Friday Roundup: Nightmare Land Edition

Welcome to another edition of the public art news roundup.

I’m trying to recall some positive news that came out of this week. NASA announced that it discovered 1,000 more planets, Google proposed some new emoji for gender equality… It’s hard to bring much to mind right now, though, considering Trayvon Martin’s murderer is currently back in the fucking headlines because he’s decided to auction off the gun that he used to kill a teenager. We have arrived at an ugly intersection of Things That Are Wrong With America, where racism, gun worship, capitalism, and our so-called justice system meet. I don’t find much comfort in the trolling, because I can’t see how that moves us in any particular direction. Some reporters and writers are reminding us of how this horrible incident reflects others in our country’s racist history; others are pointing to groups advocating social justice and gun sense, namely the Trayvon Martin Foundation. So those are some productive steps. In the meantime, this is another indication of what is at stake in the upcoming election, a glimpse at the very real, indefatigable violence percolating in communities across the states, which I hope inspires more people to work against it. (I’m looking at you, #Bernieorbust-ers.)


As for the week in public art:

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is officially closed for a yearlong reconstruction project.

Baltimore hosted its 18th annual Kinetic Sculpture Race, which looks like an extremely fun event.

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Photo: Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Sun

Submissions are open for Art Slope, a free outdoor festival that will be spread throughout Park Slope, Brooklyn this fall.

Hyperallergic visited the Flux Art Fair, which puts more than 40 site-specific installations on view in Harlem’s public spaces until May 31.

Canadian Art wrote about issues of empowerment and consent when a private photo archive of a marginalized community is used for public art.

Ugo Rondinone’s “Seven Magic Mountains” are up in the Las Vegas desert. The Las Vegas Review Journal has a bunch of pictures from the unveiling.

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“Seven Magic Mountains,” Ugo Rondinone. Photo: Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Artist Alex Face will remove a painting that locals said doesn’t belong on a historic building – “It’s like forcing a 100-year-old person to get a tattoo” – but wonders why this wasn’t discussed before he started work.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, locals were outraged that a mural was removed by a building’s new owner.

Not entirely unrelated: Consumerist explored why we consider old billboards treasures and new billboards eyesores.

A 24,000-pound sculpture in Kansas City, Mo. was de-installed by helicopters for repairs after it was struck by lightning.

The New York Times found the artist behind that Trump gravestone that appeared in Central Park over the summer, and so did the police. Brian Andrew Whiteley said the whole ordeal has been “like nightmare land” to pull off.

Featured Image: Anne Reiss. Source: Gothamist.