Summer Reading: My 1980s and Other Essays

Summer Reading: My 1980s and Other Essays

 

The VOLUME project, Beirut, presented with Vision Forum

The VOLUME project, Beirut, presented with Vision Forum

 

Copper Crossings

Copper Crossings

 

Jana Euler and Slavs and Tatars

Jana Euler and Slavs and Tatars

 

Folkestone Triennial 2014 opens

Folkestone Triennial 2014 opens

 

Elizabeth Price

Elizabeth Price

 

Elizabeth Price

Elizabeth Price

 

Price Bullington

Price Bullington

 

Group Show at Gladstone Gallery

Group Show at Gladstone Gallery

 

Friday Links

Friday Links

 

AR: Pamela Rosenkranz at Karma International

AR: Pamela Rosenkranz at Karma International

 

The Black Cultural Archives: An Independent Intervention

The Black Cultural Archives: An Independent Intervention

London in 1981 cuts a somewhat different shape to the relative cohesion of today’s late-multiculturalist society: the founding of the Black Cultural Archives took place after a succession of events set London’s young black communities in opposition to the Metropolitan Police Service, erupting into the Brixton uprisings of April 10–11. Thatcherism, the pinnacle of National Front support at local elections, overt racism and large-scale unemployment all weighed down Britain’s young black people. Many of them were born in Britain – the sons and daughters of the ‘Windrush generation’ so called after the arrival of the Empire Windrush ship, that carried the first group of migrant workers from Kingston, Jamaica, docking in Tilbury, Essex in 1948. Encouraged to come to Britain to replenish the work force after the Second World War, many of these early migrants settled in Brixton and other parts of London. A generation later, overwhelmingly negative representations or complete omissions of the black experience in the media and other national institutions fuelled deep-set feelings of exclusion, disfranchisement and alienation as a generation of young people fought to set their own terms for what it might mean to be both black and British. Out of this moment came the urgent need for black communities in Brixton, London and across the country to take the narration of their history into their own hands. And the first wave of ephemera, photographs, documents and the occasional object, were the items placed in the care of the BCA because people within the community judged them to be of importance to a communal history and shared a concern for posterity.

The Black Cultural Archives: An Independent Intervention

BCA artistic director Paul Reid speaks to the crowd at the launch, 24 July 2013. Photograph: Sharron Wallace

Around this time, at the margins of Britain’s art scene, from Wolverhampton to London, a group of radical young artists – including Sonya Boyce, Eddie Chambers, Lubaina Himid and Keith Piper – was forming and asserting it’s presence as the nascent British Black Art Movement. It is worth remembering that landmark exhibitions such as ‘The Other Story’ held at the Hayward Gallery in 1989 in which curator Rashid Araeen brought together the United Kingdom’s first retrospective of African, Caribbean and Asian art did not come to fruition until the end of the decade. That year also saw Jean-Hubert Martin’s ‘Magicians de la Terre’ at the Centre Georges Pompidou and La Villette, Paris, which was to irreversibly shake up the story of a hegemonic Western art history; but in the early 1980s the turn towards diverse and inclusive programming within mainstream cultural organisations was still a way off.

The Black Cultural Archives: An Independent Intervention

Jessica Huntley (1927–2013), publisher of radical Black Literature. Courtesy: Black Cultural Archives Collection; © Neil Kenlock

From these beginnings, the Black Cultural Archives have transitioned from a grass-roots initiative into a forward looking organisation that is both archive and heritage centre. Housing a collection of 7,000 books and 31 cubic meters of archive material spanning five centuries, a reading room, exhibition space and the obligatory cafe and gift shop, the BCA’s new premises have taken pride of place on the corner of Windrush Square. Inaugurating the exhibition space is ‘Re-Imagine: Black Women in Britain’, which sets out to give us ‘a glimpse of some of these women, the traces of their lives lying in the vaults of national archives, libraries and museums of across the United Kingdom’; a sentence from the accompanying exhibition booklet that sets the agenda for the centre itself as a space for and means of navigating the various narratives of the archive. The exhibition space is partitioned and filled with vitrines and large-scale photographic reproductions. The first work you come across is an excerpt from John Akomfrah’s film Peripeteia (2012), projected beside a drawing entitled The Negress, Katharina (1521) by German painter and print maker Albrecht Dürer. Akomfrah’s piece offers a poetic imagining of a wondering young woman reminiscent of Dürer’s sitter, lost to the wild countryside whilst the sky glooms between dusk or dawn and the sound of wind whips steadily. The full length piece takes as its starting point two portraits made by Dürer in the 16th century – a man and a woman with compassionately rendered, distinctly Negro features which offer an early depiction of African experience in Europe. The exhibition portrays a selection of women – among them Doreen Lawrence, Florence Mills, Olive Morris and Mary Seacole – with significant stories often spanning many locations – from Africa, the Caribbean, the U.S and the U.K. The audio guide and wall texts tackle a complex and charged history from the perspective of the women who lived it. For audiences seeking to understand the important contributions that black women have made to the cultural, political and social fabric of Britain, the exhibition is enriching and informative. Yet, whilst the abundance of reproduction photographs did well the illustrate the point in hand, the art work of John Akomfrah certainly elevated the debate to a more nuanced aesthetic and made for the most rewarding encounter.

