in News | 11 MAY 18

The Art World Gets Its Own Court of Arbitration

In further news: San Francisco takes a pro-immigrant stand with new arts project; Cuba clamps down on independent biennial

in News | 11 MAY 18

The Hague, the Netherlands, 2013. Courtesy: Flickr, Creative Commons; photograph: Christopher A. Dominic

A group of lawyers are launching a Court of Arbitration for Art in The Hague, the Netherlands, next month. The new tribunal is devoted to art disputes, and is founded as a partnership with the Netherlands Arbitration Institute and nonprofit Authentication in Art. The CAA’s founder and New York-based lawyer William Charron told frieze that he conceived of the tribunal after observing how ‘traditional litigation in art law disputes can be unnecessarily lengthy and costly, and in the end can yield uncertain results that the market simply will not accept’. Charron said that this was most apparent in authenticity disputes where ‘the market ends up just shrugging its shoulders at the whole process’. With the CAA, Charron wants to bring together art law practitioners as the deciders, ‘well-versed in the issues and kinds of evidence that often get presented, so the ‘learning curves’ will be substantially flattened.’ The CAA formally launches on 7 June.

The Neo-Expressionist Danish artist Per Kirkeby has passed away in Copenhagen at the age of 79. The news was confirmed by his gallery Michael Werner. He was a painter, sculptor, poet and stage designer among other talents – his career included involvement in Fluxus performance during the 1960s, as well as Copenhagen’s ‘eks-skolen’ art school, set up in defiance of the city’s traditional arts education. But Kirkeby is best known for his semi-abstract paintings, drawing on his studies of arctic geology.

San Francisco is taking a stand with a pro-immigrant art project: the San Francisco Arts Commission is collaborating with the city’s Office of Immigrant Affairs on a multi-year arts series that will include street posters protesting president Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant politics. The project Sanctuary City, a spokesperson told the Art Newspaper, is a ‘response to President Trump being elected, and more specifically to the policies he has put forward that directly and negatively impact the country’s immigrant (and by association non-immigrant) communities.

Two staff members from the film and animation department of Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts have been removed after complaints of sexual misconduct. The New York Times reports that students, inspired by the #MeToo movement, decided to openly draw attention to the improper behaviour on social media, naming the teachers.

Disturbing news from Cuba with reports of deportations and detainments of artists at Havana’s first independent biennial. Since the #00Bienal de La Habana opened at the weekend, artists have been threatened and detained by government agents. Meanwhile others, including artists Coco Fusco and Diego Gil, were denied permission to be in the country. Artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara and curator Yanelys Nuñez Leyva organized the programme across artists’s homes and studios in Havana, under the title ‘In Every Studio a Biennial’ – the impetus came after Cuba’s state-sponsored biennial was pulled after a lack of funding following Hurricane Irma.

The Käthe Kollwitz Museum Berlin has a new home in west Berlin, after the landlord for its current 19th-century villa location ended the lease after over 3 decades. The new space belongs to the state of Berlin and is currently occupied by the archives of the Akademie der Künste (which will relocate to the academy’s main site). The Kollwitz Museum will stay in its current site until the end of 2019.

UK prime minister Theresa May has announced a new GBP£3 million fund for community art projects in northern England. The funding, the government says, ‘will mean arts projects and enterprises which support their local communities’ including workshops for the elderly and using theatre to improve literacy. They will ‘deliver a positive social impact as part of our modern industrial strategy’, May said.

In other funding news: New York City is launching a new disability art fund, with arts organizations in the city eligible for grants of USD$10,000 to USD$35,000 to support projects engaging people with disabilities, both audiences and the ‘creation and presentation of work by and/or with disabled artists, which directly or indirectly reflects the disability experience’; meanwhile the Black Art Futures Fund has announced grantees for its inaugural funding cycle, which include the Center for Afrofuturist Studies in Iowa City, Iowa and New York’s I, Too Arts Collective.

In appointments news: French curator and the Palais de Tokyo’s founding director Nicolas Bourriaud is to curate the 16th edition of the Istanbul Biennial. The exhibition will run from 14 September to 10 November 2019 – ‘the city of Istanbul takes a specific signification today, in a global political era marked by binary thought. I will try to build an exhibition that measures up to our historical situation,’ he said; and the Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York has named Kay Takeda as its new senior director of artist programmes – she joins the foundation next month, leaving her current post as vice president of grants and services at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Finally, new art project Groundwork has launched in Cornwall, UK. Curator Teresa Gleadowe has worked to bring work by major international artists to various spaces across the region. Artists including Steve McQueen, Tacita Dean and Simon Starling will present work across the season, which focuses on moving image, sound and performance, and runs until 30 September.