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Art Controversy

Arts Council England rows back on ‘reputational risk’ guidelines

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Source: The Art Newspaper

Arts Council England (ACE) has updated its Relationship Framework policies after a backlash from arts professionals over guidelines published in January. The guidelines stated that “overtly political or activist” statements might create “reputational risk” and possibly threaten funding arrangements.

In revised guidance published by ACE on 28 February, the arm’s length public funding body said that “freedom of artistic expression is a foundational principle in this country, and one that we are committed to champion and defend”.

Read More: https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2024/03/04/arts-council-england-rows-back-on-reputational-risk-guidelines

Art Controversy

Politics Everywhere: conflict and diplomacy at the Venice Art Biennale

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Source: Stirworld

Foreigners Everywhere is the stirring slogan of the Venice Art Biennale’s 60th International Art Exhibition. At the helm this year is the first curator to be born and based in the Global South, the Brazilian Adriano Pedrosa, who says his concept follows in the “rich tradition” of “foreigners from all over the world” coming together at the Venice Biennale. Dating back to 1895, it is the first large-scale exhibition of its kind, the namesake of all subsequent global art biennales.

But while Pedrosa promises a radically inclusive 2024 exhibition that celebrates migrants, outsiders, queer artists and Indigenous artists, the Biennale has long been—and remains—a hotbed of fraught geopolitics. The former president of the Venice Biennale Foundation, Roberto Cicutto, diplomatically described the event at a recent press conference as “a privileged vantage point from which to observe the state of the world” and “a unique meeting ground between the arts and the changes in society”. A chief reason for that, he noted, is the Biennale’s century-old system of national pavilions, through which different countries stage their own independent shows.

Read more: https://www.stirworld.com/think-opinions-politics-everywhere-conflict-and-diplomacy-at-the-venice-art-biennale

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Art Controversy

Artists refuse to open Israel pavilion at Venice Biennale until ceasefire is reached

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Source: The Guardian

The artists and curators of the Israeli national pavilion at the Venice Biennale have announced their decision not to open until “a ceasefire and hostage release agreement is reached” in the conflict in Gaza, on the opening preview day of the largest and most prominent global gathering in the art world.

A sign on the front of the Israel pavilion in the Giardini, or public gardens, in Venice, one of the main venues for the Biennale, conveyed the team’s decision – while the pavilion itself is guarded by three armed Italian military personnel.

Read More: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2024/apr/16/artists-refuse-open-israel-pavilion-venice-biennale-ceasefire-gaza

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Art Controversy

In the name of anti-elitism, Arts Council England has declared war on opera and excellence

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Source: The Guardian

For an organisation so full of surprises – one day on funding, another on restricting free speech – Arts Council England remains remarkably consistent on one point: like many people, it just can’t be doing with opera. Or not, anyway, with most of what’s on offer, what with its unlikely heroics and seducers and obsession with “good” singing.

Read More:https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/mar/17/arts-council-england-declared-war-on-opera-and-excellence-anti-elitism

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