Suggested Reading: Venice Vacation Edition

– Chris Burden was one of the most extreme artists.  The use of his body under extreme circumstances as the medium for a majority of his work is largely unparallelled. He’s been shot, stapled to a Volkswagen Beetle, lived inside a school locker for five days, and much more. He passed away on May 10th, 2015 at the age of 69. RIP Chris. via LA Times

– There are some waves being made on the Adriatic Sea. A group of activists from the Ukraine have occupied the Russian pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale. The collective calls itself On Vacation. Sounds like the perfect mix of work and fun, and proof that social practice never takes a vacation. via artnet

– On a related note, the Biennale’s main exhibition has been critiqued by some as being “too political.” Critic Benjamin Genocchio writes that curator Okwui Enwezor has organized “what can only be described as the most morose, joyless, and ugly biennale in living memory; a show that, in the name of global action and social change, beats the visitor up with political theory rather than giving us the pleasures and stimulation of great art. His vision of the world is bleak, angry, and depressing.” I won’t be making it to Venice unfortunately, so I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts about whether you believe that the exhibition’s overall message has been achieved, or whether it comes off gimmicky and kitschy. Feel free to comment below! via artnet

– Russian artist Artyom Loskutov was released from custody yesterday. Loskutov was declared a “prisoner of conscience” by Amnesty International after his arrest on May 1st in Novosibirsk, Russia’s third most-populous city, was released yesterday on Sunday. His arrest was due to his Monstration, which is an absurdist parade that is intended counteract Russia’s official May Day celebrations. via The Art Newspaper

– The Neo-Expressionist painter, Jean-Michel Basquiat, is the subject of two concurrent exhibitions (Brooklyn Museum, and Art Gallery of Ontario). Read about each one in Erica Caldwell’s piece “Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Immortal Black Life.” via Hyperallergic

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