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Contemporary Art Fair of Chile rescheduled after violent protests in Santiago

Plus: Pakistani authorities criticised for removing works addressing police brutality from Karachi Biennial | London’s Parasol Unit closes | and Getty Center closes following California wildfires

30 October 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Contemporary Art Fair of Chile rescheduled after violent protests in Santiago | Following more than a week of violent protests in Santiago and the Chilean president’s declaration of a state of emergency, organisers of the Contemporary Art Fair of Chile (Chaco) have announced plans to reschedule its 11th edition until March 2020. The uprising, which was prompted by increases in energy prices and metro fares, has seen violent clashes between civilians and armed authorities, as well as arson and looting throughout the city. Chaco would have opened on 21 November, but executive director Elodie Fulton was concerned that the protests could interrupt the safe shipping of artworks into the city. 

Pakistani authorities criticised for censoring works addressing police brutality at Karachi Biennial | The Karachi Biennial was the site of die-in protests on Monday after Pakistani authorities demanded that the event’s organisers cancel an exhibition of works by the artist Adeela Suleman just two hours before the biennial opened to the public on Sunday. Featuring 444 concrete tombstones, Suleman’s work addresses brutality and refers to the number of people who were killed during police raids that occurred in Karachi between 2011 and 2018. The work was initially destroyed by officers, before being entirely removed from the site on Tuesday, an act of censorship that has been criticised on Twitter by Amnesty International South Asia and over 100 artists who have signed an open letter online. 

London’s Parasol Unit closes | Parasol Unit has announced that in the spring of 2020 it will close its permanent space in Hoxton, east London, in favour of an international programme of events held at various locations around the world. The foundation was opened in 2004 by executive director Ziba Ardalan, and has since held 58 exhibitions and awarded an annual prize to recent art school graduates.

Getty Center closes following California wildfires | The Getty Center, whose fire-proof infrastructure resisted the Californian wildfires that surrounded its campus early on Tuesday morning, is among several museums in the state that have temporarily closed this week. A representative of the museum explained that the decision was a precaution while the centre is being used as a base for firefighters, but clarified that the Getty Museum’s collection remains secure.

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