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Art Diary International 2013/2014
is now out, packed with contact information for galleries, museums, artists, curators, critics, and other professional arts services around the world.


A BRIEF HISTORY OF VANDALISM
Nicola Trezzi

Vandalism will soon have its own history, with specialists: there’s Alexander Brener, who in 1997 spray painted a green dollar sign on a Kazimir Malevich’s painting of a white cross, Suprematisme 1920-1927, at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum. Last March he shit in his hand and smeared the word “Sold Out” with his own excrement on the window of The Approach in London. Then there’s Damien Hirst’s protégé Banksy, who is now famous all over the planet for his street art ‘applied’ to institutions — his solo show at the Bristol Museum, “Banksy vs. Bristol Museum,” will run until August 31.

 
 

Another example occurred in the last Prague Biennale. During this recurring exhibition held in Czech Republic, a work was installed on an empty wall, faking a Microsoft window and two videos, in the section “One Hundred Years: Endogamic & Exogamic Pictorial Practices in Mexico” in a peculiar act of cultural guerrillaism. Rubén Gutiérrez’s The best art work (2007) and Remake (1994) by Daniel Guzmàn and Luis Felipe Ortega were stolen and substituted with two DVDs which aim to be an ironic reply to the issues engaged by the artists in the said works.

 

The last case involved the Guggenheim in New York. Last weekend, during the museum’s business hours, street artist Mat Benote installed his work in the exhibition space of the famous Wright-designed building. The artist, who describes his work as Fine Art Graffiti states: “I want to illustrate that graffiti can be a positive influence in a community when applied properly, and as an art form has as much right to be displayed in a museum as any other form of art.” This is not a new occurrence for the artist.  His works have already appeared in the permanent collections of many museums, including the MoMA in New York and the LACMA in Los Angeles.

 

So the question must be asked: is this artistic expression, or just a new form of vandalism?

 
 

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