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Artnet News
July 13, 2011 

Love her or hate her, doe-eyed indie art darling Miranda July is back, promoting her new film-performance-piece The Future, which premieres at the Museum of Modern Art tonight at 7:30 pm, with a general theatrical release set for July 29, 2011. July is famous for light-hearted audience-participation works; in the 2009 Venice Biennale, for instance, she exhibited a white slab with a hole in it, inscribed with the phrase "This is not the first hole my finger has been in," while for her seven-year-long, Fluxus-like web project Learning to Love You More, a website now in the "collection" of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, she gave online visitors various "assignments," such as a "say goodbye" or "make a field guide to your yard."

It's no surprise, then, that July is once again asking the public to weigh in for her newest project -- as a fortune-teller. Email July the “essential dilemma of your life” by midnight on July 17, 2011, and, if she picks your response, she’ll read your fortune on an upcoming episode of Studio 360, the public radio show hosted by Kurt Anderson.

The project is a roundabout pitch for The Future, which follows the story of a couple (played by July and Hamish Linklater) who adopts a cat -- the purported narrator of the movie -- and finds that the pressure of taking care of another creature changes the entire course their lives.

Johnny Depp is in talks with Basquiat director Julian Schnabel to develop the film adaptation of Nick Tosches’ book In the Hand of Dante, according to an interview on The Playlist blog. The 2002 novel interweaves a 14th-century narrative about Dante with a contemporary tale featuring a doppelganger of Tosches, a rock journalist. Depp has owned the rights to the book since 2008, and brought it to Schnabel's attention, thinking he might direct the film.

The project is proceeding slowly, however. “I’m not going to make it for a couple of years,” Schnabel told The Playlist. “We’re gonna work on writing it, developing it. We didn’t sign anything. It’s just something Johnny asked me to read. . . .”

The pair previously worked together in 2000, when Depp starred in Schnabel’s film Before Night Falls. They planned another project, 2007’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, for which Schnabel had originally cast Depp in the lead, but the actor pulled out due to complications filming The Pirates of the Caribbean.

The art world has a date this September, and that date is in Los Angeles. Besides the huge "Pacific Standard Time" project -- a collaborative congeries of more than 50 exhibitions at So-Cal museums and art spaces -- L.A. is also hosting a couple of art fairs, the new Art Platform, Oct. 1-3, 2011, and the six-year-old Art LA, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2011.

Now, the gritty Fountain Art Fair is throwing its hat into the ring, opening Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2011, at the 11,000-square-foot Lot 613. The New York-based fair, now six years old, has also appeared in Miami and Chicago, and plans to debut in Detroit in 2012. Fountain is currently soliciting applications from "young artists and galleries" who favor a "rebellious attitude."

Meanwhile, Pulse Los Angeles, Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2011, which takes place at the Event Deck at LA LIVE, is partnering with a local community group called Artist Curated Projects and the Street Artist Mr. Cartoon, who will create an installation for the fair’s special projects section, and design a signature VIP tote bag.

The 60 or so exhibitors lined up for Pulse Los Angeles include New York galleries PPOW and Skylight Projects, California-based Mark Moore Gallery and Michael Rosenthal Gallery and international galleries La Estacion Arte Contemporaneo, from Mexico, and Show & Tell Gallery from Toronto.

In May, Art HK saw a massive turnout of 260 galleries and 63,000 attendees. Now it’s ShContemporary’s turn, Sept. 8-10, 2011, taking place at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.

All eyes are on new director Massimo Torrigiani, an Italian writer, consultant and publisher, who, in addition to the fair’s usual “The Art Show” section for established and emerging artists, has organized a series of “contemporary projects,” which highlights artists who have had their first show within the last year (Liu Gang, Zheng Qiang, Su Chang); a section for large-scale works (Birdhead, Zhou Xiaohu, He An); a €5,000 photography prize for an Asian-Pacific artist; and a featured exhibition on calligraphy (Jennifer Wen Ma, Chen Zaiyan and Sun Qinglin).

Participating galleries at the fifth-annual fair include: Beijing Art Now, Beijing Commune, Boers-Li, Continua, James Cohan, Long March, Lin & Lin, Nature Morte, Pace Beijing, Pearl Lam Fine Art, Platform China, Star Gallery, Tang Contemporary, Tina Keng.

Where did we get the clean white cube? A current exhibition at the Getty Research Institute, “Display and Art History: The Düsseldorf Gallery and its Catalogue,” May 31-Aug. 21, 2011, tries to answer that question by tracing the origins of the earliest exhibition catalogues and gallery displays.

According to the Getty’s research, one major precursor for the contemporary art gallery as we know it -- that is, a structure devoted to the display of contemporary art, with pictures arranged in a row on the wall -- was the Düsseldorf Gallery, built between 1709 and 1714 by German prince Johann Wilhelm II von der Pfalz. Instead of hanging the paintings salon-style, from floor to ceiling, as was typical in the era, the gallery director spaced the works further apart from one another, and arranged them by style and origins.

According to the research, exhibition catalogues date back to 17th-century Galeriewerke, elaborate compendiums of prints that collectors spent fortunes producing in order to show off their artists’ mastery and their own good taste. But the Düsseldorf Gallery catalogue, a volume of watercolors, chalk drawings, prints and commentary, transformed the books from laundry lists of inventory into Enlightenment-era educational resources.

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