This is an archive of the ArtCat Zine, 2007-2009. Please visit our new project, IDIOM.
Tom Moody starts a rowdy discussion about Diana Kingsley's recently removed photograph, Blue Ribbon, 2005 at 55 5th Avenue in NYC (at 13th Street). The photograph pictures the torso of a sweatered large breasted woman opposite a winning floral arrangement and was taken down due to a complaint that the work was insensitive to those visiting a neighboring mammogramy office. Moody takes the position that the complaint stifles expression where as the guardian's Ana Finel Honigman believes the work was inappropriately placed. I suppose those who are facing the possibility of losing their breasts might not want to see a picture of someone who presumably will be keeping theirs for some time, but it's hard to imagine a more tame photograph than this. I want to be sensitive, but these are the kinds of complaints that lead to the exclusive display of tepid landscape painting. Also see artinfo for a brief summation of the story.
This weeks Impressionist and Modern auction sales started out tame at Christies, who faired reasonably given a slumping economy, and led to a rather disasterous evening at Sothebys. That auction totaled 269.7 million, falling significantly below their presale low estimate of 355.6 million. Apparently the most disappointing moment of the auction came early on, when The Fields, a Van Gogh painting estimated to sell for as much as 35 million, drew not a single bidder. Sotheby's stock responded yesterday by plummeting 14.23 percent. Culturegrrl writes up a storm on this subject here, here, and here.
Tyler Green writes that while Dave Hickey is probably the most admired art writer of the moment, Laurence Weschler could stand to see a little more attention. I couldn't agree more. His book, Seeing is Forgetting, a biography of Robert Irwin is a must read for any artist. I might also advise artists to read Hickey with a few more grains of salt than many do. There are far too many hipster artists overly concerned with beauty and the whims of pop culture, all of whom have read Air Guitar and treat it as though it were the bible.
Paul Schmelzer interviews communications scholar Bob McChesney about the FCC ownership vote and net neutrality. If there was any question that the FCC has been acting rather shadily, McChesney clears this up in the except below,
Kevin Martin has reopened a review of its media ownership rules, as it’s required to by law. And he agreed, and the FCC agreed after the last time the rules were thrown out in the court system that to make sure it’ll past legal must this time they would hold at least six public hearings on what people think of these rule changes. The last one is coming on November 9 in Seattle. Chairman Martin of the FCC is making it clear that he is determined to change the rules – he’s been public about this – as quickly as possible, as dramatically as possible, and really has no concern whatsoever with following the spirit of the process where the public hearings hold any value. He’s given in almost every case minimum possible notice to the community that’d they’d be having hearings. The last two, literally a week's notice. And these are supposed to be hearings to solicit public opinion from across the board. They’ve tried to put them during daylight hours when working people can’t get away from work. And he’s made a mockery of the process.
To read the full interview click here.