Banksy’s New Theme Park & Rodin Stolen

Aug 24, 2015 · 4 min read

The 5 art world updates you need to know this week.

The arts story definitely generating the most buzz in the last week was the opening of Banksy’s new “Bemusement Park,” Dismaland. The 2.5 acre park in Britain’s seaside town of Weston-Super-Mare includes 10 works from Banksy as well as pieces from 58 other artists he handpicked, including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Jimmy Cauty and Darren Cullen

The entrance’s view onto Banksy’s new, apocalyptic exhibition-cum-theme park (Daily Mail)

Despite the collaborative nature of the show, Banksy’s distinctive artistic voice shines through: humorous, anti-capitalist and highly critical of todays consumerist, celebrity-obsessed culture. A brochure for the park identifies the exhibition as a:

“… chaotic new world where you can escape from mindless escapism….A theme park who’s big theme is: theme parks should have bigger themes…”

Among the attractions, guests can see gang of paparazzi photographing Cinderella’s fatal carriage crash, a payday loan popup for children, and miniature boats of migrants, trapped within the park’s water features. The bemusing exhibition will remain open until September 27.

Danish police announced this week that they are searching for two men who managed to steal a $300,000 Rodin bust from a Copenhagen museum in broad daylight.

Security footage released by police showing the suspects (Copenhagen police)

The two suspected robbers posed as tourists to enter the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum and it reportedly took them a mere 12 minutes to snatch Rodin’s The Man with the Broken Nose (1863) from its pedestal, place it into a paper bag and leave. After opening an investigation into the matter, police discovered that the suspects had visited the museum a week before, to scope out the heist. The bust is one of several casts the sculptor created of the original, made in clay, and has been wiht the museum for 95 years.

Italy’s cultural ministry made some drastic changes this week, appointing 20 new museum directors to such institutions as Florence’s Uffizi Gallery and Academia Gallery, Milan’s Pinacoteca di Brera, Napels’ Capodimonte Museum the National Gallery of Marche and the Paestrum Archaeology Park.

The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, soon to receive new leadership (Smithsonian)

The sweeping changes arrive amidst difficulties for the Italian government, which has been largely unable to properly fund artistic institutions (for example, Rome’s famed Borghese Gallery was unable to fix its air conditioning earlier this year). While the appointments include primarily Italian curators, the cultural ministry also pulled from oversees as never before, searching for the best and brightest curators who can reinvigorate storied institutions, without much cash flow from the government.

As we touched upon last week, the market for and collection of Chinese contemporary art is only increasing. And with this growing attention to the country’s artistic culture, more resources are being devoted to art within China itself. Case and point: The Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan (MOCA Yinchuan), the first contemporary art museum in northwest China.

The museum’s undulating facade, which pays homage to its wetland surroundings (Dezeen)

MOCA Yinchuan prides itself on being the first museum dedicated solely to Chinese and Islamic contemporary art, recognizing the centuries of intersection between the two cultures that has resulted in their art today. Situated along the western baks of the Yellow River, the musem itself reflects the wetland enviorment into which it has inserted itself. The undulating design, from Beijing firm WAA, beautifully integrates the structure into the flowing landscape that surrounds it and the country whose cultural it is honoring.

Public art is widely regarded as a means of cultural enrichment and social betterment. However, a freak wind storm in Toledo, Ohio this week turned Kurt Perschke’s 15-foot-tall, 250 pound red ball sculpture into more of a public menace as the wind dislodged it and sent it rolling down city streets.

The Red Ball installed at the Toledo Museum (left) and rolling down the city’s streets (artnet News)

Luckily, no one was harmed and the ball was tracked down by a team including Perschke’s employees and staff of the Toledo Museum, which brought the sculpture, part of Perschke’s RedBall project, to Toledo as a stop on an international tour that has already included such cities as Paris, Chicago, Taipei and Sydney. Perschke created the project hoping to give viewers a chance to engage with quotidian objects in new and revelatory ways.

Written with the help of Alice Mahoney,

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