“In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury” at The Art institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago presents an examination of midcentury art and design with In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury, on view now through January 12, 2020. The exhibition, which opened on September 6, 2019, brings together the work of Clara Porset (b.1895), Lola Álvarez Bravo (b.1903), Anni Albers (b.1899), Ruth Asawa (b.1926), Cynthia Sargent (b.1922), and Sheila Hicks (b.1934), reflecting the unique experiences of these designers and artists in Mexico between the 1940s and 1970s. Despite their singularities, they created work that reflected on artistic traditions, while at the same time opened up new readings of daily life at a time of great social and political change.

The work of Clara Porset, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Anni Albers, Ruth Asawa, Cynthia Sargent, and Sheila Hicks has never been shown together before. While some of these artists and designers knew one another and collaborated together, they are from different generations, and their individual work encompasses a range of media varying from furniture and interior design to sculpture, textiles, photography, and prints. They all, however, share one defining aspect: Mexico, a country in which they all lived or worked between the 1940s and 1970s. During this period they all realized projects that breached disciplinary boundaries and national divides.

This exhibition takes its title from a quote by Clara Porset who, encouraging makers to seek inspiration widely, wrote: “There is design in everything…in a cloud…in a wall…in a chair…in the sea…in the sand…in a pot. Natural or man-made.” A political exile from Cuba, Porset became one of Mexico’s most prominent modern furniture and interior designers. Influenced by Bauhaus ideas, she believed that design and art could reshape cities, elevate the quality of life, and solve large-scale social problems. She shared these values with the other artists and designers in this exhibition, who were also committed to forging relationships across cultures; bringing different voices into dialogue; and responding productively to a moment of profound cultural and economic transformation. While some knew one another and worked together, this constellation of practitioners was from different generations, and their individual work encompasses a range of media varying from furniture and interior design to sculpture, textiles, photography, and printmaking.

Clara Porset. Butaque, about 1955–56. Gálvez Guzzy Family/Casa Gálvez Collection. Photo by Rodrigo Chapa, courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Clara Porset conceived designs informed by modernism with clean lines and forms, while also inspired by Mexican lifestyles. Mexican photographer Lola Álvarez Bravo created dynamic photomontages by cutting and pasting together parts of different photographs to produce images that emphasized the intense urban development. She also photographed Porset’s work. Following Porset’s invitation to visit Mexico, German émigré Anni Albers saw the country’s landscape and architecture as a vital source of inspiration, informing the abstract visual language of her designs. Japanese American Ruth Asawa, who took a class on craft and housing with Porset in Mexico City, was drawn to the artistry in utilitarian looped-wire baskets that she encountered in Toluca and her sculptures made with this wire technique became her primary practice. Cynthia Sargent and her husband Wendell Riggs moved to Mexico City from New York in 1951, where they produced several popular lines of textiles and rugs in their weaving workshop, collaborated with Porset for her exhibition Art in Daily Life (1952), and encouraged an appreciation of crafts by founding the weekly market Bazaar Sábado. Sheila Hicks, who moved in the same artistic circles as Porset, set up a workshop in Taxco el Viejo where she collaborated with and learned from local weavers, while producing pieces that were resolutely her own.

In the decades following the Mexican Revolution, which ended around 1920, Mexico was rapidly modernizing, and the art scene of its capital was as cosmopolitan and vibrant as it is today. Government projects promoted the country’s artisanal traditions in an attempt to build a cohesive national identity. This open climate attracted intellectuals and artists, such as the six celebrated here. They were transformed by what they learned, drawing inspiration from Mexican lifestyles and artistic practices, including the patterns of ancient indigenous sculptures, the geometries of archaeological sites, and the complex technical qualities found in thousands of years of textile traditions.

Anarquía arquitectónica en la ciudad de México (Architectural Anarchy in Mexico City), about 1953
Lola Álvarez Bravo. Familia González Rendón. © Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona Foundation

Mexican artist Lola Álvarez Bravo, a close friend and collaborator of Porset, was one of few women photographers working in the country during this period. Her photographs are essential to understanding Porset’s no longer extant projects, and her dynamic photomontages, created by cutting and pasting together parts of different photographs to create new images, provide insights into Mexico’s richly layered social, political, and geographical landscape during the 1940s and 1950s.

