By Deb A.
Here are some tidbits you may have missed this week.
"Alas for me! I am dead!": Ancient speech bubbles have been discovered in Jordan. (Atlas Obscura)
World of WearableArt celebrates its 30-year anniversary this year. (World of WearableArt)
Film, sculpture, performance, installations, activist architecture—but not a paintbrush in sight. The Turner Prize shortlist is here. (Tate)
Speaking of shortlists, the Photobox Instagram Photography Awards has one and there isn't a single shot of brunch to be seen. (PIPA)
Caitriona Lally won this year's Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for her debut novel, Eggshells. The award is given by Trinity College Dublin, Ms. Lally's alma mater and current employer; she has been working there as a cleaner since 2015. (CBC Radio)
How to probably not corrupt your child: Read them books that have been banned. Julia Pistell celebrates Banned Books Week. (Shondaland)
And now that you've reached the end, stop scrolling and get back to your book—but take a look at Joe Moran's examination of slow reading first. (The Guardian)
By Deb A.
When news of an art project that would rebuild the Berlin Wall began to circulate a month ago, people quickly began to take sides. Some—including Berlin's mayor and Brian Eno—thrilled at the boldness of an art installation that would recreate the Wall, closing off a section of Berlin's Mitte district. Visitors would have to apply for visas to get in, and an algorithm would develop individual programmes for visitors based on their application form. Once inside, they could be led anywhere, from Marina Abramović's performance piece Come, Wash With Me to a premiere of one of the 13 films created from footage of Ilya Khrzhanovsky's film project Dau, which recorded volunteers living in a recreation of a Soviet-era totalitarian town from 2009 to 2011. As the premiere of a three-part trilogy that would start with Dau: Liberty in Berlin, then be followed by Dau: Equality in Paris, and finally Dau: Fraternity in London. the Wall would be erected October 12 and torn down on November 9, the day the actual Wall came down in 1989.
While supporters awaited their chance to buy a visa, others, including civil rights activists and one of the initiators of Jeanne-Claude and Christo's Wrapped Reichstag, protested: "When the Wall was built, we stood by, furious, helpless. ... We do not want to see any more Walls." They raised concerns about the commodification of a traumatic chapter of German history and suggested that the creators of Dau: Liberty look to the victims of the current Russian regime to gain a true understanding of what it means to be imprisoned in a totalitarian system.
The controversy was resolved, at least temporarily, in the most mundane of ways: The proposal had been submitted to the city two months before it was set to open, but contained insufficient security planning—furthermore, security for an event of its size typically requires a year. The organisers claim that "from an artistic and organisational point of view, it is not possible to screen the first part a year later," but maintain that nothing has been cancelled yet.
By Deb A.
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity. As we teeter on the edge of disaster, actions should be speaking louder than words. But the sad truth is that the overwhelming evidence for climate change has not moved us beyond discussion and, shockingly, debate; even the most dire numbers apparently are not enough to make us feel the urgency. Fortunately, some talented artists are using their craft to inspire us to take action.
Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner is a poet from the Marshall Islands who is sounding the alarm about the devastating effects that global warming is already having on her native land. She has addressed the UN and is the cofounder of Jo-Jikum, an environmental NGO.
"Climate change at work": For his Climate Signals installation (September 1–November 6), artist Justin Brice Guariglia—who has flown on earth science missions with NASA—has erected 10 solar-powered highway signs around New York City. Their flashing messages are geared toward provoking conversation and encouraging action on climate change.
Artist Mary Mattingly has a long history of creating sculptural ecosystems that highlight environmental issues. In 2009 she created the barge-mounted Waterpod to highlight rising sea levels. Artists lived, worked, and held events on the self-contained eco-habitat. Her most recent piece, Swale, is a floating food forest.
Olafur Eliasson, conceptual artist and creator of Little Sun, worked with geologist Minik Rosing to create Ice Watch in 2015. The project harvested 80 tonnes of ice from Greenland and deposited them to melt in Paris during the United Nations Climate Conference there.
Eve Mosher worked with experts and the local communities of five cities in the United Kingdom and the United States for HighWaterLine, a public art initiative that drew a blue chalk line around sites that are likely to flood due to climate change.
Dear Climate is an art project led by artists Marina Zurkow and Oliver Kellhammer and writer Una Chaudhuri. Along with exhibitions and events, Dear Climate offers audio meditations to "retool your inner climate" and posters to print out and mount wherever you see fit.
Collections and resources
In 2015, Carol Anne Duffy curated 20 original poems on climate change for The Guardian. Actors including Jeremy Irons, Ruth Wilson, and Michael Sheen read the poems aloud for maximum impact.
For its T Agitprop series, The New York Times collected works from a dozen contemporary artists on the theme of climate change.
The Poetry Foundation has pulled together a collection of environmental poetry from the past seven decades, "from early practitioners ... to ecopoets."
Artists and Climate Change (and its own list of resources) is a must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of art and ecology.
By Deb A.
Fall is here, and with it come fond memories of elementary school book fairs. Fortunately adults can have their fun too: No matter what continent you're on, there's a book fair for you this year.
South African Book Fair
September 7–9; Johannesburg, South Africa
The SABF takes place at the end of South African's National Book Week and will feature a storytelling festival, poetry and philosophy cafés, and even a magic tent alongside over 40 exhibitors.
Brooklyn Book Festival
September 10–17; New York City, U.S.A.
New York City's largest literary celebration will include over 50 events highlighting the city's literary diversity.
Indonesia International Book Fair
September 12–16; Jakarta, Indonesia
"It's a book affair" is the tag line of this event, which was established in 1980.
The 39th International Manila Book Fair
September 12–16; Manila, Philippines
Visitors can check out over 100 exhibitors, including an entire floor of children and young adult titles.
NY Art Book Fair
September 20–23; New York, U.S.A.
Printed Matter's 13th edition of the NY Art Book Fair is a free event with 365 exhibitors and a range of programme highlights.
21st Nairobi International Book Fair
September 26–30; Nairobi, Kenya
The theme for this year's event is "Books for Nurturing Skills."
Göteborg Book Fair
September 27–30; Gothenburg, Sweden
The Göteborg Book Fair bills itself not only as "the most important event in Scandinavia for people in the book business," but also "an arena for debate."
Baltimore Book Festival
September 28–30; Baltimore, U.S.A.
Hundreds of authors will converge in Baltimore for three days to take part in nonstop readings on multiple stages, panel discussions, and workshops.
Oak Knoll Fest XX
October 5–7; New Castle, U.S.A.
Over 40 printers are due to exhibit at this fine press book fair, whose theme for 2018 is "Bringing it on Home."
October 10–14; Frankfurt, Germany
Perhaps the world's best known book fair, this year the Frankfurter Buchmesse celebrates its 70th anniversary.
Vancouver Art Book Fair
18–21 October; Vancouver, Canada
Canada's very first international art book fair is a festival of artists' publishing that will include over 100 local, national, and international publishers this year.
Miami Book Fair
11–18 November; Miami, U.S.A.
The Miami Book Fair includes a week of readings and discussions with over 450 authors, a street fair, and a partnership with The Children's Trust that delivers around 3,500 free books to children every week.
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