February 22 | Times are hard for arts funding
Huge government cuts are devastating Bath’s art funding in the UK, and, across the pond, Trump plans to axe the entire arts budget.
Tory cuts hit Bath hard
Equity, the UK trade union for professional performers and creative practitioners, has demanded British culture secretary Karen Bradley to “urgently intervene” following 100% cuts to art grants for the city of Bath, a cultural center and world heritage site in Southern England .
The union said there was a “crisis” in local arts funding that the government desperately needed to address. Bath and North East Somerset Council voted on its budget this week, approving a 100% cut to its small project grants for the arts, which have previously provided companies with up to £5,000 a year. The council said it needed to find a total of £49 million of savings over the four years, a predicament it blamed on the lack of central government funding. Equity deputy general secretary Stephen Spence said: “The council has committed an act of cultural vandalism in Bath that will result in a new dark age for arts and culture in the region.” Read more in the Bath Chronicle.
Trump attacks arts funding
Confirming the fears of many in the American cultural sphere, Donald Trump is moving forward with his plans to cut the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and other programs in a bid to reduce public spending.
According to the New York Times, the White House has created a “hit list” of programs, all of which cost under $500 million a year to run, amounting collectively to $2.5 billion, only 0.0625% of the projected budget for 2017. The Independent has more information.
New photography biennial for Germany
Germany is launching a new biennial for contemporary photography, which will run from September 9 through November 5, 2017 in Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, and Heidelberg.
Much of the funding for the first edition of the biennial has been secured from the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Titled “Farewell Photography,” the theme of the 2017 edition aims to “shed light on radical ways of handling images in the digital age and present an alternative look at photography’s history.” Artnet News has more information.
The curatorial team for the 2017 Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie. Courtesy of the biennial.
Andrea Rosen will no longer have a “permanent public space”, the gallery to stop “representing living artists”
New York gallerist Andrea Rosen has announced she will be closing her New York space in order to share the duties of representing the estate of Félix González-Torres with David Zwirner.
In a letter delivered to the gallery’s many supporters, Rosen stated: “While the gallery will continue to exist, with selective activities, like the representation of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, I will no longer have a typical permanent public space and therefore no longer represent living artists.” The last exhibition of González-Torres’s work at the gallery — a three-part show curated by artists Julie Ault and Roni Horn — was a collaborative effort organized with London gallery Hauser & Wirth and Milan's Massimo De Carlo which took place last summer. Read more on Artforum.
Art Basel and BMW have awarded named Los Angeles–based artist Max Hooper Schneider the winner of this year’s Art Journey Award.
Launched in 2015, the award is given to an artist featured in Art Basel’s sections for emerging artists in Hong Kong and Miami. Hooper’s project for Art Journey, titled Planetary Vitrine: The Reef as Event, is an exploration of coral reefs around the globe. The project is centered around two historically significant visits to coral reefs: that made by Charles Darwin to Cocos Keeling Islands, where he conducted research for his 1842 treatise The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs; and the imaginary voyage to the Bahamas travelled by André Breton, in which he used photographic representations of coral “to document nature’s surreality.” Artforum has more information.
Max Hooper Schneider at the HIGH ART Gallery booth at Art Basel in Miami Beach 2016. (c) Art Basel. (12/2016).