Study for Camino Real, 1967
Anni Albers. The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, 1994. © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2019. Photo by Tim Nighswander/Imaging4Art

Porset was also friends with German émigré Anni Albers. Encouraged to visit Mexico by Porset, she first traveled to the country in 1935 and made 13 subsequent trips. Mexico’s landscape and architecture became a vital source of inspiration and remained so throughout her career, providing an abstract visual language for her designs. The triangle motif, for instance, that she used repeatedly in textiles and screenprints was drawn from archaeological Zapotec sites such as Monte Albán.

Untitled (S.535, Hanging Five-Lobed Continuous Form within a Form with Two Interior Spheres and One Teardrop Form), 1951
Ruth Asawa. Courtesy of Charles and Kathy Harper Collection. © Estate of Ruth Asawa, Courtesy David Zwirner. Photo by Dan Bradica

Mexico also left a deep impression on Japanese American Ruth Asawa. In 1947, two years after taking a class with Porset at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, she returned to the country and was drawn to the artistry in utilitarian looped-wire baskets that she encountered in Toluca. From then on, sculptures made with this wire technique became her primary practice.

Scarlatti, designed in 1958, produced about 1968–1969
Cynthia Sargent. Riggs-Platas Family Collection. Photo by Wendy McEahern

American Cynthia Sargent moved to Mexico City from New York with her husband Wendell Riggs in 1951 and produced several popular lines of rugs in their weaving workshop. Porset championed Sargent’s work and included her fabric designs in her pivotal exhibition Art in Daily Life. Sargent and Riggs went on to co-found the Bazaar Sábado, an influential market for Mexican and expatriate art and craft that continues to this day.

Learning to Weave in Taxco, Mexico, about 1960
Sheila Hicks. Gift of Martha Bennett King in memory of her brother, Dr. Wendell Clark Bennett. © Sheila Hicks

While American artist Sheila Hicks never met Porset, she was aware of Porset’s designs through her close friendship with architect Luis Barragán, who worked with both artists. After studying Latin American weaving traditions and traveling to South America, Hicks relocated to Mexico in the late 1950s and set up a workshop in Taxco el Viejo, where she collaborated with and learned from local weavers, while producing pieces that are resolutely her own.

As a story, In a Cloud… reminds us that, for many, transnational migration is both a fact of life and a provocation of creativity; it also challenges easy assumptions about the directions that migration can take. Current political discourse in the United States often frames Mexico as a place that people either leave or move through and not as a country that attracts immigrants of its own. As this exhibition makes clear, it was this country’s openness to artistic practice that drew a host of ambitious modern artists and designers from around the world.

The work of these independent-minded designers and artists provides six distinct yet aligned models of creative practices that followed alternative routes and opened up new possibilities. Displayed together, their work makes the case for a continued evaluation of Mexico’s creative landscape and contributes to burgeoning discussions aimed at a more inclusive history of modern art and design,” said Zoë Ryan, John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design, Department of Architecture and Design, the Art Institute of Chicago.

The pieces in this exhibition resulted from a complex dynamic of cultural learning and exchange. Each artist went beyond replication and applied their newfound knowledge and practices to create their own unique output while crediting the sources of their inspiration. These works highlight the importance of these still-influential contributions to art and design.

Major funding for In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury is provided by the Gordon and Carole Segal Exhibition Fund; the Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation; Margot Levin Schiff and the Harold Schiff Foundation; and Barbara Bluhm-Kaul and Don Kaul.

Additional support is provided by Maria and William D. Smithburg; Kimberly M. Snyder; the George Lill Foundation Endowment; Nada Andric and James Goettsch; the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; Thomas E. Keim and Noelle C. Brock; the Butler-VanderLinden Family Fund; the Terra Foundation for American Art; The Danielson Foundation; The Robey Chicago; and CNA.

Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Announces Fall Programming Schedule

Fall Programming Launches With Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch’s Book Event on Third Anniversary of National Museum of African American History and Culture

Two Book Discussions, Screening of the New Film “Harriet” and the 25th Anniversary Event of Furious Flower Poetry Center With Nikki Giovanni and Sonia Sanchez Are Featured

Lonnie G. Bunch III, the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian, will host a book talk Tuesday, Sept. 24, to kick off fall programming at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Bunch will join Scott Pelley of CBS 60 Minutes to discuss his new book A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump. The Washington, D.C., leg of Bunch’s national book tour celebrates the third anniversary of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened Sept. 24, 2016. A Fool’s Errand provides an inside account on how Bunch planned and managed the challenges of choosing a construction site, commissioning a team of architects, raising more than $400 million, designing exhibitions and building a collection of nearly 40,000 objects. The Washington event is sold out; however, the discussion will be streamed live. More information about the national book tour is available on the museum’s website.

