a tale of a few cities

UC Davis Chancellor’s Chilling Walk of Shame Through a Line of Silent Demonstrators…

Posted in Media, Occupy Wall Street, Photography, protests, Reportage, Scandal, video by petercombe on November 20, 2011
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Occupy Wall Street @ Sotheby’s lock out

This is Sotheby’s Intentional Reality: Sotheby’s Employees were asked to take a 15% pay cut in order to compensate for tough economic times. Sotheby’s 2010 record earnings: $680 million

 Guerillagram: Peter Combe

Anish Kapoor Blows Off UK Now

Posted in Art, artists, boycott, China, London, Photography, politics, protests by petercombe on June 16, 2011

(Photo: Johnny Shand-Kydd)


LONDON. Anish Kapoor has cancelled plans to present his sculptures at the National Museum of China in Beijing, in protest against the continuing detention of Ai Weiwei. He had been asked by the British Council to consider a show at the newly renovated museum in Tiananmen Square as part the “UK Now” festival in China late next year.

Kapoor’s spokeswoman confirmed to The Art Newspaper that he had been invited to China, but “he is not going to proceed in view of the detention of Ai Weiwei.” Ai, an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, was arrested in Beijing in early April for alleged “economic crimes”.

Discussions began about a potential exhibition at the National Museum of China last October, when two directors of London’s Lisson Gallery (which represents Kapoor, stand 2.1/K12 at Art Basel) were in Beijing. Provisional plans were subsequently made for Kapoor to travel to Beijing this month to view the space and talk with the museum. The idea would have been to mount an exhibition with a major new work.

Kapoor has been outspoken in his criticism of the Chinese government’s treatment of Ai Weiwei, since his detention on 3 April. On 10 May, when he opened his Leviathan installation at the Grand Palais in Paris, he dedicated it to the Chinese artist, describing his detention as “barbaric”. Once Kapoor had spoken out, it was realised that his participation in the “UK Now” festival would be difficult. A British Council spokeswoman stressed that the exhibition proposal had been at “a very early stage, and until he had seen the space we could not have proceeded”.

British Council chief executive Martin Davidson believes in “freedom of cultural expression”, but is keen for the programme to go ahead. He commented: “It is through cultural exchange that we best demonstrate the benefits of free artistic expression and build supportive links between people in the UK and China.”

The Art Newspaper >

Glitter, the new ‘Pie in The Face’

Posted in Photography, politics, protests by petercombe on May 18, 2011

Photo: Associated Press

A protester by the name of Nick Espinosa dumps glitter on a table where GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, were signing books at a hotel in Minneapolis, Tuesday May 17, 2011. The man approached the Gingriches during the signing at a downtown Minneapolis hotel, dumped a cracker box full of confetti on the pair and said, “Feel the rainbow, Newt! Stop the hate! Stop anti-gay politics!”

Espinosa later told ABC News, “I don’t think a free will adulterer like Newt has any ground to stand on while telling others who they can and can’t love.”

 VIDEO >

Liberate Tate

Posted in guerilla art, London, protests by petercombe on April 21, 2011

On Wednesday, April 2oth, artists from art activist group Liberate Tate staged a performance in Tate Britain on the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion that spilled 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over 87 days.

A naked member of the group had an oil-like substance poured over him and lay in a fetal position on the floor in the middle of the exhibition entitled Single Form. Dedicated to the human body, Single Form is one of a series of ‘BP British Art Displays’ staged throughout the galleries of Tate Britain.
The guerilla performance lasted 87 minutes— one for every day oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ Destroyed

Posted in Art, Photography, protests, Reportage by petercombe on April 18, 2011

When New York artist Andres Serrano plunged a plastic crucifix into a glass of his own urine and photographed it in 1987 under the title Piss Christ, he said he was making a statement on the misuse of religion.

Controversy has followed the work ever since, but reached an unprecedented peak on Palm Sunday when it was attacked with hammers and destroyed after an “anti-blasphemy” campaign by French Catholic fundamentalists in the southern city of Avignon. For four months, it has hung in the exhibition “Je crois aux miracles”, (I Believe in Miracles), to mark 10 years of art-dealer Yvon Lambert’s personal collection in his 18th-century mansion gallery in Avignon. The show is due to end next month, but two weeks ago a concerted protest campaign began.

Also on view, Twombly’s “Phaedrus, A white painting valued at $2.8 million was notoriously smeared with red lipstick when a woman kissed it in 2007. For this exhibit, the work was placed behind a security barrier. In light of recent religious protests in the south of France, I am surprised the museum didn’t take the same precaution with Serrano’s work. 

The Collection Lambert gallery director, Eric Mézil, said the museum would reopen with the destroyed works on show “so people can see what barbarians can do”. He said there had been a kind of “inquisition” against the art work.


right: Piss Christ by Andres Serrano after it was attacked by Christian protesters in Avignon.

Photograph: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images

The Guardian >

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