This is the latest edition of BA’s digest of Southern contemporary art news-in-brief. Submissions for items to be included in future editions may be sent to the editor.
NEW ORLEANS—Prospect.5, the New Orleans triennial set to open in October 2020, has announced the addition of eight curators to its Artistic Directors Council. “We looked to colleagues that we knew had a range of experiences producing meaningful exhibitions in a variety of regional and global contexts,” curator Diana Nawi stated. The Artistic Directors Council will advise on public programming, artist selections and publications for Prospect.5. The appointed curators include Deana Haggag, president of Chicago-based organization United States Artists; Rita Gonzalez, curator of contemporary art at LACMA; Gia Hamilton, executive director of the New Orleans African American Museum; Eungie Joo, curator of contemporary art at SFMOMA; Thomas Lax, associate curator of media and performance art at the Museum of Modern Art; Courtney J. Martin, deputy director and chief curator at the Dia Art Foundation; and Valerie Cassel Oliver, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
ATLANTA—Annette Cone-Skelton, co-founding director, CEO, and president of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Georgia, has announced the museum’s plan the build a permanent home as part of the redevelopment of the Goat Farm Arts Center in Atlanta. Cone shared the news at the museum’s annual gala on March 16, which honored philanthropist Elkin Goddard Alston, whose gift of one million dollars to MOCA GA in 2016 launched the relocation effort.
According to ArtsATL, Merrill Elam, principal architect at Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, will design the building. Elam also currently serves as vice chair of MOCA GA’s board of directors.
The institution—which is dedicated to collecting contemporary art by Georgia artists—first opened on Peachtree Street and later moved to Sun Trust Plaza, hosting its first exhibition in 2002, two years after its founding. MOCA GA has operated out of its current location on Bennett Street since 2007.
BENTONVILLE—In the lead up to the opening of The Momentary, a 63,000 former Kraft Foods plant turned contemporary arts complex, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has announced the next three artists-in-residence for The Momentary residency cycle. Each artist was selected by invitation, based on their work’s relationship to American art, nature, architecture, and “the relationship to The Momentary’s mission to connect contemporary art to our every day lives.” The new artists in residence are Ebony G. Patterson, a Jamaica-born artist now based in Kentucky; Will Rawls, a choreographer from New York; and Flutronix, a flautist duo from New York. The residencies will last from April through June. The Momentary is due to open in 2020.
LONDON—The Sackler family trust’s proposed £1 million donation to the National Portrait Gallery has been rejected by the museum. While Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company that makes the opioid Oxycontin contemplates bankruptcy in the face of growing liabilities, accepting financial contributions from the Sackler family grows riskier for cultural institutions, reflecting a growing concern among trustees and administrators about accepting donations from controversial funds. Artist and photographer Nan Goldin—a vocal critic of the Sackler family’s involvement with the opioid crisis as well as leading cultural institutions—had stated she would not allow NPG to stage a retrospective of her work if the gallery accepted the Sacklers’ donation.
MUNICH— Nigerian-born curator Okwui Enwezor, known for his expansive and global views of contemporary art, died last week in Germany. He gained international recognition upon curating Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany, in 2002. One of the strongest voices in contemporary art working against consistently white, eurocentric curatorial perspectives, he adamantly refused to isolate African art and peoples from the larger conversation about the human condition. In an interview with 032c, Enwezor said, “To visit any Western museum is to encounter spaces that are full of objects and images from other cultures, going back thousands of years. And I’m always astonished—it’s either true malevolence or ignorance that these domains of critical praxis are constantly kept behind a veil, or as if they were hovering behind a shield that would need to be removed in order to reveal what was lying on the other side. I don’t consider work from Africa or India, or from different countries in Africa, ‘exotic’ at all. The only thing modernity teaches us is that modernity is in itself a project with very deep social, cultural, economic, and political entanglements. And there are no innocents.”
HAVANA—After delays from Hurricane Irma in 2017 and planned protests due to the government’s censorious Decree 349, the thirteenth Havana Biennial has announced the two-hundred participating artists from around the world. Hailing mostly from the Global South, the lineup includes representatives of forty-five countries, and seventeen of the artists artists hail from Cuba itself. The exhibition itself will take place at Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam and focus on equality and justice under the title The construction of the possible. Some artists question that mission while Cuban artists face sanctions, jail time, and fines under Decree 349, which was signed into law last December.