Scheduled fall programming features two book discussions, a LGBTQ speakeasy event with comedian Sampson McCormick and a screening of the new film Harriet. All programs held in the museum’s Oprah Winfrey Theater will stream live on the museum’s Ustream channel at ustream.tv. All programs are free.

September and October Programming

Lectures & Discussion: A Fool’s Errand by Lonnie Bunch

Tuesday, Sept. 24; 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Heritage Hall)

On the museum’s third anniversary, newly appointed Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch and Scott Pelley will delve deeply into Bunch’s latest book, A Fool’s Errand, which chronicles the strategies, support systems and coalitions he put in place to build the Smithsonian’s 19th museum, one that would attract more than 4 million visitors during its first two years. The book goes on sale the same day, Sept. 24. The event is sold out; however, the discussion will stream live on the museum’s Facebook Live channel.


NMAAHC LIVE: Furious Flower 25

Saturday, Sept. 28; 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Oprah Winfrey Theater, Heritage Hall)

To celebrate African American poets and poetry, the museum will host James Madison University’s Furious Flower Poetry Center’s 25th anniversary with eight hours of poetry-focused programming open to the public. Founded in 1994 the Furious Flower Poetry Center is the nation’s first academic center of black poetry for creative writers, scholars and poetry lovers. The festivities commence with discussions, workshops and a performance by the Swazi Poets of South Africa, beginning at 3:45 p.m. The day concludes with two hours of readings and performances by 25 of the nation’s most storied American poets, including Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Gregory Pardlo, Tyehimba Jess, Yusef Komunyakaa and Terrance Hayes. Books by participating poets will be available for sale and signing courtesy of Smithsonian Enterprises. Admission is free; however, registration is required at https://nmaahc.si.edu/event/upcoming.

A Speakeasy Evening: LGBTQ Celebration

Tuesday, Oct. 15; 7 p.m. (Museum Concourse and Oprah Winfrey Theater)

Inspired by the prohibition-era clubs of the Harlem Renaissance where speakeasies like the Cotton Club and the Savoy Ballroom thrived, the museum invites visitors to attend a LBGTQ speakeasy for allies of all gender identities and orientations to experience camaraderie, comedy and art. The evening starts with a reception on Concourse Level with light refreshments. Following the reception, the museum will screen the short film Happy Birthday, Marsha! The fictional film reimagines transgender rights pioneers, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, in the hours leading to the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. The program will conclude with social commentary by noted comedian Sampson McCormick. Registration is required at https://nmaahc.si.edu/event/upcoming.

Historically Speaking: A DNA Story: An Adoptee Traces Her Biological Roots With Dena Chasten, Saturday, Oct. 19; noon

Special guest Dena Chasten will share her journey as a 12-year-old adoptee to find her family roots. Through public records’ search and interviews, Chasten was able to locate her birth parents and later used DNA testing to discover her identity and ancestry. Chasten will explore how a class assignment led her on a life-changing journey of self-discovery and identity affirmation. To register for the event, email familyhistorycenter@si.edu.

Historically Speaking: The Bold World by Jodie Patterson

Wednesday, Oct. 23; 7 p.m. (Oprah Winfrey Theater)

Based on her memoir The Bold World, social activist and author Jodie Patterson will reveal how she reshaped her attitudes and beliefs, as well as those of her community, to meet the needs of her trans-gender son, Penelope. Patterson has been lauded for her activist work and sits on the board of a number of gender/family/human rights organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign. The discussion will be moderated by Thelma Golden, director of the Studio Museum in Harlem. Following the discussion, Patterson’s book will be available for sale and signing courtesy of Smithsonian Books. Registration is required at https://nmaahc.si.edu/event/upcoming.

Cinema + Conversation: Harriet

Thursday, Oct. 31; 7 p.m. (Oprah Winfrey Theater, Heritage Hall)

Harriet, “Be free or die“. directed by: Kasi Lemmons, starring: Cynthia Erivo, Janelle Monae, Leslie Odom Jr., Jennifer Nettles

Join the museum for a special screening and discussion of the new film Harriet, based on the life of iconic abolitionist and Underground Railroad-conductor Harriet Tubman. Directed by Kasi Lemmons, the biopic Harriet follows Tubman’s escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of enslaved men and women through the Underground Railroad. Details of the screening will be made available at https://nmaahc.si.edu/event/upcoming.

Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than 5 million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit nmaahc.si.edu.

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences Announced Its Fall Programming Lineup

The Princess And The Frog,” “Hair” And “Muriel’s Wedding” Anniversary Screenings Headline Academy’s Slate

With Special Guests Toni Collette, Angela Lansbury, Eva Marie Saint, Quvenzhané Wallis And More

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its fall programming lineup this week for both Los Angeles and New York. The fall slate will highlight two new programming series. The Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library created a new speaker series, Words on Film, that invites writers and filmmakers to discuss their work and their creative and research processes with the public in a casual, dynamic way.

In addition, the Academy presents the inaugural Robert Osborne Celebration of Classic Film, a new series funded by the Robert Osborne Estate designed to return classic films to the big screen for new audiences. A full schedule and tickets for the screenings can be found here: oscars.org/events.

Schedule is as follows; participants listed will be in attendance (schedules permitting):

SEPTEMBER

The Princess and the Frog” (2009) 10th Anniversary – September 5 – 7:30 p.m. PT
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills

Hosted by Quvenzhané Wallis.  Featuring a live performance by Anika Noni Rose and musicians Kenny Sara & the Sounds of New Orleans.

With director Ron Clements, producer Peter Del Vecho, screenwriter Rob Edwards, actors Anika Noni Rose, Keith David, Michael-Leon Wooley and Jenifer Lewis, composer Randy Newman, effects animation supervisor Marlon West and character animator Bruce W. Smith.

Muriel’s Wedding” (1994) 25th Anniversary – September 13 – 7:30 p.m. PT
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills

With actress Toni Collette.

The Diary of Anne Frank” (1959) 60th Anniversary – September 16 – 7:30 p.m. PT
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills

Part of the George Stevens lecture series, a 60th anniversary screening in commemoration of the 90th anniversary of Anne Frank’s birth. Co-presented by the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Restoration courtesy of 20th Century Fox. Hosted by Jon Kean.

With producer George Stevens, Jr., actresses Millie Perkins and Diane Baker and Holocaust survivor Eva Brettler.

Hair” (1979) 40th Anniversary – September 21 – 5 p.m. ET
Academy at Metrograph, New York City

In celebration of United Artists’ Centennial. With actor Treat Williams and actress Annie Golden.

Film Scholars Lecture: Christopher Beach – September 23 – 7:30 p.m. PT
Linwood Dunn Theater, Hollywood

With author and Academy Film Scholar Christopher Beach. Lecture based on his book, “A Hidden History of Film Style: Cinematographers, Directors, and the Collaborative Process.”

Words on Film: Film Critics Round Table – September 25 – 7:30 p.m. PT
Margaret Herrick Library, Beverly Hills

Los Angeles-based film critics discuss an array of topics relating to their work, as well as the current state of film criticism.

With Los Angeles Times’ Justin Chang, The New York Times’ Manohla Dargis and Variety’s Peter Debruge.

OCTOBER

5th Annual Careers in Film Summit – October 5 – 9:15 a.m. PT
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills

Academy members and film professionals share their expertise on careers in the motion picture industry in this day-long series of panel discussions.

Dodsworth” (1936) – October 7 – 7:30 p.m. PT
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills

The Inaugural presentation of the Robert Osborne Celebration of Classic Film.

Restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation, in association with The Samuel Goldwyn Jr. Family Trust.  Funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.

With special guests Diane BakerCarol CookeAngela LansburyEva Marie Saint and Robert Wagner.

46th Student Academy Awards – October 17 – 7:30 p.m. PT
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills

The winning student filmmakers will receive their medal placements – gold, silver, bronze – in seven award categories.  Gold medal-winning films will be screened after the ceremony.

Words on Film: Hollywood Chinese – October 17 – 7:30 p.m. PT
Margaret Herrick Library, Beverly Hills

With author and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Arthur Dong.  Discussion based on his book, “Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films,” which explores the history of the Chinese and Chinese Americans in the Hollywood film industry.

Zombi 2” (1979) – October 19 – 7:30 p.m. ET
Academy at Metrograph, New York City

NOVEMBER

Cane River” (1983) – November 1 – 7:30 p.m. PT 
Linwood Dunn Theater, Hollywood

Shown in 35mm. Discovered by the Academy Film Archive and restored in collaboration with IndieCollect.

With actors Richard Romain and Tommye Myrick.

Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Awards & Live Read – November 7 – 7:30 p.m. PT
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills

An ensemble of actors (to be announced) will read selected scenes from the winning scripts.

Words on Film: A Tribute to Saul Bass – November 14 – 7:30 p.m. PT
Margaret Herrick Library, Beverly Hills

A discussion with individuals who worked with the late graphic designer and filmmaker Saul Bass, designer of iconic film title sequences including “Vertigo,” “North by Northwest,” “Psycho,” “Spartacus” and “Casino.” Featuring a display of original materials from the Saul Bass papers preserved at the Margaret Herrick Library.

Tickets for Los Angeles-based events are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid I.D. and will be available online at Oscars.org.  Tickets to “Academy at Metrograph” events can be purchased via Metrograph’s website and are $15.  Doors open one hour prior to each event.  All ticketed seating is unreserved.  For more information, visit Oscars.org or call (310) 247-3600.

Publishing Giant Condé Nast Announces New Global Leadership Structure

U.S./New York-based Condé Nast and London-based Condé Nast International Are Integrated as One Global Team. New Consumer Marketing Function to Bring Focus on Direct-to-Consumer Efforts With Unified Commercial Team to Better Serve Global Clients’ Holistic Needs

New Leadership Structure is Expected to Help Further Turn the Financial Ship Around As Company Moves Beyond Closing and Selling Off Magazine Titles, Layoffs and Consolidation of Workforce Across All Titles

Long expected, Condé Nast yesterday appointed a new global leadership team designed to accelerate the company’s evolution into a 21st-century media company. The new organizational structure, which combines Condé Nast and Condé Nast International into a unified global team, was created with several guiding principles in mind, including the preservation of local editorial voice and authority, an enhanced focus on the consumer, unification of the company’s ad and commercial sales functions to reflect clients’ local and global needs and the development of new ways to share capabilities and best practices across the company.

Condé Nast is a global media company, home to iconic brands including Vogue, The New Yorker, GQ, Glamour, AD, Vanity Fair, and Wired, among many others. The company’s award-winning content reaches 84 million consumers in print, 367 million in digital and 379 million across social platforms, and generates more than 1 billion video views each month. The company is headquartered in London and New York and operates in 32 markets worldwide including China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico & Latin America, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, the U.K., and the U.S., with local license partners across the globe. Launched in 2011, Condé Nast Entertainment is an award-winning production and distribution studio that creates programming across film, television, social and digital video and virtual reality.

One of my top priorities has been to define our organizational structure so that we can take full advantage of our unique growth opportunities and exceptional content around the world,” said the recently-appointed CEO of Condé Nast, RogerLynchI’m confident that our new global structure will better enable us to collaborate across teams and markets and, ultimately, deliver unparalleled experiences for our consumers and clients.

The new structure is as follows:

Global Content Functions:: Anna Wintour, U.S. Artistic Director, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue U.S. and (newly-appointed) Global Content Advisor, will continue in her role as U.S. Artistic Director and Editor-in-Chief of Vogue U.S., and will add Global Content Advisor and oversight of Vogue International to her responsibilities. In her expanded role, Wintour will advise the executive leadership team on global content opportunities and act as a resource to editors-in-chief and editorial talent worldwide.

Oren Katzeff, President of Condé Nast Entertainment (CNE), will expand the company’s digital video, film and television operations to create best-in-class video content experiences for audiences worldwide. The company has been increasing its focus on video content and currently generates 1.1 billion video views per month. Under Oren’s leadership, CNE will now be the core of our global network of video teams, supporting the growth of our video businesses in all markets.

David Remnick, Editor-in-Chief of The New Yorker, will also continue to report directly to Lynch.

Global Operations Organization: Wolfgang Blau, President, International & Chief Operating Officer will oversee all non-U.S. markets, as well as selected global strategic functions, including Product & Technology, Data, Licensing, Global Editorial Operations, Business Development, and Delivery & Business Transformation. This organization will ensure day-to-day operational excellence and capability sharing across the business.

Global Commercial Organization: Pamela Drucker Mann, Global Chief Revenue Officer & President, U.S. Revenue, will lead a new global revenue organization that brings together the company’s U.S. and international ad sales, creative and agency, B2B marketing and client service capabilities. Jamie Jouning, promoted to Chief Client Officer, will report to Drucker Mann and oversee key global accounts, multi-market deals, and central digital ad operations. Drucker Mann will define ad sales and ad product strategies globally, and work closely with Jamie and the central team and commercial leads in the company’s worldwide markets to drive overall ad, agency, and B2B revenue and share best practices.