The Black Cultural Archives: An Independent Intervention

Mary Seacole (1805–1881), pioneering nurse who travelled independently to assist the injured of Crimean war. Courtesy: © Mary Seacole Trust

The next exhibition ‘Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s–1990s’ is the culmination of a partnership between the BCA and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), and is curated by BCA Trustee Kimberly Keith. The project began in 2007 with the aim to increase representations of the black experience within the V&A collection and has led to the acquistion of fine art photographic prints by 17 artists in total, 13 of African and Caribbean descent, amounting to 135 individual images. The project ‘Staying Power’ demonstrates the way in which the BCA archive and its representatives have been able to intervene within mainstream museum processes to form counter narratives and expand the canon. A selection of these new acquisitions will form part of the next exhibition that will take place at both the V&A and the BCA in Spring 2015 and include works by Charlie Philips, Ingrid Pollard, Yinka Shonibare and Maxine Walker amongst many others. Keith explains that ‘a lot of the material chosen for the exhibition at BCA deals with social history, community, identity’ – topics that resonate throughout the BCA’s archival holdings.

The opening of the BCA as both archive and exhibition space has the potential to promote and engage a new generation of artists who are once again re-negotiating what it means to be black and British. I put this point to Keith, who in response had this to say:
BCA is about partnerships, collaboration, remaining relevant to the community, if that is teaching about how history and the archive can inform arts practice, how arts practice and product can inform history and culture, I believe those are central to what we are doing. It’s a great big experiment, and I am looking forward to watching it unfold.

_____________

Conversation with Kimberly Keith, Trustee, Black Cultural Archives, 8 August 2014.

Title borrowed from ‘Independant Intavenshan: The Island Anthology’ by Linton Kwesi Johnson, 1998

-->
 

A touch of Hollywood romance in Woody Allen’s new Magic in the Moonlight

A touch of Hollywood romance in Woody Allen’s new Magic in the Moonlight

 

Morag Keil at Real Fine Arts

Morag Keil at Real Fine Arts

 

The Black Cultural Archives: An Independent Intervention

The Black Cultural Archives: An Independent Intervention

London in 1981 cuts a somewhat different shape to the relative cohesion of today’s late-multiculturalist society: the founding of the Black Cultural Archives took place after a succession of events set London’s young black communities in opposition to the Metropolitan Police Service, erupting into the Brixton uprisings of April 10–11. Thatcherism, the pinnacle of National Front support at local elections, overt racism and large-scale unemployment all weighed down Britain’s young black people. Many of them were born in Britain – the sons and daughters of the ‘Windrush generation’ so called after the arrival of the Empire Windrush ship, that carried the first group of migrant workers from Kingston, Jamaica, docking in Tilbury, Essex in 1948. Encouraged to come to Britain to replenish the work force after the Second World War, many of these early migrants settled in Brixton and other parts of London. A generation later, overwhelmingly negative representations or complete omissions of the black experience in the media and other national institutions fuelled deep-set feelings of exclusion, disfranchisement and alienation as a generation of young people fought to set their own terms for what it might mean to be both black and British. Out of this moment came the urgent need for black communities in Brixton, London and across the country to take the narration of their history into their own hands. And the first wave of ephemera, photographs, documents and the occasional object, were the items placed in the care of the BCA because people within the community judged them to be of importance to a communal history and shared a concern for posterity.

