This week, as she stages a non-stop reading of Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism for five days at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, Tania Bruguera reflects on growing concerns about the censorship of artists in Germany in relation to the Israel-Hamas war. She also discusses the comments made by Ai Weiwei this week in which he said that censorship in the West is now “exactly the same” as in Mao’s China.
The Courtauld in London this week opened an exhibition of the monumental charcoal drawings made by Frank Auerbach in the 1950s and early 1960s, and we take a tour of the exhibition with the show’s curator Barnaby Wright.
And this episode’s Work of the Week is Mihrdukht Aims Her Arrow at the Ring, a folio from the Hamzanāma (Story of Hamza). Made in India in around 1570, during the Mughal period, it is one of the works acquired by the British painter Howard Hodgkin in a lifetime of collecting Indian art. The collection is the subject of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which opened this week. Navina Najat Haidar, one of the co-curators of the show, tells us more.
- Tania Bruguera: Where Your Ideas Become Civic Actions (100 Hours Reading “The Origins of Totalitarianism”), Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart, Berlin, until 11pm on Sunday, 11 February. You can hear a discussion about Hannah Arendt’s legacy and her influence on artists in our episode from 15 January 2021.
- Frank Auerbach: The Charcoal Heads, Courtauld, London, 9 Feb-27 May
- Indian Skies: The Howard Hodgkin Collection of Indian Court Painting, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, until 9 June. And you can hear Ben's interview with Antony Peattie, Hodgkin’s partner for the last few decades of his life, about the artist’s final paintings, on the episode from 25 May 2018.