“Look at the world right now: You are included in the bigger picture of destruction,” says artist Mel Chin, dubbed “Artist Activist” for his critical portrayals of the world. His new show Disparate Acts at Rowan University exhibits drawings that raise awareness of various concerns in society: the jarring acts of governments, social and political injustices, war, capitalism, and environmental destruction. Chin is also known for situating his work in specific locations to deliver his message. The show will give a glimpse of his process through studies, drawings, and photographs.
- When Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) presents Matthew Barney’s River of Fundament, his ongoing multi-dimensional project will have a site-specific touch: Barney will incorporate Egyptian antiquities from MONA founder David Walsh’s extensive collection into his installations. The exhibition opens November 22.
- “What’s the difference between conservation and renovation?” So asks MOMA PS1’s Peter Eleey of refurbishing James Turrell’s Meeting, one of the artist’s signature sky-viewing chambers. Closed for maintenance, the space will see extensive changes, from including new lighting, an adjustment to the height of the roof and benches, and a new rain-proof roof cover. “In each case, as James proposed things, we had to ask ourselves, would this change the nature of the work, as opposed to restoring it?”
- The animated GIF of a deflating Jeff Koons Balloon Dog has gained notoriety for not selling on Ebay. Artist Michael Green has relisted the so-called “luxury.obj,” hoping to sell it for $5,800—a play on the “inflated” $58 million pricetag of Koons’s original sculpture. According to Green, the “deflation” asserts a “time to destroy the values of the tradition of modern art and for our culture to evolve to the logical next step, the digital medium.”
- “I’ve always been inspired by small details that make me wander,” says Mark Bradford. As a child, he was fascinated by his explorations; he still enjoys “observing everything” all the time because “the details change constantly.” Fittingly, his new show at the Rose Art Museum is inspired by “a merchant poster on a telephone pole in South Central Los Angeles.” Sea Monsters opens on September 11.
- (Con)temporary tattoos? Artists John Baldessari, Friedrich Kunath, Dave Muller, Laura Owens, and Raymond Pettibon have all stepped up to contribute designs for temporary tattoos for the Hammer Museum. The tats, going for $100 for the set, are part of the museum’s annual furndraiser for its of the museum’s annual fund for KAMP, the Kids’ Art Museum Project.
- Norwegians Henrik Placht and Morten Traavik’s plan to open an art academy in North Korea has been approved. Called DMZ (short for “demilitarized zone”), the academy will cooperate with the North Korean government to hold workshops and exhibitions featuring both local and renowned international artists. Creating academies in extreme political contexts is not new for Placht: he also founded the International Academy of Art Palestine in 2002.