Monday, 20 July 2020

Reading list, 19 July 2020

If you click one link, make it this: Statistics New Zealand is consulting on proposed changes to the statistical standard for sex and the statistical standard for gender identity. There is a lot of information there but the survey itself provides enough context with each question for you to choose your responses. Responses close on 13 August. 

A fascinating and deeply sad tweet thread by art crime professor Erin L Thompson, about the Ahnighito Meteorite, in the American Museum of Natural History, exported from Greenland by a white explorer, Robert Peary, and accompanied with 6 Inughuit, including a 7 year-old named Minik and his widowed father.

Curator and art historian Dr Kelli Morgan has recently resigned from Newfields (the Indianapolis Museum of Art that was), describing the workplace as toxic and failing people of colour: late last month she published an essay, To Bear Witness: Real Talk about White Supremacy in Art Museums Today. The essay - though not targeted at Newfields - sits alongside this article by Aaron Green for Artnet, ‘We Were Tired of Asking’: Why Open Letters Have Become Many Activists’ Tool of Choice for Exposing Racism at Museums.

To listen - Alice Procter on RNZ with Kim Hill, talking about colonial looting and problematic museum collections, off the back of her recent book The Whole Picture: the colonial story of the art in our museums and why we need to talk about it.

As the statue debates play out throughout colonised countries what happened in Bristol over the last few weeks really made me think: The day Bristol dumped its hated slave trader in the docks and a nation began to search its soul (when the statue of Edward Colston was toppled); 'Hope flows through this statue': Marc Quinn on replacing Colston with Jen Reid, a Black Lives Matter protester (Quinn whips up and guerilla installs a replacement statue); Black Lives Matter sculpture of Jen Reid removed from Colston plinth (the mayor sends the sculpture to a museum).

On the monuments debate - The Art Newspaper has started pulling together decades of commentary on public sculpture.

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