Photos: Broken Crow in Gambia

Minneapolis mural duo Broken Crow (John Grider and Mike Fitzsimmons) is back after two weeks in Gambia, where they were part of the Wide Open Walls project. In advance of Saturday night's closing party for BK's show at XYandZ Gallery (which is up through Nov. 13), here's an assortment of photos of their work, courtesy of Christin Crabtree Grider.


Semi-obscure now-defunct-post-punk-orchestral-rock-collective reference du jour (with coffee)

Or maybe it's just an old Japanese film reference. Via Warnick.


Correction: Apparently GYBE isn't defunct. According to Pitchfork (via commenter Timothy), they'll be touring Europe and America December 2010 through March 2011.


Bits: 10.25.10

Bunker 599

Bunker 599 by Atelier de Lyon and Rietveld Landscape slices in half a seemingly indestructible military bunker situated along the New Dutch Waterline, which up til 1940 was used to protect the cities of Muiden, Utrecht, Vreeswijk and Gorinchem from intentional flooding.

• Minnesota is now home to a $200,000, 18-foot-tall bronze sculpture depicting Jesus as a "mighty warrior," complete with drawn sword and rearing horse. Behold it... at the Christian Family Church in Owatonna.

• Hyerallergic, featuring Mel Chin, Futurefarmers and others, asks, "Which installation artists are actually green?"

• Photographer Terry Gydesen remembers the late Paul Wellstone, who died along with his family eight years ago today.

• Slideshow: MNspeak visits the art studio of Scott Nedrelow.

• Shepard Fairey's homage to Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi winds up on a wall of a clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand in a new installment at The Big Picture.

• Artist Ben Cuevas' knitted skeleton.

Chairs designed after aersol-can "fat caps."


Bits: 10.22.10

Mounir Fatmi, Between the Lines, via Art Documents

• After getting hacked, Ubuweb is up, running and nicking content right and left. Writes founder David Goldsmith: "[I]n terms of how we've gone about building the archive, if we had to ask for permission, we wouldn't exist. Because we have no money, we don't ask permission. "

• Slideshow/stop-action animation: Cai Guo-Qiang making the gunpowder painting Odyssey for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

• Video: Chris Beckman’s experimental short film, Oops, composed solely of YouTube videos of people dropping their cameras.

• Election day is Tuesday, and thanks to Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, you can look up various candidates' positions on the arts. (Via MinnPost.)

• Minneapolis exhibition: Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers, opens Oct. 23, Walker Art Center.

• Website: Pictures of Muslims Wearing Things, a Tumblr blog reacting to news that MPR analyst Juan Williams has been fired for telling Bill O'Reilly, "
[W]hen I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."


Meet Latitudes at Midway Contemporary Art tonight

After leaving their temporary home of Minneapolis several years ago, curators Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna relocated to Barcelona where they've been running their "curatorial office" Latitudes ever since. This week, I'm glad they're coming back.

Latitudes' projects are often, but not always, ecological in theme, and they tend to be boundrary-blurring site-specific public artworks. In recent weeks, for example, they've been producing a weekly newspaper within the New Museum exhibition The Last Newspaper (issue 3, just out, includes a short bit I was invited to write about my employers at the nonprofit American Independent News Network, plus an essay by former Walker curator Doryun Chong on the artwork Vanilla Nightmares by Adrian Piper). Previous projects include Portscapes, a series of commissioned projects using and responding to the expansion of Rotterdam's seaport; No Soul For Sale: A Festival of Independents at Tate Modern this May; an upcoming exhibition in Arhus, Denmark, of energy-related work by Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller; and the 2006 book (edited by Andrews), Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook, which I'm proud to say includes my interviews with Winona LaDuke, Cameron Sinclair and Rirkrit Tiravanija; to name just a few.
Documentation of the Jan Dibbets' Portscapes project, 6 Hour Tide Object with Correction of Perspective

Tonight at 7 pm the pair will give a talk at Minneapolis' Midway Contemporary Art about their work and the project, Vic Cambrils Barcelona / Verges Cervera Barcelona / Viladamat Castelldefels Barcelona / Vilafranca Cornella Barcelona / Valls Collserola Barcelona... A Library Project:
In response to Midway Contemporary Art Library’s holdings of museum catalogues and from publishing houses in Barcelona, Latitudes has assembled a counter-accession of approximately 50 self- and micro-published books and paper editions by artists. Each publication is the work of an artist, designer, curator, or publishing initiative based in Barcelona or Catalonia since 2005. Although some were produced in conjunction with exhibitions, the books – or in some cases CD editions, newspapers, etc. – tend not to be traditional accompanying catalogues per se, but rather editorial propositions in themselves.

