Briefing

Sadiq Khan plans a Creative Land Trust to help artists in London; Lawrence Abu Hamdan wins the Nam June Paik award 2016

  • The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is discussing plans to set up a Creative Land Trust to tackle the increasing problem of unaffordable rental costs for artists in the city. Made from a combination of private and public funds, it aims to ensure that people who provide spaces for artists to work can receive loans to buy their buildings and ensure that these spaces are protected. According to the Greater London Authority, between 2014 and 2019, 3,500 artists are expected to lose their workspaces in the city. Khan commented: ‘Culture is in the DNA of the capital but we cannot be complacent. As property prices rise and new areas of the city grow, artists are finding themselves unable to put down roots here. I am committed to improving access to dedicated, affordable workspace so that the next generation of creatives are given the extra support they require to flourish.’
     
  • Beirut-based artist, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, has been announced as the winner of the 2016 Nam June Paik award. Selected for the installation earshot (2016), the jury said of Hamdan’s work: ‘In his installation he has created an open space in which we can focus with precision on his subject, its means of representation, and on our own role as viewers. The representation of violence is of great contemporary relevance, and the artist encourages us to debate key moral issues in a different way.’ The US$27,000 biennial prize, presented by the Nam June Paik Foundation, was announced by Germany’s Museum Folkwang in Essen which is exhibiting works by all the shortlisted artists –Hamdan, Trisha Baga, Neïl Beloufa, and Katja Novitskova – from 28 October 28 to 8 January 2017.
     
  • Tate has appointed Michael Wellen as curator of international art starting in December. Wellen will focus on developing Latin American art in Tate’s collection and its exhibition programme at Tate Modern. Since 2011 Wellen has served as assistant curator of Latin American and Latino art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Previously he worked as a researcher and writer for the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art in Austin and as a lecturer at Rice University where he taught a ‘Latin American Art and Film Since 1960’ seminar.
     
  • New York–based Architecture Research Office (ARO) has been selected to renovate the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. Opened in 1971, following a commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil, the Rothko Chapel is home to 14 monumental panels created by American painter Mark Rothko. With lighting design firm George Sexton Associates, ARO plans to improve the Chapel’s skylight, interior lighting and acoustics.
     
  • Anne Imhof has been chosen to represent Germany at the 57th Venice Biennale, opening May 13 2017. Susanne Pfeffer, director of Museum Fridericianum in Kassel, will curate the pavilion. Imhof’s exhibition-as-opera ‘Angst II’ at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, was the subject of a new frieze film by Pablo Larios to accompany his feature on the artist in the new November/December issue of frieze.

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