While others at a recent New York rally chanted “Je suis Charlie,” Maus creator Art Spiegelman says he shouted, “Cartoonist lives matter!” Discussing the Charlie Hebdo tragedy and the power of satire on Democracy Now!, he says that cartoonists have a “mandate to say the unsayable.”
- Speaking of controversial images: The AP says it has long refrained from showing “deliberately provocative images,” like cartoons from Charlie Hebdo. Criticized for a double standard—the news service has run images of Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ—the AP has pulled photos of Serrano’s 1987 work.
- After being jailed in Havana, Tania Bruguera has returned a government prize and pulled out of UNEAC, Cuba’s artists union, decrying groups that, instead of opening a dialogue and a space for aesthetic analysis, criminalize and judge.” In her letter to Cuba’s Vice Minister of Culture, she added: “How sad is a government that sees a threat to the state in allowing regular Cubans one minute in which they can say what they think without government control! How sad is a government that jails the audience of a work of art!”
- The use of part-time instructors to relieve budget pressure for colleges and universities has spiked, but pay for adjunct faculty remains too low: “A living wage is really crucial. It’s no surprise that the [Service Employees International Union] is simultaneously organizing McDonald’s workers and part-time college teachers,” says artist and Otis College part-time professor Andrea Bowers.
- Selma has sparked controversy over its portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson and Jewish allies, but “the real problem many critics have with this film is that it’s too black and too strong,” writes Tufts professor Peniel Joseph. “Our popular reimagining of the civil rights movement is that it’s something we all did together and the battle is over; that’s just not true… Selma reminds us to honor not just the heroic figure making speeches, but the collective will of so many who made progress possible.”
- “The modern love of cinema is also a love of independence of mind, a rejection of official standards and canonical tastes.” A surprise win for Godard’s Goodbye to Language at the National Society of Film Critics suggests a new enthusiasm for nonconforming film.
- While online infamy can destroy lives, Cecilia Giménez’s story appears to have a happy ending. Two years after her restoration of Ecce Homo at a Spanish church went viral, stress and sadness have turned into optimism: she’s now able to show and sell her own art.
- The “30 Under 30” list—made with help from Jeffrey Deitch, Isaach Mizrahi, and Jonathan Adler—is artist-heavy this year, featuring makers from performance artist Jacolby Satterwhite to photographer Stewart Uoo to graphic designer Jessica Walsh.