The Black Cultural Archives: An Independent Intervention

BCA artistic director Paul Reid speaks to the crowd at the launch, 24 July 2014. Photograph: Sharron Wallace

Around this time, at the margins of Britain’s art scene, from Wolverhampton to London, a group of radical young artists – including Sonya Boyce, Eddie Chambers, Lubaina Himid and Keith Piper – was forming and asserting it’s presence as the nascent British Black Art Movement. It is worth remembering that landmark exhibitions such as ‘The Other Story’ held at the Hayward Gallery in 1989 in which curator Rashid Araeen brought together the United Kingdom’s first retrospective of African, Caribbean and Asian art did not come to fruition until the end of the decade. That year also saw Jean-Hubert Martin’s ‘Magicians de la Terre’ at the Centre Georges Pompidou and La Villette, Paris, which was to irreversibly shake up the story of a hegemonic Western art history; but in the early 1980s the turn towards diverse and inclusive programming within mainstream cultural organisations was still a way off.

The Black Cultural Archives: An Independent Intervention

Jessica Huntley (1927–2013), publisher of radical Black Literature. Courtesy: Black Cultural Archives Collection; © Neil Kenlock

From these beginnings, the Black Cultural Archives have transitioned from a grass-roots initiative into a forward looking organisation that is both archive and heritage centre. Housing a collection of 7,000 books and 31 cubic meters of archive material spanning five centuries, a reading room, exhibition space and the obligatory cafe and gift shop, the BCA’s new premises have taken pride of place on the corner of Windrush Square. Inaugurating the exhibition space is ‘Re-Imagine: Black Women in Britain’, which sets out to give us ‘a glimpse of some of these women, the traces of their lives lying in the vaults of national archives, libraries and museums of across the United Kingdom’; a sentence from the accompanying exhibition booklet that sets the agenda for the centre itself as a space for and means of navigating the various narratives of the archive. The exhibition space is partitioned and filled with vitrines and large-scale photographic reproductions. The first work you come across is an excerpt from John Akomfrah’s film Peripeteia (2012), projected beside a drawing entitled The Negress, Katharina (1521) by German painter and print maker Albrecht Dürer. Akomfrah’s piece offers a poetic imagining of a wondering young woman reminiscent of Dürer’s sitter, lost to the wild countryside whilst the sky glooms between dusk or dawn and the sound of wind whips steadily. The full length piece takes as its starting point two portraits made by Dürer in the 16th century – a man and a woman with compassionately rendered, distinctly Negro features which offer an early depiction of African experience in Europe. The exhibition portrays a selection of women – among them Doreen Lawrence, Florence Mills, Olive Morris and Mary Seacole – with significant stories often spanning many locations – from Africa, the Caribbean, the U.S and the U.K. The audio guide and wall texts tackle a complex and charged history from the perspective of the women who lived it. For audiences seeking to understand the important contributions that black women have made to the cultural, political and social fabric of Britain, the exhibition is enriching and informative. Yet, whilst the abundance of reproduction photographs did well the illustrate the point in hand, the art work of John Akomfrah certainly elevated the debate to a more nuanced aesthetic and made for the most rewarding encounter.

The Black Cultural Archives: An Independent Intervention

Mary Seacole (1805–1881), pioneering nurse who travelled independently to assist the injured of Crimean war. Courtesy: © Mary Seacole Trust

The next exhibition ‘Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience 1950s–1990s’ is the culmination of a partnership between the BCA and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), and is curated by BCA Trustee Kimberly Keith. The project began in 2007 with the aim to increase representations of the black experience within the V&A collection and has led to the acquistion of fine art photographic prints by 17 artists in total, 13 of African and Caribbean descent, amounting to 135 individual images. The project ‘Staying Power’ demonstrates the way in which the BCA archive and its representatives have been able to intervene within mainstream museum processes to form counter narratives and expand the canon. A selection of these new acquisitions will form part of the next exhibition that will take place at both the V&A and the BCA in Spring 2015 and include works by Charlie Philips, Ingrid Pollard, Yinka Shonibare and Maxine Walker amongst many others. Keith explains that ‘a lot of the material chosen for the exhibition at BCA deals with social history, community, identity’ – topics that resonate throughout the BCA’s archival holdings.

