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In the Air – Art News & Gossip

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Manifesta 11 Names Artist Christian Jankowski Chief Curator

German multimedia artist Christian Jankowski will be the chief curator for Manifesta 11, Europe’s contemporary art biennial, scheduled to take place in Zurich in 2016. “For the first time in Manifesta’s history, an individual artist will take the position of Chief Curator and will work on a project for an entire urban environment,” said Hedwig Fijen, Manifesta’s director and chair of the curatorial selection committee, in a press release. “Jankowski will investigate the whole array of art’s authorship, its production and its reflection on Zurich’s professional landscape. In doing so, Manifesta 11’s Chief Curator approaches the complex identities of the city in an unexpected way, reaching out to audiences beyond the inner circle of contemporary art biennials.” Based in Berlin, Jankowski participated in the Venice Biennale in 1999 and 2013, and in the Whitney Biennial in 2002; his work often consists of large-scale performance pieces that engage large numbers of participants, some of them unwitting. For example, in 2009, he staged “Strip the Auctioneer,” a performance held at Christie’s in Amstersam, in which auctioneer Amo Verkade sold off his clothing piece by piece.


ICI’s Independent Vision Award Goes to Eva Barois De Caevel

On behalf of Independent Curator’s International (ICI), Nancy Spector, deputy director and chief curator of the Guggenheim Foundation, has made her choice for winner of the Independent Vision Curator Award: Eva Barois De Caevel, a Paris-based independent curator, assistant curator of Raw Materials in Dakar, and co-founder of Cartel de Kunst, an international emerging-curator collective. “Eva Barois De Caevel’s unflinching curatorial practice tackles some of today’s most urgent issues, including sexuality and human rights, in a postcolonial world,” Spector explained in a press release. The award, which includes a $3,000 stipend, will be presented to De Caevel on November 17 at ICI’s annual benefit auction.


Concept Art Fair to Debut on Miami Mega Yacht This December

A new art fair is set to join the Miami ranks this December. Called Concept, it will take place on the Seafair mega yacht docked in downtown Miami’s Bayfront Park and focus on “blue chip secondary market work by modern and contemporary masters,” according to press materials. Just down from the city’s new Perez Art Museum, the seafaring fair will have 35 exhibitiors, which have yet to be announced. Created by Next Level Fairs, Concept will run from December 2 through 7.


MoMA Identifies Earliest Feature Film With Black Actors

Though film history includes stories of early productions featuring predominantly black casts, such as 1913’s “The Pullman Porter” and 1914’s “Uncle Remus’ First Visit to New York,” all actual copies of these films have since disappeared  — that is, until now. Found in MoMA’s archives, an untitled film print starring Caribbean American musical theater actor Bert Williams has been dated back to September of 1913 and will debut at the museum later this fall.


assume vivid astro focus Brings Roller Rink to Buenos Aires

Whether making over a Barney’s with Lady Gaga or exploring transsexuality in geometric psychedelica, assume vivid astro focus always seems to be up to something eye-catching — and now, for the second time, that something has taken the form of a roller rink. Reprising a project they first undertook in 2004 as a tribute to New York’s rollerdance community, the duo is bringing their disco-themed interactive installation to Argentina, for the 10th anniversary celebration of the Faena Hotel Buenos Aires, home to the Faena Arts Center. Dubbed “angeles veloces arcanos fugaces,” the project will also feature an appearance from comedienne and drag performer Lady Bunny.


Expo Chicago Names Artists For In/Situ And More

Expo Chicago, whose third edition takes place in the city September 18 through 21, has announced the artists included in its In/Situ section, organized by Independent Curators International Executive Director Renaud Proch. The 8 participants are Robert Burnier; Fernando Pareja and Leidy Chavez; Cheryl Pope; Michael Rakowitz (whose work is pictured above); Jessica Stockholder; Saya Woolfalk; Ken Gonzales-Day; and Whitney Biennial stand-out Elijah Burgher.


Feline Art Takeover Shows No Signs Of Slowing

Yesterday may have been National Dog Day, but there’s certainly been no shortage of cat-related buzz in the art world, from this feline-centric exhibition at 356 Mission in San Francisco to Irena Jurek’s sex kittens in New York. Now the photographic group and online exhibition platform Humble Arts Foundation is seizing the, um, meowgeist with “New Cats In Art Photography,” a serious-sounding array of 100 images curated by Jon Feinstein.


James Franco Wins “Glory to the Filmmaker” Award at Venice Film Festival

James Franco, scrooge of the art world, has been awarded the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker 2014 prize, to be presented at the Venice Film Festival in a ceremony on September 5. Previous winners include Al Pacino and Sylvester Stalone, if that’s any indication of the award’s significance. (more…)

Zanzibar Films at NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial

A discordant tangent in the narrative of the French New Wave, the Zanzibar group of filmmakers — which included Philipe Garrell, painter Olivier Mosset, and Jackie Raynal, among others — made only 13 films in their short existence, between 1968 and 1970. According to the film historian Sally Shafto, they were named after a filmmaking expedition to East Africa, Zanzibar being their intended destination. Sylvina Boissonnas, a wealthy oil heiress and patron of the arts, funded their work and had a casual relationship with the filmmakers — no contracts, very little input. They were free to make films devoid of outside influence. (more…)

Notes on “Finding Fela” and Political Film

This is an essay about Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, the musician and human rights activist, only tangentially. It uses a new documentary about his life — “Finding Fela,” directed by Alex Gibney and currently playing at the IFC Center in New York — to ask questions about how to address political subjects on stage and screen. It’s composed of fragments that can be read in any order. Like Fela’s life and music, there are multiple narrative strands floating through this text without a clear beginning or ending. (more…)