On April 3, internationally acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained at the Beijing airport while en route to Hong Kong, and his papers and computers were seized from his studio compound.
We members of the international arts community express our concern for Ai’s freedom and disappointment in China’s reluctance to live up to its promise to nurture creativity and independent thought, the keys to “soft power” and cultural influence.
Our institutions have some of the largest online museum communities in the world. We have launched this online petition to our collective millions of Facebook fans and Twitter followers. By using Ai Weiwei’s favored medium of “social sculpture,” we hope to hasten the release of our visionary friend.
Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation and Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art Juan Ignacio Vidarte, Director General, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and Deputy Director and Chief Officer for Global Strategies, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Glenn Lowry, Director, The Museum of Modern Art, New York Sir Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate and Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern Kaywin Feldman, President, Association of Art Museum Directors and Director and President, Minneapolis Institute of Arts Yongwoo Lee, President, The Gwangju Biennale Foundation Michael Govan, Director, Los Angeles County Museum of Art Vishakha Desai, President and Melissa Chiu, Vice President of Global Arts, Asia Society Jim Cuno, President and Director, Art Institute of Chicago Julián Zugazagoitia, Director, Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City Ann Philbin, Director, Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles Olga Viso, Director, Walker Art Center Alfred Pacquement, Director, Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, Paris Arnold Lehman, Director, Brooklyn Museum Jill Medvedow, Director, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Julia Peyton-Jones, Director and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects, Serpentine Gallery, London Poul Erik Tøjner, Director, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Neal Benezra, Director, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Tony Ellwood, Director, and Suhanya Raffel, Deputy Director, Queensland Art Gallery, Australia Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director, Harvard Art Museums Ann Goldstein, Director, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam Apinan Poshynanda, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Artistic Director, dOCUMENTA (13) and Bernd Leifeld, CEO, documenta Manray Hsu, Founding Director, Taipei Contemporary Art Center Holly Hotchner, Nanette L. Laitman Director, Museum of Arts and Design, New York
Reykjavík Music Mess is an independent music festival in downtown Reykjavík, with shows on NASA and in the Nordic house. It is held for the first time on 16th and 17th of April. Bands from Iceland, USA, Finland and Greenland will perform on this first edition of the Mess.
Make sure you’ll listen to the full playlist (bottom left). Icelandic bands are superb.
I fought the X and the X won - Exhibition, National Museum of Art, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
I fought the X and the X won
Artists: Dimitrios Antonitsis, Vince Briffa, Gabriel Brojboiu, Austin Camilleri, Dionisis Christofilogiannis, Radu Comsa, Baptiste Debombourg, Sharon Engelstein, Petra Feriancova, Ry Fyan, Helidon Gjergji, Gabriele Grones, Ewa Kuras, Eva Mitala, Michal Moravcik , Tarohei Nakagawa, Adrian Scicluna, Artan Shabani, Katharina Swoboda, Dimitris Tataris, Raphael Vella, Siebren Versteeg
15th April - 15th May 2011 National Museum of Art / CLUJ-NAPOCA / ROMANIA
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 16th, 7-10 p.m.
A large group show with over twenty artists from several countries opens on 16th April, 2011 at the National Museum of Cluj in Romania. Organised by artists Dionisis Christofilogiannis and Adrian Scicluna and curated by artist-curator Raphael Vella, the exhibition is called I Fought the X and the X Won and is inspired by a rock and roll song called “I Fought the Law” with many cover versions, notably one by the band Bobby Fuller Four in the 1960’s and another by The Clash. The show proposes different situations in which one is faced by antagonistic forces and defeat or failure, and the work is extremely varied, with media ranging from video to drawing, painting and sculpture. The work included in the exhibition I Fought the X and the X Won rewrites assumed frames of reference, asking questions rather than providing answers. Some of it, like Helidon Gjergji’s, Petra Feriancova’s, Siebren Versteeg’s and Adrian Scicluna’s pieces, plays with contemporary information and communication technologies and their predicaments: translation, distance, coding, and dislocation. Katharina Swoboda’s and Vince Briffa’s videos struggle against time: they simulate, respectively, a three-minute boxing round and a race, but their time is fractured or fading away, like that of a boxer who gets knocked to the canvas, or a retired athlete, too old to be effective on the track of life. Gabriele Grones’s painting haunts us as it also maps out meticulously the traces of time on a face, while Tarohei Nakagawa’s black and white photographs and Austin Camilleri’s small sculptures are the antithesis of the portrait: they hide rather than reveal identities and make us wonder whether the hidden face belongs to a representative of power or a victim. Understandably, the effects of the media and other globalising and political forces, advertising campaigns and stereotypes also play a central role in the works of a number of artists in the show, particularly Ewa Kuras, Gabriel Brojboiu, Michal Moravcik and Dimitris Antonitsis. Embattled political histories, art-historical references, cinematic and internet-based references merge in the images of Dionisis Christofilogiannis, Radu Comsa and Raphael Vella, while Ry Fyan, Artan Shabani, Dimitris Tataris, Sharon Engelstein and Eva Mitala direct their attention to personal and collective memories and occasionally uncanny situations and anxieties.
A project supported by The Malta Council for Culture & the Arts, Bank of Valetta, ARTACT and Vodafone Romania. Media partners: FlashArt SK/CZ, ArtActMagazine, Radio Cluj, Skylife, Modernism, TVR Cluj, Radio Romania Cultural.
I Fought the X and the X Won will also travel to the National Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta, Malta in mid-July, where it will be one of the major shows this summer. http://www.heritagemalta.org/