Briefing

John Berger passes away; David Adjaye, Ryan Gander and Chris Ofili named on the Queen’s New Year Honours list

John Berger presenting Ways of Seeing (1972), video still

John Berger presenting Ways of Seeing (1972), video still

John Berger presenting Ways of Seeing (1972), video still

  • Revered art critic, novelist, and presenter John Berger has passed away at the age of 90, prompting tributes from a wealth of cultural figures. Will Gompertz, arts editor of the BBC, writes that the Berger’s influential 1972 programme Ways of Seeingchanged the way many of us saw’, adding that the Hackney-born Booker Prize-winner ‘had the eye of artist, intellect of an academic, and charisma of a born performer’ who ‘enriched our lives with his novels, poetry and criticism.’ Jacob Berger, the son of the deceased, wrote on Twitter: ‘My father John Berger died today. Neither scared nor reckless, but focused, curious & eager to find out the rest of the story. A true writer.’
     
  • David Adjaye, the architect of the Smithsonian's recently opened African American History in Washington, D.C., is set to receive a knighthood, having been named on the Queen's New Year Honours list. Veteran photographer Don McCullin will also be knighted, while Turner prize-winning artist Chris Ofili will receive a CBE, and OBEs will be presented to Nicholas Logsdail, co-founder of Lisson Gallery, and artists Ryan Gander and Bob and Roberta Smith, also known as Patrick Brill.
     
  • Jenny Schlenzka has been appointed executive artistic director of New York’s Performance Space 122 (PS122), which is currently preparing to return to its permanent space in the East Village following an extensive renovation project. Schlenzka will join PS122 from MoMA PS1 where she is currently a curator of performance, and will become the organization’s first female artistic director.
     
  • The Nepal-based Siddhartha Arts Foundation has announced that the inaugural edition of the Kathmandu Triennale will take place in March of this year. The festival, which is to be titled ‘My City, My Studio / My City, My Life’, will be curated by Philippe Van Cauteren, artistic director of S.M.A.K., Ghent, and will include over 50 international artists including Francis Alÿs, Shilpa Gupta, Mahbubur Rahman, and Wol Sik Kim, 48 of whom will be creating new works.
     
  • Meriç Öner has been announced as the new director of Turkish cultural organization SALT, following the resignation of Vasif Kortun in October. Öner has been SALT’s associate director since 2011, and is also editor of arts publications Tracing Istanbul (from the air) and Mapping Istanbul. (Turkish)
     
  • After a year of fund-raising, Stephen Petronio’s eponymous dance company has acquired a 175-acre property in the Catskill Mountains, Cairo, New York, where it plans to establish a choreographic residency. Called Crows Nest, the USD$1.3m compound boasts around 9,000 square feet of residential and studio space that, in addition to the new resident dancers, will host the entire Petronio troupe. 

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