Roundup: Palmyra ruins still stand, Instagram appropriations, destroying L.A.

Roundup: Palmyra ruins still stand, Instagram appropriations, destroying L.A.
An image made available by Jihadist media outlet Welayat Homs last week allegedly showstheflag of the Islamic State fluttering atop the wall that encirclesthe Roman theaterof the ancient city of Palmyra. (AFP/Getty Images)

It appears that Palmyra's resplendent ancient structures are safe (for now). Also in the mix: The controversy regarding an artist's appropriations from Instagram, a report on how women remain underrepresented in the visual arts plus the Cuban agency that regulates rap, why Daniel Clowes likes the TV show "Silicon Valley" and the destruction of L.A. in film. Here's the Roundup:

— An ISIS commander has reportedly stated that the militia will not bulldoze the ancient ruins of Palmyra. But that doesn't mean that they won't destroy statues they consider heretical.


— Richard Prince's Instagram paintings (inkjet appropriations of Instagram photos) have been generating plenty of ink with their high-priced appearance at the Frieze Art Fair. Now his appropriated paintings have been reappropriated by some of the original Instagram users.

"I am absolutely not against all appropriation. I'm just against dumb art." Blogger and critic Paddy Johnson talks Richard Prince. Co-sign.

— Two weeks ago, authorities shut down a work of art by Swiss artist Christoph Büchel that transformed an old church into a mosque as part of the Venice Biennale. Critic Andrew Russeth says the art world should rally to the artist's defense.

— Art and culture in the service of money and power: critic Nicholas McGeehan looks at how some American cultural organizations (the Guggenheim Museum and New York University) have chosen to look the other way when it comes to repressive labor and political practices at their rising Abu Dhabi outposts.

— The book "Sculptures of Jeddah" by Ahmed Mater chronicles the sublime and weird sculptures installed in the Saudi city in the 1970s. Jonathan Jones of the Guardian has a story and a photo essay.

— From the Annals of Performance Art and Celebritydom: Shia LaBeouf is collaborating with students at Central Saint Martins in London on a series of video pieces.

— In a personable Q&A with the Guardian, comics master Daniel Clowes talks "Ghost World," "Eight Ball" and why he likes watching Mike Judge's tech spoof "Silicon Valley."

— The numbers may be improving, but women have yet to attain parity in the art world. Maura Reilly crunches the numbers and looks at the place of women in art in an extensive report in ARTnews.

— In conjunction with the ARTnews piece, a number of prominent women artists have written about their experiences in the art world: among them, Carrie Mae Weems, Carolee Schneeman, Cindy Sherman, Coco Fusco and Eleanor Antin.

— Sort of related: a terrific essay by Anwen Crawford on why rock needs more female critics.

— A fascinating story in Roads & Kingdom's about Cuba's Agency of Rap — the government entity that regulates hip-hop.

High-rent blight: Tim Wu looks at city blocks full of shuttered storefronts from landlords'  speculating for sky-high rents from national chains — a phenomenon that may point to a tipping point in which high property values may begin to destroy the economics of a neighborhood. (Gizmodo)

— Though there is some hope for Manhattan: Jasper Johns has launched a space in downtown geared at showing artist-curated exhibitions.

— Downtown L.A.'s Last Bookstore now has an art and rare book annex. Very excited about this!


— Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne visited the new Frank Gehry-designed Facebook HQ in Silicon Valley and his review is pretty delicious: "America's first trophy building in which the trophy is designed to arrive pre-scuffed, with the smudges and nicks carefully built in."

— Plus, a pretty terrific essay in Grantland about the destruction of L.A. in film. (The Atlantic)

— And, in Slate, critic Nate Chinen parses the ways in which Hawaiian history, ethnicity and culture are framed in Cameron Crowe's "Aloha." A very good read.


— Your moment of trippy, illustrator-drawn video: "When I Was Done Dying," with music by Dan Deacon. (Art F City)

Find me on Twitter @cmonstah