Consumer Marketing Organization: Condé Nast is creating a new consumer marketing organization that will be led by a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and will bring added focus to the company’s direct-to-consumer efforts. As the company expands its consumer offerings, this team will be charged with developing best-in-class capabilities and consistency across consumer experiences on every platform. The team will also be responsible for consumer revenue, with a core focus on subscriptions and memberships. In addition, the team will have responsibility for global brand management, consumer research, and insights and global audience development, ensuring a data-driven approach to the company’s efforts. The search for a CMO to lead this new organization will begin immediately.

Corporate Functions: The company is also globalizing its three corporate functions to leverage skills, expertise and standardize processes and best practices: People, Finance and Communications. The company will begin an immediate search and selection process for these and other open roles. Until new leaders are identified, teams will maintain their existing reporting lines and responsibilities.

We’re bringing added focus to our direct-to-consumer efforts and will build a new consumer marketing function that will be charged with developing best-in-class subscription and membership capabilities, and maintaining the authenticity of our iconic global brands,” Lynch continued. “And by transforming our sales organization into a unified global team, Condé Nast will be better positioned to serve the holistic needs of our clients around the world and make it easier for them to do business with us.

The new structure and appointments take effect immediately.

The Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival Announces 2nd Annual Festival

The Schedule includes a Robust Slate of Films and Panels from 21 Chinese Independent Voices Featuring A Lineup From 21 Chinese Independent Voices

Festival runs November 1st – 4th 2018

The Los Angeles Chinese Film Festival (LACFF) is proud to host its second annual festival, screening 21 nominated films from Chinese independent filmmakers and artists, at the Downtown Independent Theater, from November 1st to 4th, 2018. LACFF is the only film festival in Los Angeles to focus on independent Chinese culture and heritage films. LACFF also aims to foster cultural exchange between the Hollywood and Chinese film industries.12736187-lacff-2018-engchinese-logo

(The LACFF is organized by Chinese in Entertainment (CIE), a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization that supports Chinese talent and culture in entertainment and the arts.)

This year, the festival received a total of 255 film submissions from 11 different countries and regions. After two months of expert and jury deliberations, 21 films were nominated; including three features, three documentaries, six narrative shorts, four documentary shorts, and five experimental/animated shorts.

Of the festival line-up, nine films will be making their North American and/or Los Angeles Premiere at LACFF this year. The feature film, E.T. Made in China (Dir. Xiaosha Zhang), as well as stop-animation short, The Quintet of the Sunset (Dir. Jie Weng), will be making their World Premiere at LACFF as well.

This year’s films cover a variety of international topics, focusing primarily on the directors’ thoughts on the ever-changing Chinese and global landscapes. For example, E.T. Made in China looks at the modern Chinese rural reality in the presence of actual extraterrestrials; Speculator (Dir. Yuntao Du) features the ride-sharing app, Uber and the foreign capital flowing into the Chinese market; People’s Republic of Desire (Dir. Hao Wu) explores the financial and personal conflicts behind live internet streaming platforms; and Hanzi (Dir. Mu-Ming Tsai) explores Asian culture and identity through a typographic lens.

Full Festival Line Up

Narrative Features

  • E.T. Made in China (World Premiere); Director: Xiaosha Zhang
  • Girls Always Happy, Director: Mingming Yang
  • Transcendent (North American Premiere); Director: Linzi Zhang

Documentary Features

  • Hanzi (Los Angeles Premiere); Director: Mu-Ming Tsai
  • I’ve Got a Little Problem (Los Angeles Premiere); Director: Ximing Zhang
  • People’s Republic of Desire; Director: Hao Wu

Narrative Shorts

  • Besieged; Director: Mengchen Niu
  • Birthday Party; Director: Theo Ma
  • Cupcake; Director: Dawei Zhang
  • Jiejie; Director: Feng-I Roan
  • Miss World; Director: Georgia Fu
  • Mother Eden; Director: Erzhuo Wang

Documentary Shorts

  • Arcosanti: A State of Fugue (North American Premiere); Director: Kehui Feng
  • Life as He Likes; Director: Lizhu Yang
  • One Day In GaoYi (Los Angeles Premiere); Director: Jiaxuan Xiao & Muqiu Qin
  • Speculator (Los Angeles Premiere); Director: Yuntao Du

