in News | 19 JUN 18

Discount Museum Tickets for World Cup Fans, Russian Government Urges

In further news: the future of Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building uncertain; Ai Weiwei returns to eBay

in News | 19 JUN 18

View of the Winter Palace, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2012. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons; photograph: A. Savin

The Russian government has called on museums to give discounted tickets to World Cup visitors. The government wants cultural institutions to grant those with World Cup Fan-IDs – a document that allows foreign nationals to travel without a visa – reduced entry into some of the country’s leading museums. The international sporting event, which kicked off last week, is expected to welcome one million foreign visitors and will be hosted in cities rich in art history such as Kaliningrad and Yekaterinburg. The State Hermitage Museum in Petersburg announced ahead of the tournament that they will not be offering complimentary tickets to football fans. However, The New Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow will be offering free entry until 25 July.

The outer structure of Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building, devastated by fire last weekend, is expected to be saved from demolition, council officials have said. But the future of the building is in doubt with some calling for the building to be torn down and built anew rather than reconstruct the art school to the original design. After undergoing a GBP£34m renovation project after a fire in 2014 damaged the Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed Art Nouveau building, experts estimate the cost of new renovation works could cost upwards of GBP£100m. Extensive record keeping via photographs and drawings made during the initial restoration project in 2014 mean the original building still exists in digital form. Alan Dunlop, an architect who trained at Glasgow School of Art and is now a professor of architecture at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, told The Guardian: ‘We should resist the calls to rebuild it as before stone by stone. That would not be restoration, it would be replication, a process I believe Mackintosh himself would resist as he was an innovator not a copyist.’

Ai Weiwei and the Public Art Fund (PAF) are partnering with eBay to release new works for charity on World Refugee Day. Six new banner works by the artist will be released tomorrow, 20 June, each exploring the global humanitarian crisis and featuring a portrait of a refugee or immigrant. The works come in editions of 500, each priced at USD$750. PAF will also make a donation to USA for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as to the International Rescue Committee. This will be the second time that Weiwei's work will be sold through eBay – in October 2017 two limited edition artworks were sold in just 24 hours. The sale of the works can be found on eBay here.

A former public toilet in South London is now the home of new feminist art gallery The Bower. Founded by Louisa Bailey and Joyce Cronin, The Bower is a collaborative project and art space located in an former ladies loo and park keeper’s hut in Camberwell’s Brunswick Park. Following a successful fundraising campaign in 2017 to restore the derelict toilet block measuring just 15 metres-square, The Bower plans to host a series of exhibitions and events by women and also produce books with artist and writers.

Australian artist Mike Parr buried himself alive underneath a busy road in the capital of Tasmania to bring attention to colonial violence against Aboriginal communities. The 73-year-old performance artist was buried in a steel box for three days as a part of the arts festival Dark Mofo with oxygen being pumped into the coffin to keep him alive. Although Parr had no food available to him, he did have access to water and reading material and spent his time underground, drawing, meditating and reading Robert Hughes. Despite the works socio-political sentiments, the performance piece drew criticism from Heather Sculthorpe, the CEO of Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre (TAC) who believed the work was ‘insulting’ and should have allowed Aboriginal people to tell their own history.

Wolfgang Tilllmans’s exhibition space Between Bridges will cease producing shows in its current Berlin location. Since opening on Keithstrasse in 2014, Between Bridges has shows the work of Patrick Caulfield, Greer Lankton, Helga Paris and ‘The Playback Room’ series, a project which featured in Tillmans’s Tate retrospective last year. Between Bridges will ‘continue its activities in the fields of art, music and politics in a new way […] in other contexts’, a statement on its website said. Prior to its Berlin location, Between Bridges ran from Tillman’s Herald Street studio in East London from 2006–11. The gallery will close after its current Philip Wiegard exhibition, which runs till 28 July.

The former manager of Damien Hirst, Franky Dunphy, is selling his collection at Sotheby’s. Dunphy first worked as a showbiz accountant but went on to manage the artist after meeting him in 1995 and in turn, helping Hirst become one of the world’s richest living artists. Dunphy’s collection is estimated to reach between GBP£6m and £8.4m and includes a Hirst sketch on the back of a restaurant menu estimated between GBP£1,000–£2,000 as well as personally made pieces such as a paint-splattered bust created in 2008 for Dunphy’s 70th birthday.

In awards news: Joan Jonas has won the 2018 Kyoto Prize for Art worth 10 million Yen (US $900,000). The 82-year old American artist who is best known for her multi-media installations and performances won the international prize which honours those who have contributed to the ‘scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of mankind.’ Isaac Julien has won the GBP£25,000 Charles Wollaston award for the ‘most distinguished work’ in London’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Julien won with his five-screen film WESTERN UNION: Small Boats (2018); the concluding part of his ‘Expedition Trilogy’. A contemporary take on Luchino Visconti’s 1963 film The Leopard (based on Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's novel of the same title), the film explores issues of transcontinental migration.

In gallery news: Peripatetic gallery-share project Condo has announced gallery details for its 2018 New York and Shanghai editions. The New York chapter, run by Simone Subal of Simone Subal Gallery and Nicole Russo of Chapter NY, features 21 local spaces hosting 26 visiting galleries, from June 29 through July 27. Condo’s first Shanghai edition (7 July 7 – 26 August) will be organized by Lorraine Malingue, the cofounder of Hong Kong and Shanghai’s Edouard Malingue Gallery, including 8 local galleries hosting 13 international colleagues. And, enjoying a recent bout of commercial and public success, US Ab-Ex painter Joan Mitchell (1925–92) will receive her first major museum retrospective in the US since her 2002 Whitney show. It will start at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 2020 before travelling to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in February 2021. London’s The Showroom has appointed Elvira Dyangani Ose as its new director. Dyangani Ose joins the gallery from Creative Time, the New York-based non-profit public arts organization where she is currently senior curator.  She will take up the new role in September, replacing Emily Pethick who is leaving to become the new general director of the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.

Finally, in biennial news: Artist Brook Andrew will curate the 22nd Biennale of Sydney in 2020. He is the first Indigenous Australian artist appointed to the role. The president of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Jean de Loisy, along with other curators from the institution have been announced as curators of 15th Biennale de Lyon, opening 19 September 2019. And the (partial) artist list for the 2018 Kochi-Muziris Biennial in India has been announced. Curated by the artist Anita Dube, this year’s edition will be the Kochi-Muziris Biennale’s fourth and opens 12 December.