The opening of the BCA as both archive and exhibition space has the potential to promote and engage a new generation of artists who are once again re-negotiating what it means to be black and British. I put this point to Keith, who in response had this to say:
BCA is about partnerships, collaboration, remaining relevant to the community, if that is teaching about how history and the archive can inform arts practice, how arts practice and product can inform history and culture, I believe those are central to what we are doing. It’s a great big experiment, and I am looking forward to watching it unfold.

_____________

Conversation with Kimberly Keith, Trustee, Black Cultural Archives, 8 August 2014.

Title borrowed from ‘Independant Intavenshan: The Island Anthology’ by Linton Kwesi Johnson, 1998

-->
 

Summer Reading: The Influentially Lewd Allure of Robert Heinecken

Summer Reading: The Influentially Lewd Allure of Robert Heinecken

 

Ryoji Ikeda and Krzysztof Wodiczko

Ryoji Ikeda and Krzysztof Wodiczko

 

The Unwritten

The Unwritten

 

PLURIVERSALE I

PLURIVERSALE I

 

First public library dedicated to contemporary art in Russia

First public library dedicated to contemporary art in Russia

 

Upcoming: The Roving Eye

Upcoming: The Roving Eye

 

New Work Friday #164

New Work Friday #164

 

Judith Bernstein at Studio Voltaire

Judith Bernstein at Studio Voltaire

 

Every Week is Art Week : August 28- September…

Every Week is Art Week : August 28- September…

 

AR: Ben Kinmont at Air de Paris

AR: Ben Kinmont at Air de Paris

 

Beginnings: Harun Farocki, 1944–2014

Beginnings: Harun Farocki, 1944–2014

 

Season 7 Preview: Trevor Paglen

Season 7 Preview: Trevor Paglen

 

On Finding Portbou And The Memorial Walter Benjamin

On Finding Portbou And The Memorial Walter Benjamin

 

On Finding Portbou And The Memorial Walter Benjamin

On Finding Portbou And The Memorial Walter Benjamin

 

Postcard from Rome: Teatro Valle

Postcard from Rome: Teatro Valle

MACRO museum, Rome

With the Comune di Roma’s debt standing at over 850 million euros, people have naturally been left asking if there might be alternative forms of management for the arts, which can sidestep the Kafkaesque machinations of State and regional governance. In Italy in the last three years, just such an alternative has been seen in action with occupied spaces such as Teatro Valle (Rome), MACAO (Milan), Teatro Garibaldi Aperto (Palermo), SaLE Docks, Morion and Teatro Marinoni (Venice) who have all to varying degrees explored the notion of the ‘commons’, or bene comune (‘common good’).

Postcard from Rome: Teatro Valle

This idea of bene comune finds its roots in article 43 of the Italian Constitution, which provides for the management of ‘essential public services, energy sources or monopolistic situations which have a primary public interest’, by the State, public entities or communities of workers. That article has become the focus of intense debate, since a group of theatre workers occupied Teatro Valle – Rome’s oldest functioning theatre, built in 1726 – in June 2011 and declared it a bene comune one day after the public voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to make the water system a common good, rather than privatizing it. The theatre worker’s unique solution has been to establish the theatre as a private foundation – the Fondazione Teatro Valle Bene Comune ¬– open to and owned by anyone and everyone, with status as an associate with decision making status costing a nominal ten euros (with this money being raised to cover the cost of establishing a foundation). After living relatively comfortably alongside the right wing administration of Giorgio Alemanno, the left wing mayor Marino has asked Teatro Valle’s occupiers to lower the curtains and vacate the building, so that it may be publicly tendered – effectively auctioned to the highest private bidder. Marino does so despite Teatro Valle’s provision of an ongoing free programme, involving contributions from renowned international actors, artists (Tino Sehgal, as well as the collectives Chto Delat? and VOINA), activists, academics and politicians (amongst them former Italian presidential candidate Stefano Rodotà), activities that have ignited no less than a Pan-Italian bene commune movement. As Teatro Valle remains defiant, the outcome of the developing battle for its future will be crucial in shaping Italy’s cultural landscape.

