International News Digest

JUNE 15

An art show hosted at the Israel Institute of Technology has come under fire: A group of artists and thinkers are pressuring those participating in Creative Time’s “Living as Form” exhibition, on view at the institute, to withdraw from the show. Last week, the group—which includes Judith Butler, Gayatri Spivak, Martha Rosler, Walid Raad, TJ Demos, and Lucy R. Lippard—issued a letter calling the institute, also known as Technion, “a crucial research center for the development of technologies used by the Israeli Defense Forces against Palestinians in regular and widespread acts of surveillance, land theft, unwarranted eviction, restriction on movement, and violent repression.” The group highlighted artists and collectives that had already withdrawn: Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, Chto Delat, Céline and Gavin Wade Condorelli, the Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency, the US Social Forum, and Women on Waves.

The Donetsk People’s Republic—a pro-Russian separatist group claiming to represent a self-declared nation in eastern Ukraine—has forcibly assumed control of a number of organizations in Donetsk. Among them: Izolyatsia, a cultural center in a former insulation factory. According to a press release sent out by Izolyatsia, “a group of armed separatists entered onto private property demanding the appropriation of the site and its buildings for the benefit of the DPR and its activities.” The nonprofit cultural organization, which has since set up operations in exile in Kiev, wrote in a press release, “We appeal to the international community and all media to support our activities in exile in Kiev and spread this news.”

The Berlin Biennale got less than a stellar review from Die Zeit’s Hanno Rauterberg. While the critic commended the biennale’s efforts to include political concerns, he said that clear statements are mostly absent or remain hidden behind “well-tempered vagueness.” The crucial problem, according to Rauterberg, was found at the sites foregrounded by the festival: the museums in Dahlem, which shelter mostly ethnological and Asian collections. As he pointed out, there was reason to question the idea of bringing together the contemporary “global world art” with “relicts of Welteroberung”—or world conquest.

The Cartier Foundation celebrated its thirtieth birthday, and Le Nouvel Economiste looked back. Writer Roxana Azimi noted that, three decades ago, when Alain-Dominique Perrin inaugurated the foundation in Jouy-en-Josas (it has since moved to Paris) the first laws governing corporate patronage, included in the loi Léotard, had not yet even passed—and Perrin contacted many lawyers to help structure the foundation. Casting that history as a reminder that the Cartier Foundation played a key role in paving the way for other luxury-goods sponsors of art, Azimi also noted an evolution in the foundation itself: When located in the bucolic Jouy-en-Josas, it was more invested in artists anchored in the French scene. After relocating to Paris, and under its current director, Hervé Chandès, the foundation’s focus had moved toward other continents, including Africa and Latin America.