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  1. #631
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    Art Dubai 2017

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  2. #632
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    Portuguese cities host crossover art and theatre festival

    More than 20 art and theatre institutions in Lisbon and Porto are participating in the inaugural Biennial of Contemporary Arts in Portugal (17*March-30 April). Capitalising on the burgeoning art scenes in the cities, the show promotes a crossover between visual and performing artists. Among the projects is a staging of Samuel Beckett’s absurdist 1957 play Endgame in a Porto monastery by the Cuban artist Tania Bruguera and a film installation at the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II in Lisbon by the Portuguese duo João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva. The event’s artistic director is John Romão.


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    When will Christo’s 40-year old Mastaba happen?

    The artist Christo tells The Art Newspaper at Art Dubai that his long awaited project in the desert, The Mastaba, is still on track. For 40 years, Christo has been planning the structure. Comprising 410,000 multi-coloured aluminium barrels, it would be the largest sculpture in the world, and, unlike many of Christo’s projects, permanent.

    “My projects are about the real things,” says Christo, “The real wind. The real wet. The real dry. The real things. Not photographs. I don’t know how to use a computer. Not flat surface. Not propaganda. But the real things.”Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, 81, is in the UAE to double down on his efforts to bring his long-awaited*project to fruition and*is brimming with renewed zeal for the structure, which he first conceived for the Abu Dhabi site with his late wife and creative collaborator, Jeanne-Claude.

    Christo says*that preparation will take three years, but once done, the colossal structure itself can then be elevated in a matter of weeks, and will stand at 150 meters high, 225 meters deep (at the 60 degree slanted walls) and 300 meters wide at the vertical walls. It will consist of 410,000 multi-coloured aluminium barrels, which will recall Islamic geometric patterns, when viewed from a distance, set in an ascending form reaching a plateau of 126.8 meters wide.


    Christo and Jeanne-Claude in the 1980s. Courtesy Wolfgang Volz

    In the 1960s, Christo and Jeanne-Claude had planned a smaller version of The Mastaba to be sited between Houston and Galveston in the US, with the encouragement of the De Menil Foundation. The pair ultimately abandoned the project due to planning regulations.

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    A New Day

    A New Day by William Patino

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    ‘It’s magic’: curator Cecilia Alemani offers a glimpse into the Italian Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale

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    Do not expect a snapshot, thesis or panorama of today’s Italian art scene in the national pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale—but be prepared for a view of the fantastical. “I think a platform like the Biennale should be less about trying to systematise the Italian art scene and more about offering a different kind of experimental platform [for] artists,” explains Cecilia Alemani, the curator of the 2017 Italian pavilion. “It should be a space of taking risks and trying a different approach”.The curator “did not want to create a museum display, because the pavilion is not a museum, it’s not going to work in that sense,” Alemani says.

    “It’s really a place to give artists carte blanche to transform the space radically and to offer the viewer an occasion to walk into the artist’s mind.”

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    Replica of statue destroyed by Isis and whipped cream to top London’s Fourth Plinth

    The American artist Michael Rakowitz and the British artist Heather Phillipson were announced today, 21 March, as the winners of the next two commissions to occupy the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square. Rakowitz will present a replica of the Lamassu statue that once stood at the Nergal Gate in Nineveh, Iraq, and was destroyed by Isis in 2015, while Phillipson will show THE END, a sculpture of a giant mound of whipped cream complete with cherry, fly and a functioning drone on top. The works are due to be unveiled in 2018 and 2020, respectively.



    In 2020, Heather Phillipson will show THE END, a sculpture of a giant mound of whipped cream complete with cherry, fly and a functioning drone on top on the Fourth Plinth

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    Living On A Thin Line

    Living On A Thin Line by Timothy Poulton

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    Emergency repair work to Buckingham Palace’s State Dining Room nears completion



    The State Dining Room in Buckingham Palace (Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017; Photo: Peter Smith)

    The State Dining Room at Buckingham Palace remains closed, more than 16 months after damage was discovered in a timber beam that helps hold up the ornately gilded ceiling.

    Initially a palace spokesperson had played down reports that the room would need to be closed for official functions and visitors for up to six months.*Subsequent investigations revealed a serious problem, requiring emergency stabilisation and a crash-deck scaffold. The room had been lined with full-length portraits from the royal collection, which had to be removed.

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    First live exhibition: mist, plants and a rave

    The veteran Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya has created a site-specific work made of mist as the centrepiece of BMW Tate Live Exhibition: Ten Days Six Nights (24 March-2 April)—the Tate Modern’s “first ever live exhibition”, says the museum director Frances Morris.Nakaya’s work—titled London Fog (2017) and made in collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Shiro Takatani—is on show outside the museum’s new Switch House building. The exhibition brings together “old friends with new friends”, Morris says.

    Nakaya, who has “lifetime of collaboration” behind her—including with the US artist Robert Rauschenberg whose major survey is also on show at the museum—was the starting point for the exhibition, which combines performances, film, installations, music and dance.

    There will be a “continuously changing programme” throughout the duration of the exhibition, says the show’s co-curator Catherine Wood. The exhibition, which is primarily housed in the museum’s subterranean Tanks galleries, is the first in a series of annual live exhibitions that will take place over the next four years, Woods says.



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    At last—Yoko Ono’s banned bottoms film is bared in London



    When the artist Yoko Ono made the film Bottoms in 1967, officials at the Royal Albert Hall in London refused to show the 80-minute piece which consists of nothing but close-up shots of 365 bums. According to the UK newspaper, the i, Marion Herrod, the venue secretary, was enflamed by the proposal, saying: “We are concerned with the protection of the hall and I was not convinced that we should not have disruptive behaviour from way-out elements.”

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