The mayor’s call for eviction followed the occupation, by around 50 theatre workers from Teatro Valle, of the offices of Rome’s assessor of culture on July 3rd, where they held a press conference detailing their summer programme. The ‘happening’, entitled ‘Summer Holidays’ was not least held to highlight the fact that Rome’s council had at that point been without an assessor of culture for over one month, hampering the delivery of a programme of contemporary art in Rome. The occupiers – dressed in beach gear and holding parasols, buckets and spades and other beach paraphernalia – also repeated calls for a direct meeting with Marino, before returning ‘home’ to Teatro Valle in the evening. One day later the Mayor’s office issued a simple statement saying that, following a period of uncertainty in Teatro Valle’s management, which ‘the previous Mayor has not wanted to deal with’, it is now necessary to ‘return the theatre to the Roman public’. To this effect a sale of the theatre will be held in conjunction with MiBACT (Italy’s ministry of culture and tourism). This decision ignores guidance for the theatre’s future detailed in a 97-page document commissioned in March 2013 by the serving minister of culture. That dossier, subsequently compiled by a panel of experts under Marino’s tenure, in conjunction with Teatro Valle’s occupiers and respected theatre directors, concluded that: ‘It’s important to allow the values and experience that Teatro Valle Bene Comune has produced to become part of the genetic code for a future management solution.’ In response to the Mayor’s statement effecting the sale of Teatro Valle, the activists replied the following day saying that if the Mayor sees no value in ‘any kind of encounter or dialogue’, then he must take responsibility for any eventual forced removal by the police. Given the dire situation within the arts in Italy, with museums often running without a direction or budget – as is the case not only with Rome’s MACRO, but also, for example, with Turin’s Castello di Rivoli – closing the innovative and highly influential Teatro Valle would send a profoundly detrimental signal for the future of the Italian arts both at home and abroad.

Postcard from Rome: Teatro Valle

Article 9 of the Italian constitution states that ‘The Republic promotes the development of culture and scientific and technical research. It safeguards landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of the Nation.’ In this light and given the success of Teatro Valle Bene Comune as a unique cultural space with an international reputation, the battle with the Council of Rome has effectively become one over who has true legitimacy with regard to arts management in a city with a rich cultural history. A new assessor of culture, Giovanna Marinelli, was appointed on 14 July. One day later, she called for a ‘return to legality’, convening a meeting between herself, Marino, occupants of Teatro Valle, and Ugo Mattei, a legal scholar at the forefront of the Bene Comune movement at Teatro di Roma. Since then, Marino’s absolute determination to put an end to what has been a rich and productive cultural phenomenon has been made even more clear. This is hardly surprising as, after all, Teatro Valle and the bene commune movement not only make the case that culture is an inalienable human right, but set a precedent whereby if an art space can be run as a bene commune, so too could possibly a hospital, a school, even perhaps a financial system. They therefore directly challenge the traditional definition of ownership and the role of the State or governing body: in this case the Rome Council.

On 28th July at a meeting attended by Giovanna Marinell, Marino Sinbaldi – the President of Teatro Roma – and occupants of Teatro Valle, the latter’s request to continue managing Teatro Valle at least in collaboration with Teatro Roma and the Rome Council was refused. The occupiers of Teatro Valle – who have vowed to contest their eviction peacefully – left the theatre itself on 11 August, but continued occupying the foyer to press for further negotiations. From 12 August Teatro Valle has been closed, with the keys handed over to the Comune of Rome. It is unclear what level of involvement the occupiers will have in its future, but negotiations and campaigning will continue to ensure that a valuable experience will not be forgotten. What seems possible, following Mayor Marino’s demands that Teatro Valle be ‘returned to the public’, is that his own office will continue or end depending on his ability to convince the public that it is him – and not the theatre’s occupants – who are acting in the public interest. But in any case, a new convincing model of cultural management has been born in Italy, which sets a precedent that may go far beyond culture alone.

Mike Watson, while he did not have an active role in the development of the theatre and delivery of its programme, is an associate supporter of Teatro Valle, under the terms of the statute which can be seen here (Italian only).

-->
 

Postcard from Rome: Teatro Valle

Postcard from Rome: Teatro Valle

MACRO museum, Rome

With the Comune di Roma’s debt standing at over 850 million euros, people have naturally been left asking if there might be alternative forms of management for the arts, which can sidestep the Kafkaesque machinations of State and regional governance. In Italy in the last three years, just such an alternative has been seen in action with occupied spaces such as Teatro Valle (Rome), MACAO (Milan), Teatro Garibaldi Aperto (Palermo), SaLE Docks, Morion and Teatro Marinoni (Venice) who have all to varying degrees explored the notion of the ‘commons’, or bene comune (‘common good’).

