June 1 | Disappearing art work draws attention to disappearing refugees at Documenta 14
Despite a particularly undermining response from artist Roger Bernat, whose sculpture was stolen from the Documenta 14 exhibition by LGBTQI+ Refugees GR activist group, the event has drawn attention to the exhibition’s use of refugees as casual workers on the project and the large number of asylum seekers disappearing — deported to neighbouring countries, trafficked, exploited and neglected.
Documenta 14 artwork stolen by LGBTQI+ refugee rights group
In protest of Documenta 14’s exploitation of asylum seekers in Athens and the regular disappearance of refugees entering Greece, an LGBTQI+ refugee rights group has seized Roger Bernat’s Replica of Oath Stone sculpture from the exhibition.
Though they were originally commissioned to participate in a performance involving the sculpture — a facsimile of an ancient limestone table where oaths were sealed (present at the trial of Socrates in Athens in 399 BCE) — for which they accepted a payment of €500, LGBTQI+ Refugees GR took the work and shortly released a video of its members dancing around the piece, proclaiming “rocks can’t talk! We can!” In a statement, the group of activists explained that the disappearance of the stone was to draw attention to the regular disappearances of refugees who traveled to Europe to seek a better life.
Commenting on the events, artist Roger Bernat called the stone a “cheap fake” only holding symbolic value, and stated that since the stone was delivered to the group, they didn’t have to steal it. Details via artforum.
LGBTQI+ refugees in Greece
New gallery representation in New York
New York’s Luhring Augustine gallery this morning announced that they will now represent Russian artist Sanya Kantarovsky (b. 1982, Moscow). Kantarovsky is perhaps best known for his figurative paintings where bodies are gawked at by faces, exposed, poked and spooned medicine.
Also in New York, Lévy Gorvy announced yesterday their new representation of American artist Dan Colen (b. 1979, New Jersey). Colen’s Purgatory (2017), will be featured in Lévy Gorvy’s booth at the upcoming Art Basel fair in Switzerland, running from June 13 through 18. The gallery’s first major exhibition with Colen will take place in New York, in March 2018 — featuring three new bodies of work, “navigating the zone of indeterminacy between abstraction and representation.”
Sanya Kantarovsky, Lavender Arrest. Courtesy of the artist | Dan Colen, Holy Shit (2003) Courtesy of the artist
SFMoMA appoints first curator of Contemporary Art
Eungie Joo will begin next month at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) as curator of contemporary art, a new post for the museum. Whilst the new post signals “a deepening of SFMoMA’s commitment to contemporary art,” it marks a big change for Joo who will be moving from Anyang, Korea, where she is currently serving as artistic director of the Fifth Anyang Public Art Project/APAP 5.
With extensive experience in the field, both in the US and internationally, Joo is sure to make her mark with various exemplary projects under her belt such as the Sharjah Biennial 12, the “Museum as Hub” initiative at the New Museum (New York) and the 2012 Triennial, “The Ungovernables.” She also commissioned the Korean Pavilion at the 53rd edition of the Venice Biennale. Details via Art Asia Pacific
Eungie Joo Photo: Heinz Peter Knes, courtesy SFMoMA.
Russia’s 12th Innovation Awards
Winners of Russia’s 2017 Innovation Prize — a state-run art prize recognizing artists and cultural figures working across seven categories — were announced yesterday May 30 at an awards ceremony headed by Moscow’s National Center for Contemporary Arts. Among the honorees was Leonid Tishkov, who took home the Artist of the Year award for his exhibition “Look Homeward” (2016–2017) at the NCCA; Kirill Gluschenko, awarded the prestigious New Generation prize for the exhibition “Beautiful Appearance of Our Everyday Life” (2016); and Alexander Burenkov, who received the Curator of the Year award for “Planned Obsolescence” (2016) exhibition.
Leonid Tishkov, Private Moon (2003 onwards)