IT’S RAINING TUT, HALLELUJAH
Tickets are now on sale for the New York appearance of the traveling juggernaut of an exhibition, "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs," which opens Apr. 23, 2010-Jan. 2, 2011, at the Discovery Times Square Exposition, the new midtown exposition center located at 226 West 44th Street, in the building that formerly housed the New York Times newspaper printing presses. The King Tut show, mounted in conjunction with the Egyptian antiquities authorities and the National Geographic Society, presents 130 artifacts in ten galleries, including the boy-king’s royal diadem and 50 other objects from his tomb.
Adult tickets are $29.50, with the audio tour priced at $7; the catalogue is $52. The show has already drawn more than 7,000,000 visitors (or so the press says), and and has appeared in Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Philadelphia, London, Dallas and San Francisco.
But it’s hardly necessary to line up with the tourists to see ancient Egyptian artifacts in New York. Up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is "Tutankhamun’s Funeral," Mar. 16-Sept. 6, 2010, an exhibition of some 60 objects that archeologists believe were used for the pharaoh’s burial rites. Originally found in 1908 (14 years before the discovery of Tut’s tomb), the trove includes a sculpted head of the young Tut and several paintings of funerary rituals.
Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Museum has opened "To Live Forever: Art and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt," Feb. 12-May 2, 2010, an exploration of funerary practices via a reinstallation of more than 100 objects from the museum collection, ranging from massive stone sarcophagus covers to statuettes and ink-on-papyrus drawings. A museum spokesperson promises "no lines."
HIRST IN MONACO: NEW SHARKS FOR OLD?
The Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, a 5,000-square-foot museum of marine fauna plus an aquarium boasting over 4,000 species of fish -- and a new "Shark Lagoon" complete with coral reef -- is celebrating its centenary with its first exhibition of contemporary art: a major survey of works by celebrated British artist Damien Hirst. Dubbed "Cornucopia," Apr. 2-Sept. 30, 2010, the show includes 60 works, including one of the artist’s notorious sharks in formaldehyde in a glass tank, along with butterfly paintings, medical cabinet works and a monumental The Virgin Mother sculpture.
LOZANO-HEMMER PROJECT SUNK BY PROTEST
After some five years of planning, a monumental public art project by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has been cancelled in the face of stiff protests by residents in the small Welsh town that was to host it. Planned to liven up the waterfront in Cardigan, Wales, the project was to consist of 127 buoys in the River Teifi, connected to a battery of microphones on nearby docks. The mics would store noises from passersby, which would be transformed into pulsing lights on the buoys, activated by the movements of the river. Loudspeakers in the floats would also replay the conversations captured by the mics, while a website would allow people from all over the world to participate.
The work was called Turbulence -- a title that proved all too appropriate, as it raised the hackles of locals. A petition against the proposal was launched that drew some 5,000 signatures, and a recent poll by the Art Fund (which was sponsoring the £400,000 piece, with Channel 4 and Arts Council England) found that 51 percent of people in Cardigan were opposed, of which a full 37 percent were "strongly opposed." Thus, after exhaustive preparations including such things as investigation of the project’s impact on Atlantic salmon migration, it was abandoned. A joint statement from the artist and his backers stated, "This has been a long journey and we are extremely sad that it has come to this conclusion." For a glimpse of what could have been, see www.cardiganbigart.com
"EXHIBITIONS IN A BOX" AT ICI
New Independent Curators International (ICI) director Kate Fowle has launched an ingenious new traveling exhibition series to help celebrate the organization’s 35th anniversary. Dubbed "Exhibitions in a Box" -- and inspired by Marcel Duchamp's Boîte-en-valise and George Maciunas' Fluxkits -- the projects are designed to provide a range of less-formal materials that give the host institutions maximum flexibility on installation.
So far, two exhibitions-in-a-box are in the works: "Harald Szeemann: Documenta 5," which includes ephemera from the landmark 1972 exhibitions whose highlights included interventions by Joseph Beuys, the Mouse Museum by Claes Oldenburg and the Seth Siegelaub-Robert Projansky "Artists Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement"; and "Raymond Pettibon: The Punk Years, 1978-86," a collection of over 200 zines, fliers, posters and album covers from the artists collaboration with Black Flag and other SST bands.
Both exhibitions are guest-curated by David Platzker, the director of Specific Object in New York City. The fee for the shows is $500 per week, $1,500 for four weeks, or $3,000 for ten weeks, plus incoming and outgoing shipping. Tour venues for the shows are still in development.
"QUEER VOICE" AT PHILA ICA
Next month the Philadelphia ICA opens "Queer Voice," Apr. 22-Aug. 1, 2010, an exhibition of video, installation and audio works that feature "a queered voice," meaning one that is distorted to signal a departure from both gender norms and ordinary methods of communication. Artists can "sound strange" for many reasons says curator Ingrid Schaffner: to mask the speaker’s identity or gender, to amplify or nullify emotions, to suggest a disembodied presence or even shift the nature of reality itself. Artists in the show are Laurie Anderson, Harry Dodge and Stanya Kahn, Sharon Hayes, John Kelly, Kalup Linzy, Jack Smith, Ryan Trecartin and Andy Warhol.
GILLIAN WEARING’S FANTASY SELVES
Turner Prize-winning British artist Gillian Wearing is taking a step into the feature film world, but don’t expect her to stray too far from avant-garde territory. Titled Self Made, according to ScreenDaily, the project is an exploration of the "blurring between reality and fiction," and apparently came about when she put out an advertisement in UK newspapers asking, "If you were to play a part in a film, would you be yourself or a fictional character?"
Seven people were selected from those who responded, and were then put through method acting workshops and "encouraged to use real life experiences to bring their characters to life." What this all adds up to is not yet clear, but supposedly principal photography has wrapped on the project in Newcastle, so look for it at a theater near you soon. The script is by Wearing and playwright Leo Butler.
"SECOND HAND" IN PARIS
The Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris opens "Seconde Main" (Second Hand), Mar. 25-Oct. 24, an exhibition organized by Anne Dressen that "questions the notions of copy, replica, appropriation and originality" by juxtaposing the modernist originals with copies made since the Pop and appropriation-art eras. Participating artists include Mike Bidlo, Glenn Brown, Maurizio Cattelan, Eric Doeringer, Elmgreen & Dragset, Sherrie Levine, Jonathan Monk, Olivier Mosset, Richard Pettibone, Tom Sachs, Reena Spaulings, Claire Fontaine & Bernadette Corporation, Sturtevant, Philip Taaffe, Gavin Turk and others. At the same time, the museum is presenting a survey of Sturtevant works.
GLASS TORNADO SET FOR LOUISVILLE HOTEL
Brooklyn artist Anne Peabody has been commissioned to construct a two-story-tall tornado of thousands of silvered glass and gilt hand-carved wooden objects for the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Ky. Titled Wheel of Fortune, the sculpture is inspired by Louisville’s 1974 tornado, and includes all manner of objects carved in wood -- mink coats, bits of glass, flashlights, dolls’ heads, turkey basters, batteries -- hanging from a 25-foot-long diagonal steel armature. The work goes on view in the atrium of the hotel-and-museum on June 10, 2010, in conjunction with the 40th annual Glass Art Society conference. The 9,000-square-foot 21c Museum Hotel, which integrates artworks into many of its public and private spaces, was founded in 2006 by art-lovers Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson.