Briefing

New cultural hub in Shenzhen to host a branch of the V&A; Arts Council England publishes its second annual diversity report

Digital rendering of the Sea World Culture and Arts Center. Courtesy: © Maki and Associates

Digital rendering of the Sea World Culture and Arts Center. Courtesy: © Maki and Associates

Digital rendering of the Sea World Culture and Arts Center. Courtesy: © Maki and Associates

  • Design Society, a cultural hub in Shekou, Shenzhen, that will incorporate an outpost of London's V&A Gallery dedicated to 20th- and 21st-century design, is set to open in October of next year. Located in the Sea World Culture and Arts Center, near Nu Wa Coastal Park, the Maki and Associates-designed complex will spread across 26,000 square metres and will boast a floor space of 71,000 square metres.
     
  • Arts Council England’s second annual diversity report has produced mixed results, showing that while the number of black and minority ethnic (BME) people working across England’s 663 national portfolio organizations has risen (moving from 13.9% to 17% in the last year), the disabled workforce remains worryingly low (dropping from 7.5% to 4%). The report also shows that BME, low income, and disabled people ‘continue to be underrepresented’ in arts audiences.
     
  • On Friday night, over 120 protesters affiliated with Decolonize This Place and the MTL collective marched on the offices of Artis, a New York non-profit that organizes trips for arts professionals to Israel, calling for the group to sign onto the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and demonstrate that they’re not part of a wider movement to normalize (or to ‘artwash’) the occupation of Palestinian territory. In a letter to Hyper Allergic, Yael Reinharz, executive director of Artist, said: 'Artist has always been deeply invested in dialogue around the cultural boycott of Israel. The projects, ideas, and voices of the artists we support are evidence of this.'
     
  • Right-wing protestors from the Lal Shakti and Rashtriya Hindu Ekta Manch groups stormed the Jaipur Art Summit (JAS) on Thursday afternoon, vandalizing a painting by Tripura-born artist Radha Binod Sharma on the grounds that it was ‘obscene’ before taking it to a local police station. Responding to the attack, which left him with minor injuries, Sharma said: ‘This is very sad. Artists cannot work like this. I do beauty. I do humanity.’
     
  • Following a recent warehouse fire at a communal studio and living space for artists in Oakland that killed 36 people, Denver officials have evicted around a dozen people from an art colony on Brighton Boulevard named ‘Rhinoceropolis’. Having evicted the residents, firefighters carried out an inspection that revealed numerous electrical and insulation issues. ‘Police knocked on the door and asked if they could come in’, said John Gross, one of the small creative community occupying the space. ‘They said they wanted to talk about Oakland, they wanted us to be safe.’
     
  • Philip Rylands is set to step down as director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and as the Guggenheim Foundation’s director for Italy. During Ryland’s 16-year tenure, which began in 1979 following the death of Peggy Guggenheim, institution became the most-visited museum of Modern art in Italy, and the second most visited museum in Venice. He will leave his post in June of next year.
     
  • Tracey Emin has abandoned her controversial plan to demolish a listed building in east London to make room for a new home and studio space. Conservation groups had overwhelmingly opposed Emin’s proposal, which would have seen a 1920s building on Bell Lane replaced with a five-storey house residence and workspace designed by David Chipperfield Architects. Tess Pinto, conservation officer at the Twentieth Century Society, said: ‘66-68 Bell Lane is a fascinating example of early 20th-century social housing in an area of London which is rapidly losing much of its historic character to redevelopment. We are very pleased that Tracey Emin has withdrawn her appeal and hope that any future schemes will take a conservation-led approach, as this unique building deserves.’
     
  • Sir Nicholas Serota, the outgoing director Tate, is to receive the 2017 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. Serota, who next year will assume a part-time role as chairman of Arts Council England, was described as a ‘towering figure in the world of art and museums’ by Tom Eccles, head of Bard’s Center for Curatorial Studies. Past winners include Marcia Tucker, Lucy Lippard and Thelma Golden.
     
  • Condo, a ‘collaborative exhibition 
by 36 galleries across 15 London spaces’ has published the list of participating galleries for their second, expanded, iteration  opening on the weekend of Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 January 2017.

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