The title of the initiative presents various playful corruptions of the title of Woody Allen’s movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) by substituting place names from Catalonia, suggesting a local alternative to the hackneyed cultural construction of Barcelona, as well as the depiction of the star artist.
Details about Midway here.


Bits: 10.16.10

J.G. Posada image from the book Calaveras: Mexican Prints for the Day of the Dead, Redstone Press

• At Guernica, Susie Linfeild asks, "Would Americans have reacted less violently to our most disturbing day if we’d been allowed to see photographs of its most disturbing aspects?" -- specifically, photos of those who jumped from the Twin Towers on 9/11.

• The woman who attacked an Enrique Chagoya print at the Loveland (Colo.) Museum/Gallery pleaded not guilty to the charge of criminal mischief, a class-four felony that, if convicted, could mean a prison stay of up to six years. The works showed Jesus in sexual positions, but the artist -- who is offering to create an image of Christ for the woman's church -- said the image is "not Christ. It is my way of saying that something precious got corrupted."

• Saturday synched: "The Simultania Project is about having different people from all over the world film the same 1-minute-moment in time on Saturday, November 13, and then assembling the resulting footage into a video installation that plays back all the simultaneous perspectives together and in sync."

• Minneapolis' Aesthetic Apparatus designs Cake's new album cover. Via MnSpeak.

• ArtReview's "Power 100" list is out, but don't read it without this handy guide, which comes in the form of charts.

• Photo backstory: A banner at the Metrodome touts the Minnesota National Guard as "Minnesota's First Line of Defense." But defense against whom? The photo features Guard members as they were deployed against protesters at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

• An Urban Outfitters 2010 holiday preview features no products, only photos of Christmas trees by Alec Soth.

• The Statue of Liberty is reportedly struck by lightning some 600 times each year. Here's one rare photo of it.

• And, finally, your moment of Duchamp urinal tattoo.

Minneapolis' Siah Armajani awarded Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

Murder in Tehran by Siah Armajani
Siah Armajani, Murder in Tehran (2009)

Minneapolis artist Siah Armajani -- who created the iconic Irene Hixon Whitney Footbridge across Interstate 94 -- will be given the Chevalier Award of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. According to Meulensteen New York, the award will be conferred in Minneapolis next Thursday, Oct. 21 by Philippe Vergne (the Dia director and former Walker chief curator who received the same honor in 2004) and Marie-Anne Toledano, Cultural Attaché of the Consul General de France.

A resident of Minneapolis since 1960, Armajani's work has often circled back to Iran, where he was born in 1939. In his 1962 piece Prayer, now on view at the Walker's Event Horizon exhibition, he inked verses by Sufi writers Rumi and Hafez to create an abstract, poetic work, while one of his more recent sculptures directly takes on contemporary Iranian politics. His Murder in Tehran is a response to the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Iran following last year's presidential election. Referencing Goya, Sufi poets, the murder of Neda Agha Soltan and his own disdain for the Iranian regime -- the work includes the text "Satan, drunk on victory, squats at the feast of our undoing" -- the piece is a multi-layered installation. The blog Leaves of Glass describes the work:

Composed of glass, wood, gravel, cast body parts, felt, masonite, paint, and applied and poetry from contemporary and Iranian poet Ahmad Shamlou (1925-2000), “Murder in Tehran” scrutinizes sacrifices made by women in the 2009 protests against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s “reelection” to the Iranian presidency. This sacrifice was illustrated most starkly in the shooting of Neda, whose death was broadcast throughout the globe. The installation also commemorates the way in which Iranians took to their balconies to denounce the government and the policies of the Revolutionary Guard in the days following June 12.

Featuring a balcony-like structure supporting a “human” figure, the tableaux of “Murder in Tehran” recalls the popular uprising of Iranians on their rooftops. With its long history of martyrs losing their lives in pursuit of freedom and justice, Armajani’s work recognizes their various roles in Iranian history.

