Briefing

‘Trumpy the Rat’ mocks US president; artists evicted from Beijing’s Caochangdi; Latin American galleries launch cooperative model in LA

‘Scabby the Rat’, 2017. Courtesy: Jeffrey Beebe and John Post Lee, Kickstarter

‘Scabby the Rat’, 2017. Courtesy: Jeffrey Beebe and John Post Lee, Kickstarter

‘Trumpy the Rat’, 2017. Courtesy: Jeffrey Beebe and John Post Lee, Kickstarter

On Monday, New York artist Jeffrey Beebe and John Post Lee (of the BravinLee Programs gallery) inflated a fifteen-foot ‘Trumpy the Rat’, bearing a likeness to the US president, in Manhattan, near Trump Tower. The piece, supported by a Kickstarter crowdfunder, is meant as an ‘enduring sign of resistance and ridicule’. The rat follows on from a 30-foot-tall inflatable chicken, again carrying more than a passing resemblance to the president, which was brought to the White House lawn last week by documentarian Taran Singh Brar.

The violence and tragic events which occured in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend have renewed focus on the demand to remove Confederate monuments in the US. Demonstrators made up of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other factions of the ‘alt-right’ converged last Friday on Charlottesville, as part of a ‘Unite the Right’ protest against the removal of a Confederacy general Robert E. Lee monument. The clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters that ensued left three dead and dozens injured. Yesterday, protesters toppled a Confederate soldier statue in Durham, N.C. You can read Marina Warner's 2015 frieze essay from our archive, on iconoclasm and contesting the story of the past.

Artists have been evicted from Beijing’s Caochangdi art district, Art Asia Pacific reports. Last Friday, artists laid out a ‘rainbow carpet’ for the police, while others were dragged out of their homes and studios – videos uploaded by Ai Weiwei and Wu Yuren show artists removed from the Iowa co-op by police, while construction workers await demolition work. Residents of the Iowa co-op were given notice on 31 July to vacate the site. The official reasons given for the evictions and demolition were illegal construction and land-use.

Latin American galleries are launching a cooperative model in Los Angeles. Mexico City-based dealer Brett Schulz has come up with Ruberta, a collaborative space in Glendale that will bring Latin American galleries over for a year-long residence (consisting of a group exhibition followed by individual residences for each gallery). It launches in September to coincide with Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. The cooperative includes: Galería Agustina Ferreyra (San Juan), Lodos (Mexico City), Proyectos Ultravioleta (Guatemala City), Carne (Bogotá) and BWSMX (Mexico City). 

A new London Museum of Photography is set to open in the UK capital’s East End, run by Swedish organization Fotografiska. Brothers Jan and Per Broman founded the Fotografiska centre for contemporary photography in Stockholm in 2010. Their new London outpost will be based in the new White Chapel Building, designed by Fletcher Priest Architects.

Creative Time’s ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ series continues, with a third flag raised over their New York headquarters: Nari Ward’s Breathing Flag (2017) incorporates elements from Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association flag with a ‘Congolese Cosmogram’. Ward said that he wanted to ‘acknowledge the resilience of the human spirit to survive even as we continue to need to be reminded here in America that Black Lives Matter’. The project, a year-long series of protest banners, began on 14 June with Marilyn Minter’s RESIST FLAG (2017). 

New York’s 47 Canal Gallery is returning to its namesake 47 Canal Street. The gallery, which represents Anicka Yi and Josh Kline, has spent several years at 291 Grand Street, but will now move back to its original address (and plans to work from both spaces in the future). The gallery was founded in 2011 by Margaret Lee and Oliver Newton.

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