Briefing

Pussy Riot members detained; Pope.L launches ‘Flint Water Project’; Ghetto Biennale participating artists announced

Maria Alyokhina, 2014. Courtesy: Flickr, Greg Chow, Creative Commons

Maria Alyokhina, 2014. Courtesy: Flickr, Greg Chow, Creative Commons

Maria Alyokhina, 2014. Courtesy: Flickr, Greg Chow, Creative Commons

Two members of the feminist punk collective Pussy Riot were detained earlier this week after they protested the imprisonment of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov. Maria Alyokhina and Olga Borisova were arrested in Yakutsk, eastern Siberia, after flying a ‘Free Sentsov’ banner over a bridge and releasing coloured flares, and then later picketing the detention centre itself. They were released several hours later after facing a court hearing in which the judge found errors in the case files. Sentsov was sentenced to a 20-year term in prison in Yakutsk after publicly opposing the annexation of Crimea. He was convicted for terrorist acts – Amnesty International has described it as an ‘unfair military trial'. Pussy Riot join others campaigning for the release of the filmmaker, including Ken Loach, Pedro Almodóvar and Béla Tarr.

Italian photographer Claudio Abate has died. Abate was born in 1943, and joined the Press Service Agency at the age of 16, working as assistant to Magnum photographer Erich Lessing. He was renowned for his documentation of Rome’s avant-garde art scene.

The fifth edition of the Ghetto Biennale has announced participating artists for this year’s edition, ‘A Cartography of Port-au-Prince’. It runs from 24 November to 18 December in the Haitian capital. Participants include Alberto Danelli, Raul Martinez and Humberto Figueroa. You can see the full list here

Pope.L has launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise USD$12,500 to go towards his ‘Flint Water Project’, a six-week installation in which the artist will sell 1,200 bottles of polluted water from Flint, Michigan, as limited edition artworks at Detroit gallery What Pipeline, calling attention to the water crisis in the city. The exhibition will run from 7 September to 21 October. Flint’s water supplies were severely contaminated by lead after switching supply to the Flint River in 2014 – a state of emergency was announced two years later. Even after regular supply was switched back on last year, many residents still do not have access to safe drinking water. Pope.L's fundraiser rewards include ‘dinner on Pope.L’s lap’ for USD$999, and sales proceeds from the exhibition will go towards organizations handling water issues: the United Way of Genesee County and Hydrate Detroit.

A shortlist of proposals for a UK National Holocaust Memorial – a new public structure in tribute to victims of Nazi persecution – is on show at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Shortlisted artists include Michal Rovner, Rachel Whiteread and Anish Kapoor. A 13-member jury which includes Sadiq Khan and Julia Peyton-Jones will meet next month to decide on a winner.

Aspen Art Museum has raised USD$2.8 million at its summer benefit. The museum held its annual ArtCrush last week: a flurry of cocktail receptions, exhibition tours and talks, culminating in a gala-auction on Friday, at which Lawrence Weiner was presented with this year's Aspen Award for Art.

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