Ancient cave murals in India getting some needed cleanings, the architecture of America in a time of strife, a video game inspired by Gaza, dating advice from Ovid and L.A., L.A., L.A. — it seems everyone wants a piece of us. This, along with a ginormous comet and a Marina Abramovic pug. Yes, it’s Round-Up time:
— Let’s begin with the ancient: the cave paintings at Ajanta, in India, some of which date to the 1st or 2nd century BC. The caves have received some much-needed TLC to undo conservation work from the early 20th century that left the murals buried under a layer of shellac. (h/t Weisslink)
— Now, onto the hard news: A new video game is based on actual tweets from Gaza. Unfortunately, it’s not everything it’s cracked up to be, writes Chris Priestman in Kill Screen.
— Critic Christopher Hawthorne analyzes the architecture of Ferguson: a prototypical suburban American commercial strip that has become a stage for dissent and a militarized show of force.
— Moving onto the issue of race: We are still talking about Donelle Woolford, the fictitious African American artist conceived by white artist Joe Scanlan. There are fresh essays on the topic by Jennifer Krasinski and Lauren O’Neill-Butler in Dis Magazine, and Shelly Bancroft and Peter Nesbett on the Walker Museum’s Untitled blog. Bancroft and Nesbett once created a fictional African American artist called Lester Hayes. (I had my own take on this whole mess back in June.)
— Everyone hearts L.A. The New York Times gathers a checklist of artists who have moved to L.A., because L.A., it’s like, the thing. And Artnet writes about L.A. being hot, hot, hot. But let’s not let this go to our heads, people. The traffic sucks hard and a turkey sandwich and a drink at Grand Central Market will run you well into the double digits.
— Sort of related: L.A.’s Bettina Korek, the founder of ForYourArt on Wilshire Boulevard, gets the Wall Street Journal treatment.
— And because you can never have too many links about art and L.A.: It appears the art industry is throwing its weight behind Bobby Shriver to replace Zev Yaroslavsky as L.A. county supervisor, complete with a party thrown by shiny-object-mogul Larry Gagosian. Mayor Eric Garcetti, however, has endorsed competitor John Duran, who serves on the West Hollywood council.
— Architecture that inspires hickeys: Does the escalator design at the rising Broad Museum (by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro) remind anyone of entering Disneyland’s old make-out ride, Adventure Thru Inner Space?
— And since we’re on to the topic of design: KCRW rounds up six very interesting SoCal schools.
— Plus, ArchDaily has a worthwhile list of the 10 most overlooked female architects. Enlightening reading.
— Stuff I’m totally excited about: choreographer Yvonne Rainer is going to present a new dance piece at the Getty Center in October. Mark your calendars, El Lay. This should be good.
— Art writer John Yau explores our “culture of hyperbole” and the very mainstream worlds of Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol. (The phrase, incidentally, was inspired by L.A. Times film critic Kenneth Turan.)
— “Spirituality Lite.” Cassie Packard has a good take on Marina Abramovic’s latest at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Naturally, this presents a fine opportunity to tout the wonder that is the Marina Abramopug.
— As part of its “Artists on Art” series on the blog of the Museum of Contemporary Art, artist Micol Hebron (whose gender inequity project tracks the lack of women in the gallery system) discusses a very interesting sculpture by Hannah Wilke.
— Meanwhile, on the teen girl front: New York Magazine has a terrific piece about gURL, a pioneer of teen pop feminism online.
— Not related in the least: “The theater is a great place to pick up girls,” and other bits of dating advice from Ovid’s “Ars Amatoria.”
— There is an art heist comedy on the horizon and it stars Johnny Depp. BRING. IT.
— Waaaaaay bigger than Michael Heizer’s pebble at the L.A. County Museum: Twitter user @quark1972 superimposed the 7P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet onto the L.A. skyline for scale and it looks totally Armageddon.
— And because it’s been a lousy news week, we need a little beauty: tweets from space.