At the base of this sculpture, the viewer will see scattered casts of body parts littered among the gravel—a reference to the mass shallow graves found in various corners of Tehran in the weeks following the unrest. In the midst of the body parts is a bloody hatchet, an illustration of the Shamlou poem whose text is inscribed on the sides of the piece: “The man who comes in the noon of the night/has come to kill the light/There the butchers are posted in the passageways/with bloody chopping blocks and cleavers…” In placing a sculptural illustration in proximity to the text itself, Armajani employs a technique found in ancient Persian miniatures that contain illustration, description, and poetry on a single page. Additionally, one finds seven pencil-on-mylar drawings in the show entitled “Murder in Tehran (After Goya)”

Via @artnetdotcom.


Bits: 10.15.10

A wall to be repainted by artists during the Moniker Int'l Art Fair in London, now through Sunday.

• Brooklyn artist Julia Torres was arrested, handcuffed, and kept in a holding cell for 23 hours this summer for graffiti. Her crime: Doing outdoor watercolor paintings -- on paper taped to the wall.

• Brazilian street-art duo Os Gemeos makes an awfully nice zine for the Fame festival.

• New York exhibition: The Last Newspaper, "inspired by the ways artists approach the news and respond to the stories and images that command the headlines," on view through Jan. 9 at the New Museum.

• Minneapolis exhibition: Endless Winter, featuring new paintings and prints by Drew Peterson, opens Friday night at Fox Tax Gallery.

• Interview: Photographer Brian Ulrich in BOMB.

• Dummy copy that ain't: Designers, instead of Lorem ipsum, why not use text from Moby Dick, War of the Worlds or other classics?

• The Walker Art Center is now free for those under age 18.

And today in inflatable Russian artillery....

Light projection: 600 years of the Prague astrological clock

The 600 Years from the macula on Vimeo. Via @shardlow


Ubuweb hacked

Damn. Kenneth Goldsmith's Ubuweb, one of my favorite online art resources, shut down indefinitely. Via AnimalNY.

Update: The site's film and sound archives are back online.


Cremaster videogame

Via Kriston Capps on Twitter, a level of Little Big Planet on PlayStation 3 based on artist Matthew Barney's Cremaster 1. Kriston's assessment: "Spot on, especially the waiting for things to happen with shapes bit."

A side-by-side comparison:

Banksy's Haring graf Simpsonized

Last week's Haring-esque Banksy piece (below) gets an update by JBOY after last night's Banksy-directed Simpson's intro.

Banksy's Simpson's intro

The intro to last night's episode of The Simpsons, storyboarded and directed by Banksy. Update: Fox has pulled the video from YouTube, but it's still on Hulu.

Via C-Monster.


For one month, Marc Horowitz will take the advice of strangers

Marc Horowitz:

Starting on November 1st, for one month, I’ll be asking you to help me figure out what to do with my life.

You’ll be able to visit www.theadviceofstrangers.com and vote in real time on the choices I make everyday.

My destiny will be entirely in your hands!


Bits 10:08.10

"Crossing the painted road which extends east from the Philadelphia Museum of Art," Sept. 1973, National Archives on Flickr, via Prison Photography

• Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija wins the second annual Absolut Art Award "for his ability to rule out conventional categorization."

• The 2nd-place winner at Korea's Incheon International Design Awards is the lovely Spiral Garden System by Spanish team Benet and Saida Dalmau, Anna Julibert and Carmen Vilar: "This spiral contains an ascending garden where native vegetation can coexist with urban orchards, shared and planted for the neighbours for easy maintenance and serving also as a green outdoor walk."

• Audio: Really nice MPR piece on No Assumption: A Collaborative Exhibition of Art in a Residence, a group show in a foreclosed Northeast Minneapolis house that opens tomorrow night. The outside of the house will be wrapped in an inflatable bag, says artist Mirelle Zacharis, who inherited the home after her mother died of cancer last year.

• Minneapolis film-art projection: At 10 pm Saturday night, Minneapolis Art on Wheels presents Seaworthy, a piece about water use that'll be projected on the exterior of Northrop Auditorium.

• Photographer Chris Floyd was shocked to find his photograph of men in a town square in Mexico depicted as illegal immigrants in the U.S. in ads by Republican Senate candidates Sharron Angle and David Vitter: "The fact that these men were Mexican citizens photographed in Mexico kind of negates their claims... At the point that photograph was taken not one of them had ever set foot in America, and I have no idea if they ever did."

• Right back atcha, Erik: A blog you should know about, MCAD designer Erik Brandt's Geotypografika, which brought us this street-art back-and-forth I linked up the other day. (See and suggest other Twin Cities design blogs here.)

