Broken Crow at XYandZ

Before heading off to join eight other artists/groups in the Wide Open Walls project in Gambia Oct. 12, Minneapolis stencil duo Broken Crow (John Grider and Mike Fitzsimmons) open a show at XYandZ Gallery. When Trust is the New Money opens Oct. 1; after that, follow their African adventure here.


Bits: 09.28.10

• Chicago's Brian Ulrich, interviewed here, provides photography (above) for the New York Times' look at how artists are part of a resurgence of hope in recession-era Detroit.

• PBS Art Beat looks at some of the 2010 MacArthur "genius grant" winners, including typographer Matthew Carter (who designed the Walker Art Center's iconic typeface, among many others), artists Jorge Pardo and "The Wire" co-creator David Simon. Here's the full winners list.

• Here in Minnesota, Lucinda Naylor, the Basilica of St. Mary's artist in residence the past 15 years, was suspended for criticizing the Catholic bishops' anti-gay marriage campaign, which involves sending "over a million" DVDs about the evils of same-sex unions to state Catholics. Her infraction: She invited people to send her DVDs to make into sculpture to counter a message of discrimination with one of "creativity and hope."

• Thomas Hirschhorn (who I interviewed back here) and Andrea Thal have been tapped to represent Switzerland at the 2011 Venice Biennale.

• Hyperallergic on the "Raam," the global currency of peace.

• Our favorite local art/design blog ROLU has launched a line of furniture. Check it out at Design Within Reach in Uptown (2939 Hennepin Avenue S., Minneapolis) between 5 and 8 Thursday night.

• Malcolm Gladwell on why the revolution won't be tweeted.


Video: David Shrigley makes an animated pitch for the arse, er, arts

David Shrigley -- one of a 100 major artists supporting the UK's Save the Arts -- makes a compellingly weird case for the importance -- and sustained funding of -- the arts in a new animated film.

"No not arse, son. Arts!"

(Thanks, Jim)


John Morse's haiku bandit signs

At first glance, John Morse's art might read as a scam: installed on telephone poles around Atlanta, he borrows the vocabulary and medium of "bandit" or snipe signs -- illegal ads, often for weight-loss schemes, payday loans or work-at-home jobs -- but delivers more positive kinds of messages. The hitch: they all fit the requirements of traditional haiku. He's placed 500 of these 17-syllable poems around town, mapping the locations on Google.

Via Ed Kohler who tracks similar illegal snipe signs -- which he likens to corporate graffiti or street spam -- in the Twin Cities.

Flux Film 001 | Morse from Proper Medium on Vimeo.


Bits: 09.08.10

Carl Corey, Mocassin Bar, Hayward, WI, from the series "Wisconsin Tavern League"

• Images from the Motherland: Carl Corey's series on northcentral Wisconsin bars conjures images of my youth... or what I can remember of it. Part 1 and Part 2 (which includes the image above; that bar has made me think Maurizio Cattelan's taxidermy squirrel is a bit ho-hum.) Via Flak Photo's Andy Adams.

• Barcelona-based curatorial office Latitudes (Max Andrews and Mariana C├ínepa Luna) are looking for unpaid interns to help create a daily newspaper as part of the New Museum’s fall exhibition The Last Newspaper (6 October 2010–9 January 2011).

• Anthropologist Lewis Hyde (The Gift, Trickster Makes This World) interviewed by Creative Commons on his new book, Common as Air: Revolution, Art and Ownership.

• Catholic monks in Arkansas who started hand-making caskets for the victims of Hurricane Katrina are now facing down the "casket cartel" who want them to knock it off.

• Flickr fun with Alec: In conjunction with his upcoming Walker show, photographer Alec Soth has started a Flickr project, whereby he posts ten topics he wants users to photograph; on October 1, he'll pick his favorite and send the shooter the exhibition catalogue.

• Minneapolis exhibition: Scene from Above: New Sculpture by Asia Ward, Rosalux. Opens Sept. 10.

