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Planned Holocaust memorial in Westminster to be redesigned

Plus: Open letter calls for MoMA and Larry Fink to divest from private prison companies | Protests at Whitney turn to Puerto Rico | Kraków City Council rejects museum merge | and Nancy Fouts (1945–2019)

29 April 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Holocaust memorial in Westminster to be redesigned | The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation will submit a revised, scaled-down plan for a Holocaust memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens in Westminster, reports the Architects’ Journal. The initial design for the site, created by Adjaye Associates, Ron Arad, and Gustafson Porter + Bowman, was criticised for its ‘dominating’ profile and concerns that the structure would ‘destroy a treasured park’. Earlier this year, Adjaye defended the memorial’s location: ‘We have the opportunity to activate the entire site and talk directly to parliament, hold it accountable. Disrupting the pleasure of being in a park is key to the thinking.’

Open letter calls for MoMA and Larry Fink to divest from private prison companies | An open letter circulated at a conference held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on Sunday called for the museum and Larry Fink, one of its trustees, to divest from companies involved in the private prison sector. The letter, whose 15 signatories include artist Kader Attia, the curator Omer Berrada and philosopher Achille Mbembe, highlights MoMA’s use of a pension fund, Fidelity Investments, that owns stock in private prison companies, and Fink’s company BlackRock’s investment in companies that operate private prisons.

Protests at Whitney turn to Puerto Rico | In the sixth instalment of a nine-week protest on Friday 26 April, activist coalition Decolonize This Place called for the resignation of board member Warren B. Kanders, the owner of Safariland Group, which manufactures tear gas used at the US-Mexico border. The protest condemned the use of Safariland tear gas on Puerto Rican protestors at May Day rallies last year, as well as the US government’s restructuring of Puerto Rican debt and its response to Hurricane Maria.

Kraków City Council rejects museum merge | The Kraków City Council has rejected a plan to merge Bunkier Sztuki gallery with the larger Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków (MOCAK). The plan, advanced by mayor Jacek Majchrowski, would have combined the two contemporary art spaces into one institution that would assume MOCAK’s name; opponents argued that the plan would effectively dissolve the smaller gallery. Majachrowski appointed MOCAK director Anna Maria Potocka as the director of Bunkier Sztuki this February.

Nancy Fouts (1945–2019) | The sculptor Nancy Fouts has died at the age of 74. The American-born artist was known for a wry and provocative style, drawing on a background in advertising to combine ready-mades into darkly funny works of social critique. She has exhibited at Flowers Gallery since 1970; her final show, ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’, was mounted there last year.

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