The Walker Curates the News: 11.24.14

Paul Chan, 6th Light, 2007. Collection Walker Art Center

Paul Chan, 6th Light, 2007. Collection: Walker Art Center

An artist who has “figured out a way to make the perils of our time accessible,” Paul Chan has won the $100,000 Hugo Boss Prize. Working in video, 2D and 3D works, and experimental publishing, Chan will have a solo show at the Guggenheim Museum next spring as part of the prize. Responding to the honor, Chan told his Badlands Unlimited colleagues, “I’m afraid the success comes from a complete misunderstanding of my work.”

  • Putting US gun crime in the crosshairs, British designer Anthony Burrill is part of the team behind a new series of gun-range targets that replace terrorists and crooks with the more likely victims of gun violence: ordinary people. The team hopes that people will buy Innocent Targets to “go on their walls not just as an art work, but maybe something that can provoke more of a discussion.”
  • The case of forty-three missing students in Mexico, believed to have been turned over to a local drug gang by the police, roused an entire country to protest, including prominent film directors Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, who issued a sharp rebuke of the government: “We believe that these crimes are systemic and indicate a much greater evil — the blurred lines between organized crime and high-ranking officers in the Mexican government.” In light of the massive protests, the Los Angeles Times’s Carolina Miranda ponders pervasive drug trade references in Mexican art: “Perhaps the protesters grown tired of the narco-state might also be growing tired of the trappings of the more extreme aspects of narco-culture.”
  • “Must art confront ugly realities with ugliness of its own?” asks Barry Schwabsky, writing about recent works by Jenny Holzer and Arnold Mesches. The two stylistically contrasting artists have both used redacted government documents in a non-prettifying, stark manner; “that their aesthetic premises are so different makes it all the more telling that they’ve both felt the need to dwell on those passages that have been expunged from our history.”
  • Articulating concern over the slow, costly, and environmentally unfriendly process of demolitions, Alexandra Lange proposes the use of social media to save buildings: “Activists have always shared knowledge and strategy; social media has changed the organization and distribution of political protest, and it can do the same for architectural dissent.”

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