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The Baloise Art Prizes -- 25,000 Swiss francs each, or about $ 15,202 ($1 = CHF 1.65) -- have been awarded to the Dutch team of Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij and to Thai artist Navin Rawanchaikul for their installations in the 'Statements' section of Art Basel 2000, which opened to the public on June 21.

Rijke and Rooij, who are represented by dealer Daniel Buchholz, have been working together since 1994 and are exhibiting a three-minute, 16mm film titled Bantar Gebang, a quiet observation of a shanty town outside of the city of Jakarta, Indonesia. This short preview is to be developed into a longer film later in the year. Rawanchaikul was cited for his paintings, collages and sculptures on exhibition at Shugo Satani Gallery.

The prize, now in its second year, is sponsored by Baloise Insurance, one of Switzerland's major pan-European insurance companies. The winners were selected by a jury that included the collector Ingvild Goetz, curator and critic Hou Hanru, curator Christoph Heinrich and Martin Schwander, Baloise's independent art consultant and chairman of the jury. As part of the prize, a selection of works by the award-winners is to be donated to European museums.
-- Mary Barone

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is presenting "Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years" to replace the cancelled retrospective devoted to French fashionista Coco Chanel originally scheduled for next winter. The new show, curated by European editor-at-large of Vogue Hamish Bowles, features 80 original costumes and accessories from the collection of the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston and runs May 1-Aug. 12, 2001. The museum's annual gala fundraiser, which traditionally precedes its largest annual fashion show every Dec., has been postponed until Apr. 23 due to the change. Published reports say the move was due to the controversy surrounding Chanel's estimated $1.5 million sponsorship of the show and objections from museum staffers to attempts by the fashion house’s chief designer Karl Lagerfeld to dictate the exhibition's contents.

No sooner was Japanese artist Tomoko Takahashi nominated for Britain's Turner Prize than she finds herself in the hot seat -- the detritus installation artist is being accused of leaving poor North London children in tears after breaking her promise to give away sports equipment used in her Tennis Court Piece, according to the London Times. Ironically, the sports gear had been donated to Takahashi by area residents. The organizer of the Stoke Newington Festival, where the installation was featured, turned away a crowd of about 100 kids and their parents explaining that "as Tomoko is in the running for the Turner Prize, her work has become collectible and therefore it has been deemed unwise to give it away." The artist was unavailable for comment and no alternative plan for the children has been proposed.

In addition to potential projects in New York's financial district and in Russia, the Guggenheim Foundation is working on another museum in an altogether different horizon -- hyperspace. New York's Asymptote Architects firm has been commissioned to design a virtual museum to provide global access to all Guggenheim locations and their services, archives and collections, as well as to become the showcase for art and events created specifically for the interactive digital medium. The project is planned as an ongoing work in progress and it's set to launch later this summer.

Ljubljana, Slovenia, is host to the third installment of Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, June 23-Sep. 24. Manifesta is a growing network for young professionals and an exhibition held every two years in a different city in Europe, and it features a fresh concept developed on each occasion by the team of outside curators working in conjunction with representatives of the host city. This year's theme is "Borderline Syndrome Energies of Defense," which aims to explore the "paradoxes of borderlining and strategies of protection." Manifesta 3's curators are Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art curator Francesco Bonami, Archis editor in chief Ole Bouman, Utrecht's Begane Grond artistic director Mária Hlavajová and Vienna Secession curator of exhibitions Kathrin Rhomberg and it is being co-ordinated by Moderna Galerija Ljubljana senior curator Igor Zabel and managed by Cankarjev dom project manager Teja Ali. Featured artists include A 12, Maja Bajevic, Simone Berti, Ursula Biemann, Roland Boden, Phil Collins, Joost Conijn, Colin Darke, FAT, Marcus Geiger, Koo Jeong-a, Alexander Melkonyan, Paul Noble, Diego Perrone, Arturas Raila, Schie 2.0, Stalker, Sarah Tripp, Francisco Tropa and Gregor Zivic.

Harold Koda has been named new curator-in charge of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He replaces Myra Walker, who has been acting associate curator-in-charge since Jan. of this year. Currently, Koda is serving as co-curator of the Giorgio Armani exhibition at the Guggenheim that has drawn intense criticism due to a secret donation from the Italian clothes designer. James C. Wyatt, longtime senior curator, has been named chairman of the museum's department of Asian Art effective July 1. He succeeds Wen C. Fong, who assumes the new title of curator emeritus.

Legendary community arts center ABC No Rio celebrates its 20th anniversary of art and activism with a street fair hosted by performance artists Penny Arcade and Matthew Courtney on June 24, from noon to 6 p.m. The event is free and features theater groups Collective Unconscious, the Present Company and Theater for the New City, performance artists Steve Ben Israel and Edgar Oliver, vegetarian eats from Food Not Bombs and live music. ABC No Rio is located at 156 Rivington Street between Clinton and Suffolk streets, two blocks south of Houston; call (212) 254-3697 for more info.

In response to the tremendous public interest it has elicited, "Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America" has been extended through Aug. 13 at the New-York Historical Society. Originally scheduled to close June 18, collector/dealer James Allen and John Littlefield's collection of photographs and postcards documenting lynchings throughout America also caused a sensation when it was first exhibited at the Roth Horwitz Gallery on the upper West Side of Manhattan earlier this year.

-- compiled by Giovanni Garcia-Fenech
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