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The week in art news – Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev to retire

26 May 2023

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the director of the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art in Turin, will retire from her post at the end of 2023 after more than 20 years. Before joining Castello di Rivoli in 2016, Christov-Bakargiev was chief curator at MoMA PS1 in New York. She is best-known for her role as artistic director of the highly acclaimed 13th edition of Documenta in 2012, while exhibitions she has curated in Turin include shows on Anne Imhof, Franz Kline and William Kentridge. The Castello di Rivoli is seeking a new director to begin from 1 January 2024, while Christov-Bakargiev has a number of ongoing projects including the catalogues raisonnés of Fabio Mauri and Michelangelo Pistoletti, an exhibition on the Arte Povera movement to take place in Paris next year, and a long-term research and publication project looking at her own vast archives.

Kenneth Anger, the avant-garde film-maker and author, has died at the age of 96. Born Kenneth Wilbur Anglemyer in Santa Monica in 1927, Anger began creating 16mm films in his teens. By the time he was 20, he had been brought to court on obscenity charges for his homoerotic short Fireworks (1947); his most popular film, Scorpio Rising (1963), was among the first to use a pop-rock soundtrack. His work has been credited with paving the way for modern music videos and influencing directors including Martin Scorsese, Dennis Hopper and John Waters.

The UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has proposed to extend the terms of the Ivory Act 2018, which had previously banned the import and trade of elephant ivory, to also prohibit the sale of ivory from hippos, sperm whales, narwhals, orcas and walruses. The act, which came into effect last June, allows for a few key exceptions – among them, items of ‘outstandingly high artistic, cultural or historical value’, made before 1918. The extension of the ban, which will now be voted on in parliament, is intended to allay concerns that other ivory-producing species would be targeted instead of elephants. Dealers in antique scrimshaw have expressed concerns that their trade will not be protected under the new act.

The shortlist for the Art Fund Museum of the Year was announced this week. The five finalists are the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, Leighton House, London, the MAC, Belfast, the Natural History Museum, London, and Scapa Flow Museum, Orkney. The winner will receive £120,000 and the other finalists £15,000.

Tate Liverpool has unveiled designs for its £30m revamp by the London-based architecture practice 6a. Plans include opening up the facade to provide views of the River Mersey, an art hall and events space on the ground floor as well as additional galleries spread over three floors, some with higher ceilings to enable the display of larger works.

The director of the Musée du quai Branly, Emmanuel Kasarhérou, has been reappointed for a second term. Kasarhérou was first appointed in 2020, becoming the first Kanak person to lead a major French museum. In other appointments, the Museum of Sex has named Ariel Plotek as its first chief curator. Plotek, formerly curator of fine art at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, will oversee exhibitions at the museum’s New York premises and in Miami, where it is scheduled to open a new museum in the autumn.