Postcard from Rome: Teatro Valle

This idea of bene comune finds its roots in article 43 of the Italian Constitution, which provides for the management of ‘essential public services, energy sources or monopolistic situations which have a primary public interest’, by the State, public entities or communities of workers. That article has become the focus of intense debate, since a group of theatre workers occupied Teatro Valle – Rome’s oldest functioning theatre, built in 1726 – in June 2011 and declared it a bene comune one day after the public voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to make the water system a common good, rather than privatizing it. The theatre worker’s unique solution has been to establish the theatre as a private foundation – the Fondazione Teatro Valle Bene Comune ¬– open to and owned by anyone and everyone, with status as an associate with decision making status costing a nominal ten euros (with this money being raised to cover the cost of establishing a foundation). After living relatively comfortably alongside the right wing administration of Giorgio Alemanno, the left wing mayor Marino has asked Teatro Valle’s occupiers to lower the curtains and vacate the building, so that it may be publicly tendered – effectively auctioned to the highest private bidder. Marino does so despite Teatro Valle’s provision of an ongoing free programme, involving contributions from renowned international actors, artists (Tino Sehgal, as well as the collectives Chto Delat? and VOINA), activists, academics and politicians (amongst them former Italian presidential candidate Stefano Rodotà), activities that have ignited no less than a Pan-Italian bene commune movement. As Teatro Valle remains defiant, the outcome of the developing battle for its future will be crucial in shaping Italy’s cultural landscape.

The mayor’s call for eviction followed the occupation, by around 50 theatre workers from Teatro Valle, of the offices of Rome’s assessor of culture on July 3rd, where they held a press conference detailing their summer programme. The ‘happening’, entitled ‘Summer Holidays’ was not least held to highlight the fact that Rome’s council had at that point been without an assessor of culture for over one month, hampering the delivery of a programme of contemporary art in Rome. The occupiers – dressed in beach gear and holding parasols, buckets and spades and other beach paraphernalia – also repeated calls for a direct meeting with Marino, before returning ‘home’ to Teatro Valle in the evening. One day later the Mayor’s office issued a simple statement saying that, following a period of uncertainty in Teatro Valle’s management, which ‘the previous Mayor has not wanted to deal with’, it is now necessary to ‘return the theatre to the Roman public’. To this effect a sale of the theatre will be held in conjunction with MiBACT (Italy’s ministry of culture and tourism). This decision ignores guidance for the theatre’s future detailed in a 97-page document commissioned in March 2013 by the serving minister of culture. That dossier, subsequently compiled by a panel of experts under Marino’s tenure, in conjunction with Teatro Valle’s occupiers and respected theatre directors, concluded that: ‘It’s important to allow the values and experience that Teatro Valle Bene Comune has produced to become part of the genetic code for a future management solution.’ In response to the Mayor’s statement effecting the sale of Teatro Valle, the activists replied the following day saying that if the Mayor sees no value in ‘any kind of encounter or dialogue’, then he must take responsibility for any eventual forced removal by the police. Given the dire situation within the arts in Italy, with museums often running without a direction or budget – as is the case not only with Rome’s MACRO, but also, for example, with Turin’s Castello di Rivoli – closing the innovative and highly influential Teatro Valle would send a profoundly detrimental signal for the future of the Italian arts both at home and abroad.

Postcard from Rome: Teatro Valle

Article 9 of the Italian constitution states that ‘The Republic promotes the development of culture and scientific and technical research. It safeguards landscape and the historical and artistic heritage of the Nation.’ In this light and given the success of Teatro Valle Bene Comune as a unique cultural space with an international reputation, the battle with the Council of Rome has effectively become one over who has true legitimacy with regard to arts management in a city with a rich cultural history. A new assessor of culture, Giovanna Marinelli, was appointed on 14 July. One day later, she called for a ‘return to legality’, convening a meeting between herself, Marino, occupants of Teatro Valle, and Ugo Mattei, a legal scholar at the forefront of the Bene Comune movement at Teatro di Roma. Since then, Marino’s absolute determination to put an end to what has been a rich and productive cultural phenomenon has been made even more clear. This is hardly surprising as, after all, Teatro Valle and the bene commune movement not only make the case that culture is an inalienable human right, but set a precedent whereby if an art space can be run as a bene commune, so too could possibly a hospital, a school, even perhaps a financial system. They therefore directly challenge the traditional definition of ownership and the role of the State or governing body: in this case the Rome Council.

