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Ai Weiwei prevented from boarding flight to Brazil

19 October 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Ai Weiwei prevented from boarding flight from New York to São Paolo | The Art Newspaper reports that Ai Weiwei has been stopped from boarding a flight from New York to Brazil, apparently due to confusion over his visa. The artist, who was travelling to São Paolo to attend a screening of his documentary Human Flow, says that he was preparing to board the flight when ground crew told him his visa had expired. He was forced to return to his hotel in New York City, where he contacted the relevant offices and obtained a letter confirming that his visa was valid. The airline staff have since apologised.

Omer Fast responds to critics of his New York show | Omer Fast has issued a statement in response to accusations that his current exhibition at James Cohan gallery in Manhattan’s Chinatown district perpetuates racist stereotypes. Protests have been held outside the gallery, which has been superficially remodelled to resemble a run-down Chinese-owned business. Fast – himself an immigrant to the United States – says the show was never intended to ‘insult or incite’ and expressed his shock at the ‘vitriol and name-calling’ that had been directed at him, his work and the gallery. He has, however, requested that the gallery keep protest posters left by the activists in place, arguing: ‘I disagree with their statements about me and my work but I think they’re important to consider as part of a larger picture.’

Pyotr Pavlensky goes on hunger strike following incarceration | The Russian artist-activist Pyotr Pavlensky has reportedly gone on hunger strike in France following his arrest for damage to property earlier this week (French language article). Pavlensky was detained after setting fire to a Paris bank on Monday morning. The artist fled Russia earlier this year over allegations of sexual assault, which he denies. He was granted asylum in France this May. According to his lawyer, the artist launched his hunger strike to protest the ‘absence of public debate’ over his arrest and charge.

Fernando Mignoni to open gallery on Manhattan’s Upper East Side | Fernando Mignoni, the former head of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, is to open a gallery on New York’s Upper East Side, reports ArtNews. Mignoni, who worked at the auction house for a decade, will open the space with a show featuring works by Donald Judd.