Headlines: Nigerian Artists, Centered, Rennie Collection

1) Venice Beinnale Hosts First Nigerian Pavilion

An interior view of How About Now? at the Nigeria Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale



The 57th Venice Biennale is now open, and among its most interesting sites is the Nigeria Pavilion - the first time the country has had a pavilion in the festival. The pavilion is located inside an 18th-century building that was once home to Venice’s gold leaf and gold thread guild. Inside, an exhibition titled How About Now? features works by Victor Ehikhamenhor, Peju Alatise, and choreographer Qudus Onikeku.


2) Hirst Accused of Cultural Appropriation In Unbelievable


A photo of the Bronze Head from Ife, an ancient Nigerian sculpture

Even after opening day, controversy continuous to follow Damien Hirst’s latest exhibition in Venice. This week, Victor Ehikhamenhor noticed that one of the sculptures in the exhibition, Treasures From The Wreck of the Unbelievable, is a nearly exact copy of a 14th century Nigerian sculpture that was unearthed in 1938. That bust is a noted historical artefact due to its representation of Nigerian culture prior to any contact with European colonials. According to Ehikhamenor and others, Hirst’s use of the sculpture’s image is cultural appropriation and will take away from future generations’ understanding of Nigerian culture.


3) Las Vegas Public Art Project Faces Setbacks


Jaguar by Miguel Rodriguez, a public artwork for Centered in Las Vegas


A public art installation in Las Vegas has run into several snags in its installation processCentered, a work that brings together numerous smaller sculptures in varying locations throughout the city, is behind schedule, and partly because two of the pieces in question were stolen by Vandals. Another piece of the sculpture was reportedly destroyed when a car jumped a street median and plowed into it. Centered is the first public work of its kind in Las Vegas, and is so far receiving mixed reviews from residents.


4) Rennie Donates 197 Works to National Gallery of Canada


A photo of Geoffrey Farmer's installation work, a Pale Fire Freedom Machine


British Columbia art collector and real estate developer Bob Rennie made a sizeable donation to The National Gallery of Canada this week, in the form of 197 works, many of which are by Canadian artists. The selection of artists favors Vancouver artists in particular and includes the likes of Ian Wallace, Brian Jungen, and Geoffrey Farmer, though notably Rennie also included a politically charged work by Colombian artist Doris Salcedo. The selection of works is worth over $12 million CAD, and is being donated as a celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.


5) Now You Can Follow Agnes Varda on Instagram 


A screen capture of Agnes Varda's Instagram page


Photographer and filmmaker Agnes Varda is now on Instagram. As of this writing Varda already has three images up on her page, and a thousand times as many followers.

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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