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Artnet News
Aug. 7, 2007 

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s one-day fair for young artists in Japan has been a triumph [see "Murakami, Impresario," Sept. 26, 2006], and now he’s launching a version in the U.S.A. Dubbed Geisai Miami, Dec. 5-9, 2007 -- "geisai" is derived from the Japanese word for "art festival" -- the new fair is billed as a chance for artists to present their work directly to an audience of collectors, art professionals and art lovers. Organized by Murakami’s artist-led art enterprise Kaikai Kiki, Geisai Miami is hosted by the Pulse Contemporary Art Fair and takes place on the second floor of the Parliament Building of SOHO Studios at 2136 NW 1st Avenue in Miami’s Wynwood Art District. It coincides, needless to say, with Art Basel Miami Beach and the dozen or so other art fairs scheduled for the first weekend in December.

In Japan, Geisai was open to all comers, with a small fee -- a little more than $200 -- charged to exhibitors. In Miami, the plans are a bit different. No fee is charged to exhibiting artists, but there is an admission process. Artists are invited to apply online and the final selection -- some 20 artists in all -- is made by a jury of art-world professionals. The panel includes Tom Eccles, Massimiliano Gioni, Lin Lougheed, Carol Kino and Artnet Magazine’s own Walter Robinson. Applications are due by Oct. 1, 2007.

Picture New York, the coalition formed to fight new regulations that would restrict photography and filmmaking in the city [see Artnet News, July 26, 2007], celebrated victory on Friday. After engaging in several spirited protests and collecting some 31,500 names in their online petition, the group delivered the public record of the signatures to the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting. That afternoon, MOFTB commissioner Katherine Oliver issued a statement announcing that the office was rethinking its formerly intractable position, reopening the comment period on the rules for an additional 30 days -- until Sept. 3, 2007 -- and would redraft the rules to take into account the feedback that they received.

The effort marks something of a high point in the recent history of art and activism in New York, drawing connections between restrictions on artists and wider attacks on civil liberties. The next step? According to Picture New York member Laura Hanna, the goal is to "become as integral as possible" to rewriting the rules, and to mobilize concerned citizens to the public hearings around the issue, as well as to any other actions needed to keep the pressure on. "Everyone is pretty exhausted," Hanna said of the whirlwind of actions the group was able to initiate since its July 19 founding. "But there’ll be plenty of new ideas for the next round."

London gets a new public art gallery this fall, when the £8,000,000, 1,445-square-meter Rivington Place opens on Oct. 5, 2007. Designed by rising starchitect David Adjaye, the new facility is designed to spotlight cultural diversity in the U.K., with two project spaces, a library named after cultural studies guru Stuart Hall, an education space, workshop spaces and a café. The new building also contains offices for the Institute of International Visual Arts and Autograph, the two cultural organizations that teamed up to spearhead the Rivington Place initiative.

The debut exhibition, "London is the Place for Me," Oct. 5-Nov. 24, 2007, explores the theme of immigration in works by Dinu Li, Keith Piper, Mona Hatoum, Harold Offeh and Leticia Valverdes. More information at

The New-York Historical Society’s "Here is New York: Remembering 9/11/01," Aug. 31, 2007-Jan. 1, 2008, thrusts viewers into the thick of the tragedy of 9/11, featuring some 1,300 photographs of New Yorkers responding to the attacks. The show also presents artifacts from the tragedy, structural fragments from the Twin Towers, airplane landing gear, wreckage from a New York Fire Department rescue rig and a crushed clock with its hands frozen at 9:04 am, which is to be hung "literally overhead." The exhibition is organized by Marilyn S. Kushner and Stephen R. Edidin.

Selections from the photography collection of art historian (and Artnet Magazine contributor) Phyllis Tuchman are now on view at the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Mass. Entitled "Critical Encounters: Collecting Contemporary Photography," Aug. 4-Dec. 16, 2007, the exhibition presents 48 photos from Tuchman’s collection, interspersed with the museum’s own holdings. Many of the works are by photographers who attended or taught at Yale, including Gregory Crewdson, Tim Davis, Katy Grannan, Justine Kurland and Malerie Marder. The show is curated by John Stomberg and Amanda Hawley Hellman, in honor of Deborah Rothschild, the senior curator of modern and contemporary art at the Williams -- and a longtime friend of Tuchman.

