Breaking News: Land Art at Desert X | Frontline: Predator | 12M Fakes

This week, the second edition of the biennial opened under the dual themes of politics and poetics, with works that engaged with environmental catastrophes, mass migration, Indigenous rights, and architectural and industrial colonization.

 

The curators are a group of young, energetic curators from distinct backgrounds and points of views. The artistic director Neville Wakefield is an art star known for his work in performance, site installations, and partnerships with fashion brands such as Supreme, Nike, and Calvin Klein. The biennial’s executive director, Jenny Gil, who is from Spain, formerly worked for Faena. The curator Amanda Hunt recently worked at the Studio Museum before joining MOCA. The LA-based writer and curator Matthew Schum was informed by his doctoral research on site-specific happenings, including the Istanbul Biennial. They have selected a broad group of artists of diverse nationalities, ages, and practices, supporting the conception, construction, and installation of each of the works. A budget of $25,000 or (much) more per work was offered by donors such as the Coachella Music Festival (which donated over $100,000) and electric car company Evelozcity. On 55 miles spread between the Wildland Park in the northwest and the Salton Sea in the southeast, the installations take the visitor on a road trip on a circuitous path of highways, windmill farms, gas stations, hot spring spas, residential compounds, and Modernist homes. The works will be up until April 21 and are accessible free of charge, alongside a series of performances and events.

Land Art is no longer a romantic and heroic gesture in the vastness of nature. It is by essence a political act.

Big Read: The Land Art at Desert X Confronts Borders and Politics on Indigenous Territory

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History’s largest Native American art fraud case will come through the courts this year after multiple family businesses manufactured, imported, and falsely distributed Native American-style jewelry as genuine between 2010 and 2015. The trade value reached nearly $12 million across 300 shipments in five years — now, five men and two businesses are charged with violating the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, importation by false or fraudulent practice, and failure to mark goods with their country of origin as required by customs law.

Congress passed the Indian Arts and Crafts Act (IACA) of 1990, to include the importation of knock-offs which undercut Native American economies and cultural heritage.

During the court hearing, Native American artist Liz Wallace said, “I don’t think calling this cultural appropriation is adequate. It’s economic colonization.”

Source: World’s Largest Native American Art Forgery Ring Distributed $12M of Fakes

BREAKING NEWS: Interior Action on Arctic Refuge is a Human Rights Violation

Statement by Bernadette Dementieff, Executive Director, Gwich’in Steering Committee:

“For us, protecting this place is a matter of physical, spiritual and cultural survival. It is our basic human right to continue to feed our families and practice our traditional way of life. Oil exploration in the Arctic Refuge’s coastal plain would be a human rights violation. Our identity is not negotiable.

For decades, the Gwich’in Nation has defeated harmful proposals in Congress that would threaten the Coastal Plain; the birthplace to the Porcupine caribou herd and 190 other species, including migratory birds. This area is known to us as ‘Iizhik Gwats’an Gwandaii Goodlit’ – the sacred place where life begins.

The very existence and identity of the Gwich’in is under threat. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a sacred place. We want to continue to live our cultural and traditional life with the Porcupine Caribou Herd.”

BREAKING NEWS: Interior Action on Arctic Refuge is a Human Rights Violation – Native News Online

NOTE: Many years ago when I worked at the Pequot Times, the Pequot’s DC offices contacted me about this and said they would educate the Senators and Congress on the devastation to tribes and the environment if drilling occurred in the Arctic.  I sent them everything I had on the potential disaster this would cause. Apparently all bets are off with this breaking news. LT

Zinke National Monuments Memo to President (Finally)

ZINKE report