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Briefing

Queer art exhibition in Brazil shut down; Micky Schubert closes; Pierre Bergé dies at 86

'Queermuseum: Queer Tactics Toward Non-Heteronormative Curating', Santander Cultural, Porto Alegre, 2017, installation view. Courtesy: Santander Cultural

'Queermuseum: Queer Tactics Toward Non-Heteronormative Curating', Santander Cultural, Porto Alegre, 2017, installation view. Courtesy: Santander Cultural

The arts centre Santander Cultural in Porto Alegre, Brazil, has closed its major exhibition of queer art in Brazil, ‘Queermuseum: Queer Tactics Toward Non-Heteronormative Curating’, which opened in August and featured Lygia Clark, Cândido Portinari and José Leonilson. The gallery received a barrage of criticism on social media, calling the exhibition offensive, and citing blasphemy and paedophilia – a Santander building was tagged with the phrase ‘the Santander Bank supports pedophilia’. Hyperallergic reports that protests have been driven by the liberatarian group Movimento Brasil Livre who have stated: ‘Pedophilia, zoophilia, and the sexualization of children definitely do NOT represent the LGBT universe’.

Berlin's Micky Schubert is the latest gallery in the German capital to close. Schubert opened in Kreuzberg in 2006, representing artists including Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Thea Djordjadze and Sue Tompkins. Schubert told Artnet: ‘The gallery made enough money to survive, but that’s just not enough for a healthy living.’ Schubert's next initiative will be aimed at the crisis facing the sustainability of mid-size galleries – she will collaborate with Janine Foeller (cofounder of Wallspace, the New York gallery which closed last year) to launch Grand Army Collective, a space in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, for short-term art projects. Opening 22 September, the venture aims to offer a ‘support network of peers and artists by providing flexible and affordable exhibition platforms that encourage sustainability, risk-taking, and curatorial rigor.’ It seeks to reignite ‘the camaraderie, diversity and experimentation that was once so integral to the overall health of the art world.’ Its first series of exhibitions will feature Bureau and Real Fine Arts from New York, and Onestar Press and Three Star Books from Paris, alongside GAC projects (exhibitions organized by Foeller and Schubert). Later in the year, the space will also host Supportico Lopez (Berlin), Antenna Space (Shanghai) and Herald Street (London).

The new media art nonprofit Rhizome, hosted by the New Museum in New York, has announced its 2017 Microgrant Awardees, after an open call for born-digital artworks and projects engaging with the idea of ‘digital citizenship’ and archival narratives that deploy Rhizome’s web archiving tool Webrecorder. Recipients of the awards which range from USD$500 to USD$1,500 include artists Winslow Laroche, N-Prolenta and Holly White, as well as home school – the Portland pop-up art school – and ‘digital folklorist’ Gabriele de Seta.

The winner of this year’s BP Young Artist Award (part of the annual BP Portrait Award) – New Zealand artist Henry Christian-Slane – has donated a share of the prize money to Greenpeace in protest against the oil giant’s influence in the arts. ‘It’s a  prestigious award, and I was happy to receive it, but I’m not happy about being part of BP’s PR strategy’, the artist wrote on the Greenpeace UK website.

Jennifer Y. Chi has been named Chief Curator and Deputy Director at the Brooklyn Museum, replacing Nancy Spector who left earlier this year. Chi was previously exhibitions director and chief curator at the Institute for Study of the Ancient World, NYU. Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum, commented: ‘[Chi] is not only a renowned scholar and curator, but also a creative thinker, whose drive and entrepreneurial skills will be a great boon to our efforts in expanding our curatorial activities.’

Businessman and cofounder of the Yves Saint Laurent fashion empire, Pierre Bergé has died at the age of 86. Bergé was born in 1930 on Île d’Oléron, and moved to Paris where he became the publisher of a short-lived anarchist journal at the age of 19 (contributors included Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre). He met Saint Laurent in 1958, became lovers (the couple split in the 1980s) and established the label in 1961. Bergé was a major patron of the arts, though not without controversy – it was under his direction of Paris's opera houses that the Bastille Opera house’s artistic director Daniel Barenboim was fired, scandalizing the classical music world. He was a tireless campaigner for gay rights, particularly AIDS research and same-sex marraige, and supporter of S.O.S Racisme.

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