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Roberto Cicutto named president of Venice Biennale

Plus: | School of Architecture at Taliesin will close after 88 years | Philadelphia Museum of Art to open anonymous hotline for reports of sexual harassment | and Santu Mofokeng (1956–2020)

29 January 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Roberto Cicutto named president of Venice Biennale | Film producer Roberto Cicutto has been named the new president of the Venice Biennale foundation by Dario Franceschini, Italy’s culture minister. As well as overseeing the Venice Biennale, he will be in charge of the city’s festivals for film, music and theatre. Cicutto is the founder of Mikado Film and president of the Istituto Luce Cinecittà, which promotes Italian cinema. He replaces former politician Paolo Baratta, who has held the position for 12 years since 2008, and his tenure will last four years. 

School of Architecture at Taliesin will close after 88 years | The School of Architecture at Taliesin, which was launched by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1932, will close in June after it failed to reach an agreement over funding with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Students of the school traditionally split their time between Wright’s two former homes; Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin and Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona. The UNESCO world heritage sites will remain open to the public, while the school is negotiating for its 30 students to transfer to the design school at Arizona State University. 

Philadelphia Museum of Art to open anonymous hotline for reports of sexual harassment | The Philadelphia Museum of Art is opening an anonymous hotline through which its staff can anonymously report sexual harassment, following a New York Times article in which sexual misconduct allegations were made against a former middle manager Joshua R. Helmer, who had left the museum in 2018 and has subsequently stepped down from his role as director of the Erie Art Museum. The new system was decided on during a staff meeting on Monday, where plans were also made for on-site counselling and an anti-discrimination training program.

Santu Mofokeng (1956–2020) | The South African photojournalist and essayist Santu Mofokeng has died. Born in Soweto, outside Johannesburg, Mofokeng started out as a darkroom technician for local newspapers before recording anti-apartheid protest movements for the Afrapix collective during the 1980s. He has since documented black-and-white scenes that explore social marginalisation and unrest internationally, from strikes and police brutality to the everyday lives of subway workers in New York. In 2011 Mofokeng received a travelling mid-career retrospective starting at the Jeu de Paume in Paris and in 2013 he represented Germany at the Venice Biennale.

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