Animation and Experimental Shorts

  • Ayesha (Los Angeles Premiere); Director: Yanyu Dong
  • Barry; Director: Anchi Shen
  • Cry Baby (Los Angeles Premiere); Director: Xiner Jiang
  • Light (Los Angeles Premiere); Director: Tatsu Aoki
  • The Quintet of the Sunset (World Premiere); Director: Jie Weng

Opening and Closing Screenings

Opening Screening: Walking Past the Future; Director: Ruijun Li

Closing Screening: Linsanity; Director: Evan Jackson Leong

Jury members this year include Ruijun Li, the director and screenwriter of Walking Past the Future, which has been featured in the official selections of the 70th Cannes Film Festival, the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, and 69th Venice Film Festival; film scholar Gabrielle Kelly, who has taught at UCLA, USC, & NYU and is currently on the faculty at AFI; Rebecca Baron, a Los Angeles-based media artist whose works have screened widely at the New York, Toronto, and London Film Festivals; award-winning producer Richard Liang, whose documentary won the Best Chinese Documentary Award at the Taiwan International Documentary Festival in 2016; David E. James, film studies professor at USC‘s School of Cinematic Arts; Jeff Swimmer, professor of Documentary at Chapman University‘s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts; award-winning cinematographer, Helder K. Sun; and Emmy Award-winning visual artist, Lin Zheng.

This year, LACFF is also hosting industry tastemakers to speak at two panels discussing the collaboration and future of US and Chinese entertainment, in both the business and creative fields. The panelists include Rong Chen, Senior Vice President of Perfect World and CEO of Perfect World Pictures, Mike Gabrawy, Chief Creative Officer of Arclight Films; Randy Greenberg, Executive Producer of The Meg (2018); Bennett Pozil, Executive Vice President of East West Bank; Jimmy O. Yang, actor on Silicon Valley (2014-2018) and Crazy Rich Asians (2018); Jessica Gao, Emmy Award-winning writer for Rick and Morty (2013) and Silicon Valley (2014); Helen Shang, writer on Hannibal (2015) and Invoking 5 (2018); Rachel Song, Founder, CEO, and bilingual producer of XS Media (A Kid Like Jake, 2018); and Rui Yao, screenwriter of Lin Shi Yan Yuan (2017) and Angry Kid (2013).

Philadelphia Museum of Art to Present Celebrated Film Trilogy and New Performance by Artist Yael Bartana

This fall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will premiere Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies!, a new site-specific public performance by acclaimed Israeli-born artist Yael Bartana. Scheduled to take place on September 22, 2018 (through to January 1, 2019) at the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, this performance will be presented as part of a solo exhibition at the Museum dedicated to the artist’s provocative film trilogy, And Europe Will Be Stunned (2007-2011). Marking its Philadelphia debut, this trilogy will be an immersive installation in the Joan Spain Gallery of the Museum’s Perelman Building.

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Portrait of Yael Bartana. Photo by Birgit Kaulfuss. Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

Born in 1970 in Kfar Yehezkel, Israel, Yael Bartana lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam. In her films, installations, and photographs, Bartana investigates the ideas of homeland, return, and belonging, often in ceremonies, memorials, public rituals, and actions that are intended to reaffirm and question collective identities and ideas of the nation or the state.

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Image from “Zamach (Assassination),” 2011, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

Taking the complex history of Jewish-Polish identity as its point of departure, And Europe Will Be Stunned addresses the themes of nationhood, memory, and belonging that are integral to Bartana’s work. It first debuted at the Venice Biennale in 2011, where Bartana represented Poland. Shortly thereafter, the trilogy was jointly acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Employing a visual vocabulary reminiscent of Stalinist and Zionist propaganda of the early 20th century, And Europe Will be Stunned chronicles the radical program of a fictional political movement called the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland (JRMiP). Created by Bartana, together with Polish activist Sławomir Sierakowski, the JRMiP advocates for the return of over three million Jews to their forgotten Polish homeland. Informed by the histories of the Israeli settlement movement, Zionism, anti-Semitism, and the Palestinian right of return, the trilogy uses the real and the imagined to speak to global complexities about identity and self-determination in an increasingly unstable world.