"Artisanal Pencil Shapening": He does it the old-fashioned way. By hand, and for $15 apiece you can get the sharpened pencil, shavings, and a "certificate of sharpening" shipped your way. Via Doobybrain.

• Just in time for Halloween: Milk jug stormtrooper helmet (via Cynical-C), and weird skimpy Star Wars-esque costumes for the ladies (via The Daily What).


Point/counterpoint: Shrigley and Lambert on life and death

Above: I'm Dead, by David Shrigley, whose work is on view at Anton Kern Gallery through Oct. 30. Below: Steve Lambert's You Are Still Alive, installed as part of Art Moves: The Festival of Art on Billboards, Torun, Poland.

Video: Evan Roth's animated gif collection set to Girl Talk's NightRipper

Evan Roth's "entire animated .gif collection set to Girl Talk's classic mashup album NightRipper."

More Roth on Eyeteeth.

Bits: 10.07.10

Chiharu Shiota, Room of Memory, installed at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan, 2009 [via ABB]

On Wednesday, Kathleen Folden walked into the Loveland, Colo., art museum and started bashing a plexiglas vitrine with a crowbar and then tore up Stanford professor Enrique Chagoya's The Misadventures of Romantic Cannibals. The 56-year old is in custody on a charge of criminal mischief, a Class 4 felony with a fine of up to $2,000, after damaging the editioned lithograph, which shows Jesus in sexual situations.

• More art outrage: Gil Vicente's charcoal drawings of the artist with a pistol pressed to the temples of world leaders like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, George W. Bush and the pope at the Bienal São Paulo prompted the Brazilian Bar Association to call for the removal of the series. "Even though a work of art freely expresses the creativity of its maker, without limits, there have to be limits to exhibiting it publicly." (Thanks, Stephan.)

• Video: Artist Steve Lambert on "why it's important that public funds support artwork that might be considered offensive."

• Flickr groups I like: Handpainted Signs of the World and Folk Typography.

• Artists, including the Glass Bead Collective, are rallying on behalf of the so-called "Ground Zero mosque," an Islamic center that will also house arts facilities, including studios.

• Depressing fact of the day: "Of the 6,909 known languages, about half are expected to disappear in this century; every two weeks, the last fluent speaker of a language dies." Via @thenassassin.



Steve Lambert's Utopia

Now that I got my copy of Steve Lambert's letterpress poster -- based on a speech he gave at Berlin’s Transmediale Festival on Utopia this spring -- here's how you can get yours. Pay what you want: "For me to fix the cost of a print about Utopia is absurd," he writes, while noting that his cost for making and sending the poster is around $14.20 per print.

Maurizio Cattelan extends a middle finger in front of Italy's stock exchange

Maurizio Cattelan's latest public artwork, a sculpture of a hand altered to show just an extended middle finger, is now installed in front of the stock exchange in Milan. But, as you'll notice, it's not facing that building, but the general public. Hyperallergic and Designboom have more.


Bits: 10.05.10

John Pfahl, 31 Prince Street, Rochester, New York, from the "Picture Window" series, 1978, via Silver Linings

• New York exhibition: Joy Garnett: Boom and Bust, a show of six paintings exploring "sublime spectacle through works on canvas sourced from photography of military events," opens Oct. 15 at Winkleman Gallery.

• Minneapolis exhibition: A foreclosed storefront/home is the site for No Assumption: A Collaborative Exhibition of Art in a Residence, a group show presented by Art of This and Artcodex. Opening Saturday, it features works around themes of "property, the pursuit of happiness, and contemporary American domesticity in the context of the foreclosure crisis" by Gudrun Lock, Terry Gydesen, Nick Howard and many others.

• Fashion/celebrity photographer Bridgitte Lancombe documented a trip to Rajasthan, India, to photograph the good work of anti-poverty group Heiffer International. Check out her images and videos.

• I wanted to link up the arresting Mother Jones story "The Juan Doe Problem," about the forensic challenge of identifying immigrants who died trying to cross the U.S./Mexico border, even before I knew it was written by former Utne staffer Andi McDaniel and photographer Matt Nager. See Nager's accompanying photo essay.

• Film debut: Art21's new feature on William Kentridge airs Oct. 21, but Hyperallergic's got a way for you to win tickets to the Oct. 18 NYC preview at MoMA.

• Dennis Hopper's Gehry-designed house is for sale. Price reduced to $5.2 million.

• Among the fixes Monty Python could've made to upgrade Holy Grail to an A-rating for British censors in '74: "Lose 'We make castanets out of your testicles.'"