Briefing

Marina Abramović finds herself embroiled in the Clinton email saga; chief curator of Seoul's Ilmin Museum accused of sexual harassment

Marina Abramović at the screening of Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present, as part of the Vienna International Film Festival 2012, Gartenbaukino. Photograph: Manfred Werner / Tsui

Marina Abramović at the screening of Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present, as part of the Vienna International Film Festival 2012, Gartenbaukino. Photograph: Manfred Werner / Tsui

  • Marina Abramović unexpectedly found herself embroiled in the email saga surrounding Hillary Clinton last week, after WikiLeaks released correspondence between the artist and the Presidential nominee’s campaign chairman John Podesta. The email in question, which was sent in June from the artist to Podesta’s brother Tony, contained an invitation to a ‘Spirit Cooking dinner at my place’, prompting a number of right-wing conspiracy theories to surface. Speaking on the incident last Friday, Abramović clarified that ‘spirit cooking’ was just a ‘funny name’ for a normal dinner.
     
  • Youngjune Hahm, the chief curator of the Ilmin Museum of Art in Seoul, is set to leave his post after accusations of sexual harassment emerged on Twitter last week. Reporting for ArtAsiaPacific, HG Masters notes that the that news comes shortly after a number of young women have come forward about their prior experiences of sexual abuse from senior male figures in arts and culture, including novelist Park Bum-shin and the poet Park Jin-seong.
     
  • Around 20 members of a the religious group Erbakan Foundation II stormed the Contemporary Istanbul art fair last week, in protest of a sculpture by Turkish artist Ali Elmaci depicting Abdulhamid II, the last Ottoman sultan. Elmaci’s work, I Can’t Reciprocate Your Feelings Osman III (2016), which was being shown by  Chilean gallery Isabel Croxatto, was temporarily removed by the artist in order to prevent further incident, but was later reinstalled by Ali Güreli, chairman of Contemporary Istanbul, who said that it would remain until the close of the fair. (Turkish)
     
  • New York’s Bortolami Gallery is set to relocate from West 20th Street in Chelsea, where it has been since 2010, to a new 9,000 square feet gallery at 39 Walker Street in Tribeca, on the same block as Alexander and Bonin. Stefania Bortolami, who before establishing her own gallery ran a space with dealer Amalia Dayan on West 25th Street, said: ‘I’m pretty happy to be going away from Chelsea. This whole block is going to be torn down to become condos – it’s insane. Not only here, but every block. They’re tearing down, tearing down.’
     
  • The Los Angeles Police Department is currently investigating incidents of vandalism against three contemporary art galleries in the downtown neighbourhood of Boyle Heights, one of which was scrawled with graffiti reading: ‘white art’. Over the past few years Boyle Heights has been greatly affected by a wave of gentrification that has led property prices to skyrocket, and a faction of the local community are determined to fighting the change. In September, activists marched through the local streets posting mock eviction notices for ‘gentrifiers’.
     
  • Giles Waterfield, the art historian, curator and novelist, has passed away at the age of 67. Waterfield is remembered for transforming London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery between the years of 1979 and 1996, converting it from a forgotten institution with ‘no exhibitions, no conservation programme’, and ‘a staff of five’, to an institution with a higher profile, an increased attendance, and an award-winning education department. Upon leaving Dulwich in 1996, Waterfield became an independent curator, taught art history, and advised a number of important museum and heritage organisations

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Janiva Ellis, Catchphrase Coping Mechanism, 2019, oil on linen, 2.2 x 1.8 m. Courtesy: the artist and 47 Canal, New York; photograph: Joerg Lohse

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