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Still from “Mur i wieża (Wall and Tower),” 2009, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

Beyond the walls of the Philadelphia Museum, Bartana will realize Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies! as a means of extending the themes of the artist’s trilogy into the birthplace of American democracy – Philadelphia. Bartana’s performance is a call to action, aiming to make visible the systems of violence and displacement that have been perpetuated through weapons, both literal and symbolic. As the title suggests, the performance will bury these weapons, rendering them useless, as they are incorporated into a choreographed funeral—a living monument—that will include a staged procession and a collective eulogy about war and survival. The movements of the performers are inspired by those of Israeli artist and dance composer Noa Eshkol (1924-2007), specifically evoking Eshkol’s 1953 memorial assembly performed in remembrance to the Holocaust. Bringing together funerary tradition, military ritual, and personal testimony, Bartana’s new performance will deepen the artist’s investigations into the construction of memory and the aesthetics of national identity.

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Still from “Mary Koszmary (Nightmares),” 2007, by Yael Bartana. From the trilogy “And Europe Will Be Stunned.” (Collection of both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; purchased by the PMA with funds contributed by Nancy M. Berman and Alan Bloch and the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, and the Committee on Modern and Contemporary Art; and purchased by the WAC, T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2013). Image courtesy of the artist and Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2018.

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David Wojnarowicz Retrospective At The Whitney Explores The Enduring Resonance Of An Artist Who Merged The Personal And The Political

This summer, the most complete presentation to date of the work of artist, writer, and activist David Wojnarowicz will be on view in a full-scale retrospective organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art. David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night is the first major re-evaluation since 1999 of one of the most fervent and essential voices of his generation.

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David Wojnarowicz with Tom Warren, Self-Portrait of David Wojnarowicz, 1983–84. Acrylic and collaged paper on gelatin silver print, 60 × 40 in. (152.4 × 101.6 cm). Collection of Brooke Garber Neidich and Daniel Neidich, Photograph by Ron Amstutz. (The exhibition is organized by David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection, and David Kiehl, Curator Emeritus, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.)

Opening at the Whitney on July 13 and running through September 30, David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night features more than a hundred works by the artist and is organized by two Whitney curators, David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of the Collection, and David Kiehl, Curator Emeritus. The exhibition, which will be installed in the Museum’s fifth floor Neil Bluhm Family Galleries through September 30, draws upon the scholarly resources of the Fales Library and Special Collections (NYU), the repository of Wojnarowicz’s archive, and is also built on the foundation of the Whitney’s extensive holdings of Wojnarowicz’s work, including thirty works from the Museum’s collection. It will travel to the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, in May 2019, and to Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg City, in November 2019.

Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, remarked, “Since his death more than twenty-five years ago, David Wojnarowicz has become an almost mythic figure, haunting, inspiring, and calling to arms subsequent generations through his inseparable artistic and political examples. This retrospective will enable so many to confront for the first time, or anew, the groundbreaking multidisciplinary body of work on which his legacy actually stands.”

Beginning in the late 1970s, David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) created a body of work that spanned photography, painting, music, film, sculpture, writing, performance, and activism. Joining a lineage of iconoclasts, Wojnarowicz (pronounced Voyna-ROW-vich) saw the outsider as his true subject. His mature period began with a series of photographs and collages that honored—and placed himself among—consummate countercultural figures like Arthur Rimbaud, William Burroughs, and Jean Genet. Even as he became well-known in the East Village art scene for his mythological paintings, Wojnarowicz remained committed to writing personal essays. Queer and HIV-positive, Wojnarowicz became an impassioned advocate for people with AIDS at a time when an inconceivable number of friends, lovers, and strangers—disproportionately gay men—were dying from the disease and from government inaction.

After hitchhiking across the U.S. and living for several months in San Francisco, and then in Paris, David Wojnarowicz settled in New York in 1978 and soon after began to exhibit his work in East Village galleries. Largely self-taught, Wojnarowicz came to prominence in New York in the 1980s, a period marked by great creative energy and profound cultural changes. Intersecting movements—graffiti, new and no wave music, conceptual photography, performance, neo-expressionist painting—made New York a laboratory for innovation. Unlike many artists, Wojnarowicz refused a signature style, adopting a wide variety of techniques with an attitude of radical possibility. Distrustful of inherited structures, a feeling amplified by the resurgence of conservative politics, Wojnarowicz varied his repertoire to better infiltrate the culture.

His essay for the catalog accompanying the exhibition Witnesses: Against Our Vanishing (curated by Nan Goldin at Artists Space in 1989–90) came under fire for its vitriolic attack on politicians and leaders who were preventing AIDS treatment and awareness. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) threatened to defund the exhibition, and Wojnarowicz fought against this and for the first amendment rights of artists. Continue reading