In the frame
By The Art Newspaper. News, Issue 191, May 2008
Published online: 01 May 2008
The oddest aspect of the blockbusting Cai Guo-Qiang show at the Guggenheim in New York (until 28 May) is that 20th Century Fox are credited
almost as often as the artist. Indeed every last line of small print announced that the exhibition title: “I Want To Believe™ is used with permission of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.” The mystery is solved with a simple Google search which reveals the famous UFO poster that appeared in cult US sci-fi TV series “The X-Files” (below). As the poster was made specially for “The X-Files” and the same phrase is also the name of the second X-Files film opening this summer—only two months after the show closes—it seems Cai had to get special dispensation to borrow the title. Asked if the museum had to pay the studio to licence the phrase, a Guggenheim spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on contractual agreements.” The truth is out there.
Kitsch maestro Jeff Koons must have been very proud to have his steel bunny sculpture featured in a bastion of American camp—the soap opera “The Young and the Restless”. In a scene filmed at the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum in Los Angeles (above), leading characters Victor Newman and Sabrina stop to appreciate not only Koons’s work (the bunny is deemed “Deceptively simple. Almost like classical sculpture”) but Damien Hirst’s and Chris Burden’s as well (the couple fulfil their passionate kiss quota for the scene among Burden’s lamp-posts). We can only hope Koons will make a cameo appearance.
And so to the Hermitage in St Petersburg where the display of Damien Hirst’s diamond-encrusted skull, For the Love of God, scheduled for next month, has now been “postponed indefinitely” for reasons that the museum is not willing to explain. According to Hirst’s gallery, “it has taken too long to organise.” The Hermitage was to be the skull’s first stop on a three-year world tour. Some confusion surrounds another announced venue, the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art in South Korea. While the artist’s gallery assures us that the skull will travel there “in May 2009”, the museum itself informs us that it has no such plans.
Betting on Bear Stearns proved to be quite costly for British-born, Bahamas-resident financier Joe Lewis, who lost around $1bn in just one day when the bank had to be bailed out by its rival JP Morgan Chase. Mr Lewis has been a generous patron to the arts, particularly to London’s Wallace Collection. He is also a major collector of 20th-century art, and would be missed by the trade if he stopped buying. Fortunately, despite the Bear Stearns loss, Mr Lewis still remains extremely wealthy.
Readers of The Art Newspaper may be wondering what happened to the 1980s UK pop group The Thompson Twins. One former member, Alannah Currie, now works as a furniture designer. Under the pseudonym Miss Pokeno, Currie makes chairs that incorporate stuffed dead animals. A spokeswoman for Miss Pokeno explained that the designer is actually a vegetarian and makes a huge effort to find beasts that were either roadkill or died naturally. These animal-cum-seating pieces are on show at The Ragged School (8 May to 8 June, by appointment only) in south London.
A newly installed statue of a naked Aeneas on a dolphin has strained diplomatic relations between Germany and Austria. The £200,000 bronze sculpture by local artist Domink Dengl is perched along the River Inn in the German town of Simbach am Imm. It seems residents of neighbouring Braunau have found themselves on the wrong side of the work and are objecting to its giant derrière. Braunau’s deputy mayor told local press: “This creature has his butt straight in our face. We don’t appreciate the gesture and want it moved.” n
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