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:
— "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.
— 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.
— 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.
— 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."
— Visualizing the age of buildings in Los Angeles.
— 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.