Briefing

Carolee Schneemann awarded a Golden Lion; Gillian Wearing to be the first woman commissioned for Parliament Square 

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Carolee Schneemann, Meat Joy, 1964, performance documentation, Judson Church, New York. Courtesy: Hales Gallery, London; photograph: Al Giese

Carolee Schneemann, Meat Joy, 1964, performance documentation, Judson Church, New York. Courtesy: Hales Gallery, London; photograph: Al Giese

Carolee Schneemann will be awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 57th Venice Biennale, opening on May 13. ‘Schneemann has been one of the most important figures in the development of performance and body art,’ curator of this year’s Biennale Christine Macel said in a statement. ‘She uses her own body as the prevalent material of her art. In so doing, she situates women as both the creator and an active part of the creation itself. In opposition to traditional representation of women merely as nude object, she uses the naked body as a primal, archaic force.’ Born in Pennsylvania, in 1939, Schneemann’s artistic career spans more than six decades. She has been a recipient of a number of awards and has taught at institutions including New York University, California Institute of the Arts, Bard College, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

May Xue, CEO at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing has announced her resignation. She began her directorship at the nonprofit institution in 2011 and will leave on 20 April. Xue leaves the centre nearly a year after its namesake, the Belgian art collector Guy Ullens, said he is looking for a buyer for the space. Whether the centre would continue to survive without his support remians to be seen.

Gillian Wearing will be the first woman commissioned to make an artwork for Westminster’s Parliament Square in the UK. Wearing will create a statue of suffragette Millicent Fawcett, who led the biggest suffrage organization, the NUWSS, from 1890 to 1919, and played a key role in gaining women the vote. The work will be installed alongside the nine statues of men in 2018 during the upcoming centenary celebrations of women winning the right to vote in the UK.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced that it will be investing USD$250,000 into the New Museum’s experimental initiative NEW INC. Now in its third year, the shared workspace and professional development programme is expanding its scope and will investigate the impact technology has on the future of art museums.

Clearing gallery is relocating to a new space in Brussels. After five years of operating in the city it will move to a 5,400-square-foot space located in a former shutter factory at 311 Avenue Van Volxemlaan, within walking distance of WIELS Contemporary Art Centre. The new space opens on 19 April with a show of work by sculptor Bruno Gironcoli.

William Kentridge has opened an independent art centre in Johannesburg after the closure of the Johannesburg Art Gallery sparked concerns over funding for public art institutions. Located in the Arts on Main complex in Central Johannesburg, which also houses Kentridge’s studio and other arts organizations, the centre opened in March with a series of performances, film screenings, and exhibitions. Kentridge said he wants it to be a ‘safe space for uncertainty, doubt, stupidity and, at times, failure.’

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