Curator of the ‘Queermuseu’ show in Brazil ordered before the Senate

Meanwhile ... UK cities barred from European Capital of Culture; Zanele Muholi awarded France’s Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters

The curator of the abruptly closed ‘Queermuseu’ exhibition, Gaudêncio Fidelis, was ordered to appear before the Brazilian Senate yesterday. The survey show dedicated to queer art, staged at Santander Cultural in Porto Alegre in Brazil this summer, came under fire from right-wing groups who protested the exhibition and vandalized the building claiming it promoted blasphemy, paedophilia and child prostitution. The show was closed a month early on 10 September. Read our survey of five artists, curators and writers responding to the chilling campaign of artistic censorship in Brazil and its echoes of the country’s repressive military dictatorship here

Five British cities bidding to host the European Capital (EU) of Culture in 2023 were told that they were no longer eligible to compete for the title. The European Commission said that the decision is ‘one of the many concrete consequences’ of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, which is scheduled for March 2019. The cities putting themselves forward were Dundee, Nottingham, Leeds, Milton Keynes and Belfast/Derry. Deputy leader of the Labour party, Tom Watson, tweeted: ‘The government must now explain how they intend to ensure that Brexit does not leave us culturally isolated from Europe and how the economic and cultural benefits that accompany the European capital of culture will be maintained.’

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Zanele Muholi, Bester IV, Mayotte, 2015. Courtesy: the artist and Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town / Johannesburg

Zanele Muholi, Bester IV, Mayotte, 2015. Courtesy: the artist and Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town / Johannesburg

South African photographer and activist Zanele Muholi has been awarded France’s Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. Muholi, who describes herself as a ‘visual activist’, has dedicated her life to documenting South Africa’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. She is the co-founder of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women and also established Inkanyiso, a platform for queer and visual activism. ‘We work hard to create content that scholars and the rest of the world are able to use to highlight the many challenges faced by the LGBT communities,’ Muholi told South African paper The New Age. Listen to the panel discussion she was part of discussing ‘Sexuality, Politics and Protest’ at Frieze London 2013 here.

The Courtauld Institute of Art is to close its galleries for at least two years next summer, as it undergoes a GBP£50 million redevelopment project including opening up the 200-square-metre Great Room, once the venue for the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition. The gallery’s public facilities will get a face-lift with a new learning centre and new space for art handling, storage and conservation. The Conway Library, containing more than one million art historical images, will be digitized, as will the Witt Library, a resource of around two million reproductions of paintings, drawings and prints of Western art. The gallery expects visitor numbers to jump from the 188,000 recorded in 2016 to between 300,000 and 350,000 after the refurbishment is completed in late 2020.

The 2018 Dhaka Art Summit, held 2-10 February 2018 in Bangladesh, has announced details of its programme. More than 300 artists including Rasheed Araeen, Sheela Gowda and Reetu Sattar, will appear in ten curated exhibitions for the fourth edition – led by chief curator Diana Campbell Betancourt with guest curators including Maria Balshaw, Simon Castets and Devika Singh – and more than 120 speakers will appear in 2 symposiums and 16 panel discussions on the history and future of South Asian art, including a keynote by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.

Swiss gallery Karma International will move from its current Hönggerstrasse 40 location (the opposite side of the river from the Löwenbräu-Areal) to Weststrasse 75 in the Kreis 3 neighbourhood of Zurich. Its new space, designed by Caruso St John – responsible for the Tate Britain revamp completed in 2013 and the designers of Nottingham Contemporary completed in 2009 – will open with a survey of Meret Oppenheim on 13 December.

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