On 28th July at a meeting attended by Giovanna Marinell, Marino Sinbaldi – the President of Teatro Roma – and occupants of Teatro Valle, the latter’s request to continue managing Teatro Valle at least in collaboration with Teatro Roma and the Rome Council was refused. The occupiers of Teatro Valle – who have vowed to contest their eviction peacefully – left the theatre itself on 11 August, but continued occupying the foyer to press for further negotiations. From 12 August Teatro Valle has been closed, with the keys handed over to the Comune of Rome. It is unclear what level of involvement the occupiers will have in its future, but negotiations and campaigning will continue to ensure that a valuable experience will not be forgotten. What seems possible, following Mayor Marino’s demands that Teatro Valle be ‘returned to the public’, is that his own office will continue or end depending on his ability to convince the public that it is him – and not the theatre’s occupants – who are acting in the public interest. But in any case, a new convincing model of cultural management has been born in Italy, which sets a precedent that may go far beyond culture alone.

Mike Watson, while he did not have an active role in the development of the theatre and delivery of its programme, is an associate supporter of Teatro Valle, under the terms of the statute which can be seen here (Italian only).

-->
 

Fleeting moments made monumental in Jen Brown’s Ruins at Yell Gallery

Fleeting moments made monumental in Jen Brown’s Ruins at Yell Gallery

 

“Bad Influence” at Michael Thibault

“Bad Influence” at Michael Thibault

 

Alessandro Piangiamore

Alessandro Piangiamore

 

Summer Reading – Your Everyday Art World: Glasgow to Los Angeles

Summer Reading – Your Everyday Art World: Glasgow to Los Angeles

 

Dorothy Iannone

Dorothy Iannone

 

Taipei Biennial 2014: The Great Acceleration

Taipei Biennial 2014: The Great Acceleration

 

A Journal of the Plague Year. Continental Fear. Islands, ghosts, rebels.

A Journal of the Plague Year. Continental Fear. Islands, ghosts, rebels.

 

BIO 50

BIO 50

 

AR: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster at Jan Mot

AR: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster at Jan Mot

 

“Technokinesis” at Blum & Poe

“Technokinesis” at Blum & Poe

 

AR: Nora Schultz at The Renaissance Society

AR: Nora Schultz at The Renaissance Society

 

Maria Loboda

Maria Loboda

 

The Turnaround by Bradley Maule at Gravy Studio & Gallery

The Turnaround by Bradley Maule at Gravy Studio & Gallery

 

Peter Fischli and David Weiss at Sprüth Magers

Peter Fischli and David Weiss at Sprüth Magers

 

Summer Reading: Picturing the Self in the Age of Data

Summer Reading: Picturing the Self in the Age of Data

 

Mel Bochner: Strong Language

Mel Bochner: Strong Language

 

Zbyněk Baladrán

Zbyněk Baladrán

 

The Value of Nothing

The Value of Nothing

 

Silje Figenschou Thoresen

Silje Figenschou Thoresen

 

Participating artists

Participating artists

 

Megan Francis Sullivan

Megan Francis Sullivan

 

“New Habits” at Casco

“New Habits” at Casco

 

Peter Campus at Linfield

Peter Campus at Linfield

 

A Kassen

A Kassen

 

We, the Outsiders

We, the Outsiders

 

FEATURED ARTIST: Nancy Lupo, Tuxedo Feeder, 2014. Black and…

FEATURED ARTIST: Nancy Lupo, Tuxedo Feeder, 2014. Black and…

 

Weekly Roundup

Weekly Roundup

 

AR: Brice Dellsperger at Team Gallery

AR: Brice Dellsperger at Team Gallery

 

Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin

 

News post – Judith Schaechter awards and acquisitions, Phillyosophy has a winner, TCNJ’s huge alumni show, opportunities and more!

News post – Judith Schaechter awards and acquisitions, Phillyosophy has a winner, TCNJ’s huge alumni show, opportunities and more!

 

Performing the dead and other questions around museums and authenticity

Performing the dead and other questions around museums and authenticity