• Mashup: Allison Kraus' "I'll Fly Away" + Beastie Boys' "Intergallactic" = "Oh Brother, Thou Art Intergallactic."

• A few shots by day and by night of Twist and Amaze's tag wall at Houston and Bowery, New York.

• That's not a tree. This is a tree.

Allora & Calzadilla to represent the U.S. at the 2011 Venice Biennale

The Indianapolis Museum of Art -- selected to represent the U.S. at the 2011 Venice Biennale -- will present the work of Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla at the U.S. Pavilion, which will house six installations designed by the duo. It's the first time a collaborative instead of an individual has represented the United States at the festival. When the husband-and-wife couple was in Minneapolis for a Walker residency in 2004, I interviewed them on art, social change and works they were involved with around that time, including chalk likenesses of conquistadors that deteriorate when used on school chalkboards; shoe soles imprinted to leave messages behind for the U.S. military on the sands of the then-active Vieques bombing range; giant pieces of chalk left on the streets of Lima; and the charcoal dance floor installed at the Walker, which featured images of hip dancers that wore away as gallerygoers walked over it.

Of that last work, Allora explained:
The idea is that you would be walking around [on a floor drawing of dancers, rendered in charcoal that easily smudges underfoot] and looking at the different people, and as you look at the work, you inevitably step on the people who are dancing below. And, because we're wearing these shoes that are part of this global commodity culture, people start getting branded with all those same things that are trying to make them feel like they're different. So they've got Nike emblazoned on their face, and Adidas, and not only that but the actual shoes start to smudge all the drawings and instead of them being very clean and detail-ful, they become smudged and dirty and homogenized and erased.
Read the interview and my Adbusters story, "Insurgent Inquiry: The Art of Allora & Calzadilla."

Landmark, Vieques, Puerto Rico, 2003

Chalk Monuments

Chalk, Lima, Peru, 2002


Behind the scenes: Rosenthaler Platz's giant guerrilla paintjob

Here's just released video of how somebody in Berlin -- "IEPE & the anonymous crew," apparently -- turned the intersection at Rosenthaler Platz into a giant painting this April with "500 liters of waterbased environmentally friendly paint."


Rupert Murdoch's UK news outfit accused of voicemail hacking

Could Rupert Murdoch's other "journalistic" ventures be phone-hacking as well?

Journalistic ethics, Rupert Murdoch-style:
...AS OF THIS SUMMER, five people have filed lawsuits accusing News Group Newspapers, a division of Rupert Murdoch’s publishing empire that includes News of the World, of breaking into their voice mail. Additional cases are being prepared, including one seeking a judicial review of Scotland Yard’s handling of the investigation. The litigation is beginning to expose just how far the hacking went, something that Scotland Yard did not do. In fact, an examination based on police records, court documents and interviews with investigators and reporters shows that Britain’s revered police agency failed to pursue leads suggesting that one of the country’s most powerful newspapers was routinely listening in on its citizens...
Via @cmonstah.

Bits: 09.01.10

Edward Burtynsky, Oil Spill #2, Discoverer Enterprise, May 12, 2010, via Flavorpill, where you can see the entire series

• Starting Monday, likenesses of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera will appear on opposite sides of 500-peso bills in Mexico.

• "After serving 30 months in the Navy and participating in four overseas invasions during World War II, comedian Lenny Bruce went to the sick bay on the U.S.S. Brooklyn in May 1945 to report that he was feeling a little gay...." Via Cynical-C.

• Video: The Chapmann Brothers interviewed on blood, guts and horror films.

• Curator Bart Ryan interviews Alec Soth in advance of the Sept. 12 opening of the Walker exhibition, From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America.

MPLS.tv goes behind the scenes at The Hold Steady–inspired indie film, Stuck Between Stations, filmed in Minneapolis and featuring cameos of the Walker, First Avenue, the Irene Hixon Whitney footbridge, etc. Opens in 2011.

• Yoko Ono performs Vocal Piece for Soprano at MoMA.


• Your moment of salsa-dancing dog.