"My first year of graduate school I worked for Hans Namuth and sometimes, instead of getting paid, I picked prints (of a Jackson Pollock painting, Willem de Kooning with his one-year-old daughter Lisa, and a portrait of Alexander Calder looking through a hole in a mobile element), wrote Tuchman in an e-mail." One point of the show, Tuchman said, is that "a person can put together a collection for not much money." Word is that the photographs are a promised gift to the museum.

The directors of the New York-based Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA) -- Brooke Alexander, Frances Fergusson, Agnes Gund, Jasper Johns, Julian Lethbridge, Elizabeth Murray and Kara Walker -- have announced the 52 arts organizations they have chosen to receive their annual arts awards, worth a total of $57,500.

From New York, the grantees are Anthology Film Archives, apexart, Art in General, Art Resources Transfer, Artists Alliance Inc., Artists Space, Bang on a Can, BOMB Magazine, The Center for Book Arts, Center for Performance Research, chashama, Chez Bushwick, CUE Art Foundation, Cunningham Dance Foundation, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, Diapason Gallery for Sound, Dieu Donné Papermill, Dixon Place, The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, The Flea Theater, Franklin Furnace Archive, Greenwich House Arts, -moreHarvestworks, Independent Curators International, ISSUE Project Room, Joyce SoHo Presents: Joyce Theater, Mabou Mines, Movement Research, Ontological-Hysteric Theater, Participant Inc., Performa, Performance Space 122, Printed Matter, Roulette Intermedium, Smack Mellon Studios, Socrates Sculpture Park, Soho Repertory Theatre and the terraNOVA Collective.

From further afield, the FCA awarded Art Papers Inc. (Atlanta, Ga.), Ballroom Marfa (Marfa, Tex.), Deep Listening Institute (Kingston, N.Y.), Djerassi Resident Artists Program (Woodside, Ca.), From the Fishouse (Pittston, Me.), LAXART (Los Angeles, Ca.), Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Mobius (Boston, Mass.), Other Minds (San Francisco, Ca.), Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (Portland, Ore.), Real Art Ways (Hartford, Conn.), The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (Los Angeles, Ca.) and Tigertail Productions (Miami, Fla.).

Chelsea’s Lehmann Maupin gallery is opening a second space at 201 Chrystie Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, adding another stop to an increasingly crowded "Chelsea II" on the Bowery. Located at 201 Chrystie Street, the former headquarters of the East Side Glass Company, the Lehmann Maupin’s new facility features more than 5,000 square feet of exhibition space and ceiling heights reaching to 26 feet. Plans call for the space to open in late 2007, about the same time as the New Museum of Contemporary Art, which bows on Dec. 1, 2007. Already home to Canada gallery (at number 55), Christie Street remains one of the funkier strips in a fast-gentrifying downtown, with many of its Chinese storefronts and manufacturing businesses still intact.

Artist Duke Riley -- who is represented by Magnan Projects in New York -- was splashed all over the front of the newspapers this weekend, when his attempt to take a photo of his plywood-and-fiberglass replica of a wooden-hulled Revolutionary War submarine in front of the Queen Mary 2 in New York harbor ran afoul of the law. The Daily News announced that Riley had "Sub-Standard Brains," while the Post dubbed him the "Sub Moron," and even the New York Times found room for him on A1 -- though with markedly less hostile prose. Two friends towed Riley to within 200 feet of the ship before a detective spotted him, and called in the Coast Guard, which cited the artist for operating an unsafe vessel and violating a security zone. The NYPD ticketed him separately for reckless operation of a watercraft and "reckless towing."

Tabloid ire aside, it’s likely that Riley got what he wanted, telling the Times that he had calculated that the performance would probably lead to arrest. Among other projects, the 35-year-old artist has made a fashion line out of abandoned clothes from a Greenpoint warehouse (which was shown at last year’s Art (212) fair) and built a "temporary bar" that provided "diversion, libation and fresh crabs for a nickel" in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, which was also shut down by a police raid in 2006. During the Republican National Convention in 2004, as a statement against the unusual security measures imposed in New York City, Riley launched a military-style nighttime operation to plant a flag on Belmont Island in the East River. A video of the Belmont Island stunt, accompanied by a Richard Wagner soundtrack, is available at the artist’s website.

According to the Times, Riley’s submarine is scheduled to go on display at Magnan Projects this October. In the meantime, dealers Alberto Magnan and Dara Metz stood ready to post the artist’s bail.

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