Art Round-Up for The Week of August 26, 2007 By Alex Starace
Above: A small Tuscan village, similar to that where the latest find was made.
Left: A view of Casenovole.
Italy has an innovative and cost-effective method for finding and protecting archaeological artifacts: licensing amateurs. Elisabetta Povoledo of The New York Times reports that the Italian countryside has so many relics that there’s simply not time nor money enough for professionals to explore all the possibilities.
This is where licensed and knowledgeable locals come in. They can perform a dig and the report the findings to state authorities. (Anything found under Italian soil is officially property of the state.) For example, just last week an enthusiast group named “Odysseus,” carried out a dig in Tuscany that yielded a 2,000-year-old tomb and a set of preserved ceramic and bronze funerary objects. The leaders of the dig (both of whom are near getting degrees in archaeology) along with the small local community of Casenovole (where the dig was located) were thrilled to make such a discovery. The artifacts are now in a nearby city hall for safe-keeping and it seems that everyone is happy with the results. Truly, a win-win situation. (The New York Times)
Ever wonder if one of the caricaturists at Central Park’s Grand Army Plaza is really a famed portraitist? Maybe you should after German artist Daniel Richter’s amusing stunt. Mr. Richter spent two days side-by-side with the always-present street artists outside Paris’s Centre Pompidou.
Working as a sketcher, he charged the rock-bottom prices commensurate with his disguise. According to Niklas Maak of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the experiment ended with a hilarious twist.
Late in the day, Mrs. Richter came by to check up on her husband and noticed that he’d earned fifty euros. But before she could bid him adieu, a nearby Taiwanese street artist caught her attention – she simply had to allow him to draw her portrait. The asking price? Fifty euros. And with that, Mr. Richter’s hard-earned money disappeared. (ArtForum) & (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)
This edition of the Skulptur Projekte Munster is having problems with theft. Earlier in the summer, artist Michael Asher’s installation for the sculpture festival disappeared, only to be found a few days later, six miles away, in Telgte, Germany, completely unharmed. Asher’s work, a trailer that’s appeared in every Skulptur Projekte since 1977 (the event is held every ten years) was on wheels, and so quite moveable. Most observers chalked up the brief absence to a prank and moved on. But now Susan Philipsz’s sound installation The Lost Reflection has had two of its eight speakers stolen. The piece, which was installed along the bridge over the Aasee River, has been one of the most popular of the festival. And so, in this case, the joke doesn’t seem so funny – police have offered to set up a security system to protect against further thefts. (ArtForum&ArtForum (2))
Michael Asher's trailer.
Tired of blockbuster exhibitions packed with tourists? The Metropolitan Museum claims the crowds are good for the local economy. According the Museum’s own study the two recent shows Cezanne to Picasso and Americans in Paris created $377 million in economic impact for New York City. The Met had conducted a study using visitor surveys and industry-standard calculations to determine the tax benefits New York derived from the arriving tourists. The results were released earlier this summer. Some of the more interesting facts: 74% of visitors to the blockbuster shows did not live in the five boroughs. Of those out-of-towners, 24% were international. And, predictably, the demographic swung both educated and old: 48% of all visitors had at least a master’s degree, while 31% of visitors were over 65. (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
The Met's two recent shows Cezanne to Picasso and Americans in Paris created millions of dollars for New York City.