and that doesn’t happen enough. If artists are in significantly privileged positions because of the work that they make, then they should. I want to see more artists having, I don’t know, like scholarships in their name. Or opening art schools. Or publishing young artists’ books, because that’s all totally doable by me and my contemporaries. It’s easy. It just doesn’t happen enough and that’s a bit rubbish.

See the full interview here

20160322_100715_Webb-Building-Controversial-Artwork

‘A controversial piece of Denver student art, depicting a police officer in a Ku Klux Klan hood pointing a gun at a black child whose hands are raised, has hastened a meeting between the city officials, the artist and her mother.

The art piece, part of Denver Public Schools outreach, was displayed in a city building and caused “concerns from the community,” according to a media release late Tuesday from Mayor Michael Hancock’s office.

“Students were asked to select a master work of art, research it and re-contextualize it,” according to the release.

The student in question chose Goya’s The Third of May 1808 and A Tale of Two Hoodies, created by Michael D’Antuono in 2014, as inspiration.

” After learning of the negative impact of her work, the student has asked that it be taken down,” the mayor’s office said.

On Wednesday the student, and her mother, will meet with Mayor Michael Hancock, Chief of Police Robert White and Acting Superintendent Susana Cordova at her school, Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy.

“I’m greatly concerned about how this painting portrays the police,” Denver Chief of Police Robert White said in the release. ” I look forward to having a conversation with the student and her parents.”

So two questions, quoting from the text above:

Anyone wondered why the art piece caused “concerns from the community” ?

And what was the “negative impact”? Why was it negative?

Because it made sound?  It provoke ? It disturbed?  It shared some truths ?

And was the decision clearly made by the student or was she forced to ask for  her artwork to be removed?

The student clearly depicted, not just out of her imagination, how the police uses their power against black people and other ‘minorities’ and quite cleverly cited on KKK, as it seems that these actions and maltreatments can be evidently related to that movement and its beliefs.

That’s what art is for… To say things that otherwise are either forbidden to say or no one has the courage to shout or the authorities are too strong and cover these voices  (at any cost).

source: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29673559/student-art-piece-cop-kkk-hood-prompts-denver

 

this is ART.

Posted: March 20, 2016 in Videos & Images

Another example of pure art that is not trying to be deep or extremely sophisticated but rather shouts out a clear message.

Yes I am talking about these guys dressed and coloured in blue, yellow, red, white and black.

Anyone to debate whether this ↓ is art or not?IMG_4410