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BerandaNewsAll Eyes on Whitney Biennial, Culture Policy Changes in Germany, Alison Saar...

All Eyes on Whitney Biennial, Culture Policy Changes in Germany, Alison Saar Selected for Olympics Artwork, and More: Morning Links for March 14, 2024

EYES ON WHITNEY BIENNIAL. Coverage of the Whitney Biennial opening March 20 are hitting digital newsstands, aka inboxes, and the reviews are streaming in. From asking how much contributing artists are paid (not much) to why the art world loves to hate the event, critical eyes are zeroing in on the influential exhibition. Bringing us to ARTnews Senior Editor Alex Greenberger, who walks us through what he calls “the most challenging Whitney Biennial in several editions, and also the best since 2017,” which “seems to presage a new kind of body art.” It’s quite a feat to pull off, considering the show had to deal with discontent over wars, and domestic issues highlighted within the US presidential election battle. Greenberger notes curators Chrissie Iles and Meg Onli veered towards a show that is “light on loud, explicit political statements and heavy on conceptual art about bodies in flux.” gocengqq

POLICY CHANGES. Germany’s federal and state cultural ministers met yesterday to discuss joint constitutional and administrative options to reportedly curb anti-Semitism and racism in the arts, according DPA for Monopol Magazine . Culture ministers as well as municipal umbrella groups agreed to “strategies against anti-Semitic, racist and other inhumane content in the publicly funded cultural sector” on Wednesday, as well as to “decisively oppose those who represent the ideology of hatred of Israel and anti-Semitism.” The initiative comes amid a multitude of controversies in the art world on how powerful instituions should address the war and humanitarian crisis in Gaza. 

Los Angeles-based artist Alison Saar has been selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the City of Paris to create a public artwork for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. [Artnet News]

The Institute of Contemporary ArtMiami (ICA) removed a portrait of the Palestinian American scholar and activist Edward Said by Charles Gaines during a fundraising gala, and then reportedly reinstalled it once the event was over, rousing questions. [Hyperallergic] gocengqq

The Seattle University in Washington has received the largest ever donation of art to a US university, worth $300 million, plus another $25 million to establish a new museum, from collector Richard Hedreen. The collection includes more than 200 artworks dating back to the 1400s. [Artnet News]

Researchers have discovered 10 shipwrecks around the Greek island of Kasos, including objects spanning the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and medieval and Ottoman periods. Cargo discovered over a 4-year-period came from Mediterranean countries, Africa, and the coasts of Asia Minor. [Heritage Daily]


PHOTOSHOPPING HISTORY. With the world speculating about the Kate Middletonphotoshop mystery, the BBC’s Fiona Macdonald reminds us how photoshop-like techniques have been used for centuries, helped by a paintbrush or two. In particular, she looks at how an 1865 portrait of Abraham Lincoln turned out to be fake. “Photography lost its innocence many years ago,” writes Hany Farid, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. In fact, the late 19th  century photo studio run by photojournalist Mathew Brady regularly doctored photographs. His studio “prints of old Mexican War-era heroes were reissued with new heads; beardless pictures of men like Lincoln, Lee, and Jackson were updated,” author Harold Holzer told Bonnie L. Bates in the “Civil War Book Review”. It helps explain how, around 1865, Lincoln’s head from an earlier photograph was “stitched” onto the body of an engraving by Alexander Ritchie , showing Southern, pro-slavery politician John Calhoun, effectively merging their two bodies. gocengqq