1. While all the attention has gone to the DIA and its treasures, Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American history is also in danger of permanently shuttering its doors. Please contact Rochelle Riley at the Detroit Free Press to learn how to contribute and save the museum!

     

  2. First there were the working poor. Then came working artists. Then came the real estate developers. Hot on their heels, bobos and their hipster kids who decided after decades of self-exile from the urban heart of America’s darkness, they wanted to return and enjoy cannibalize the culture and color they initially feared and fled in bigoted panic. But then…then came the tech elite. And it was a monster unlike any had encountered before.

     

  3. As an influential cultural theorist, campaigner and founding editor of the New Left Review, Hall was always among the first to identify key questions of the age, and routinely skeptical about easy answers. A spellbinding orator and a teacher of enormous influence, he never indulged in academic point-scoring. Hall’s political imagination combined vitality and subtlety; in the field of ideas he was tough, ready to combat positions he believed to be politically dangerous. Yet he was unfailingly courteous, generous towards students, activists, artists and visitors from across the globe, many of whom came to love him. Hall won accolades from universities worldwide, despite never thinking of himself as a scholar. Universities offered him a base from which he could teach – a source of great pleasure for him – and collaborate with others in public debate.

     

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    [A]rt history majors are now just a punch line for the President, who encouraged young people at a gathering in Wisconsin to consider getting skilled in a trade because they could earn more “than they might …[with] an art history degree.” Then he seemed to chuckle and realized that he had casually dismissed a discipline that takes as its purview several thousand years of human history and achievement. Please, don’t send him emails and demand he not only appoint a chair to the NEA, but also put more weight behind the arts in this country.

     

  5.  Okwui Enwezor, director of Munich’s Haus der Kunst, has been appointed Director of Visual Arts for the 56th Venice Biennale, which is to take place from May 9 to November 22, 2015. The 50-year-old Nigerian-born curator and writer previously served as artistic director of the Documenta 11 in 2002, the Bienial Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo de Sevilla in 2006, the  Gwangju Biennial in 2008, and the Triennal d’Art Contemporain of Paris at the Palais de Tokyo in 2012. From 2005 to 2009 he was dean of academic affairs and senior vice president of the San Francisco Art Institute.

     

  6. José Esteban Muñoz, a scholar in the field of queer politics and aesthetics and professor at New York University’s Tisch School, has passed away, according to a notice on the University of Minnesota

     

  7. The influential but out-of-the-limelight artist Carrie Mae Weems had received a prestigious fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, and not only was she grateful to be in Italy and having the time of her life, she was actually connecting the cultural dots, using the city as a backdrop to produce some of her best work to date. One day, though, a past fellow—Weems won’t say who—paid a visit to the academy’s villa atop Janiculum Hill and sputtered, “Carrie Mae Weems, what—what are you doing here?”

    Weems could have said that her work—based in photography, and about African-American life, by all means, but obsessed too with gender, class, and history—had as much right to a place at the academy as this woman’s, maybe more. She could (and maybe should) have said, “What the fuck are you doing here?” She thought about it. Instead, she let it go…

    “The deeper point is, I kept bumping into all these people, white people, who’d been coming to Rome for years, leading programs in Rome, doing all these things, and I’m like, ‘You never told me you come to Rome.’ People I really trusted, people I thought had kind of open minds, are having this whole dynamic experience that they don’t think I’m worthy enough to tell. There’s a sense that I don’t even deserve to know, because there’s nothing that I can possibly do with that—you see what I’m saying?”

     

  8. Women cannot paint well, despite making up the majority of art students, according to one of Europe’s pre-eminent post-war artists.

     

  9. By Chaun Webster, Jeremiah Bey Ellison, Arianna Genis, Shannon Gibney and Valerie Deus 

    We have learned that on October 30 The Walker Art Center will be showing the film, 12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen, and followed by a talk with the director on Nov 9…

    We understand that these events were publicized to members of The Walker and on The Walker’s website. As you may or may not know, when marketing strategies are limited in media and points of origin, the race, class, gender and other layers of social location are also limited.

    Within the Walker Art Center’s Mission Statement the institution is described as “a catalyst for the creative expression of artists and the active engagement of audiences” and having programs which “examine the questions that shape and inspire us as individuals, cultures and communities.” Which communities do you seek to inspire and what questions do you seek to examine with the creative expression of artists?

    Over the years we have become acutely aware of the way that art institutions are guided by an exceptionalism that will welcome works of art by select artists of African descent and other historically marginalized groups but will largely have little to no relationship with members of those communities. This in no small way contributes to the issue of representative audiences…read more

     

  10. Venerable Conceptual artist withdraws from “Radical Presence” at Grey Art Gallery, asserting it marginalizes African American artists

    "[T]he artist had articulated her reasons in correspondence with Valerie Cassel Oliver, the show’s curator, which reads in part:

    I appreciate your intentions. Perhaps a more effective way to ‘celebrate [me], [my] work and [my] contributions to not only the art world at large, but also a generation of black artists working in performance,’ might be to curate multi-ethnic exhibitions that give American audiences the rare opportunity to measure directly the groundbreaking achievements of African American artists against those of their peers in ‘the art world at large.”