Armory Week isn't over until Sunday, but some of us are already starting to put up our (tired, swollen) feet and relax with some quality reading material. With these fellow travelers in mind, we humbly present this week's edition of Weekend Reads.
Pollock and Paradise: Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri suggests that the best translation of the Qur’an may be the 1958 version by Japanese Islamic scholar Toshihiko Izutsu. The artist writes that Izutsu’s translation allowed her to see the Islam as “abstract expressionism through poetic illustration,” in that both are “concerned with describing spiritual matters of the mind and soul by denying pedagogical figurative depictions.” It’s a connection few (if any) have made and fewer still will agree with, but Al Qadiri’s essay lays out her insights with enough aplomb to make even the most entrenched skeptic think. (Ibraaz)
Google is Reading My Diary:Modern Painters Senior Editor Thea Ballard provides a close reading of the hit ABC series Pretty Little Liars (yep, that one), relating the paranoia of the show to the art of Amalia Ulman and the music of Greta Kline among several other pop culture and academic references. She suggests that the performance of identity by young women online coupled with the surveillance strategies of so-called Big Data can be read as “Big Diaries,” networked collections of highly personal performances that relate “truths [that are] always plural, and of the sort that in three months or a few years will morph or fade away.” (DIS)
Balking at Björk: The always-caustic M.H. Miller takes on Klaus Biesenbach and Björk (more the former than the latter) in this hilarious, scathing review of the new MoMA show. Ordinarily we would pull out a few choice quote to illustrate what we’re talking about here, but it’s better if you read through yourself. While his conclusions probably overstate his case, this is a fun read nonetheless. (ArtNews)
No-No to the Bohos: Artist and writer Douglas Coupland meditates on the current state and future possibilities of “bohemianism” in the new issue of Texte zur Kunst. Tending more towards the lyrical than the theoretical, the essay brings in everything from Camus to hikikomori (young Japanese adults who live with their parents) to illustrate a slightly more serious point: “a fully connected world no longer needs a middle class,” nor its bohemian counterpart. Food for thought for a generation of part-time start-uppers. (Texte zur Kunst)
Musuems Making a Mess in Miami: The Art Newspaper's Christina Ruiz reports on the precarious state of Miami’s art museums, which face board member nit-picking, political infighting, and unprecedented director dropouts. As Ruiz writes: “Museums in Miami are in a mess and face what can only be described as an institutional crisis. Or as Oscar Wilde might put it: to lose one director may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose four looks like carelessness.” (The Art Newspaper)
Gerhard Richter Thinks His Prices Are Crazy: The German master painter recently saw one of his paintings sell for $46.5 million at auction and was horrified, telling the Guardian that his prices are completely out of whack, with poor paintings fetching insane sums in an auction system that inflates young artists too quickly, and that he eagerly anticipated a market correction. (The Guardian)