The leader of Turkmenistan builds an insane statue to himself. A cartoonist and activist is held in Iran. Plus: that strange intersection between LACMA and the Sony Wikileaks emails, the guy who shot Chris Burden in the arm, the Case Study House that may be in danger of being torn down, and the dark world of cholo Goth.
— Artist and political activist Atena Farghadani has gone on trial in Iran for drawing a cartoon criticizing a proposed law that would restrict birth control. Farghadani faces up to two years imprisonment and lashes. (She is being held at Evin Prison, the notorious Tehran detention center where cartoonist Mana Neyestani was also held — a story that the artist transformed into an excellent graphic novel.)
— A fully functioning mosque set up by Swiss artist Christoph Büchel as an art installation at the Venice Biennale has been shut down.
— In Turkmenistan: Building a cult of personality, one ridiculous sculpture at a time.
— How LACMA turned up in the Sony Wikileaks emails.
— Is UC San Diego about to lose its university art gallery?
— The story behind Bruce Dunlap, the guy who shot Chris Burden in the arm.
— Plastic: when it comes to issues of conservation, not so fantastic.
— Manhattan real estate prices are driving out longtime arts nonprofits.
— Architect Allison Killing describes our architecture of death. For anyone commissioning a new hospital, this video should be mandatory.
— Plus: Reimagining Watts.
— J. Hoberman on Batman's connection to pop art. Very interesting.
— UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center is digitizing photographs from the iconic Chicano newspaper La Raza. Can't wait to see some of these.
— "The worst thing to happen to camping since poison ivy." Christopher Solomon on how luxury camping is pushing out the poor from public parks. Plus, you're in the wilderness. Put the TV away, already.
— And last but not least, the brooding darkness of cholo Goth music and culture. (And, yes, there is black nail polish and swearing involved.)