International News Digest

DECEMBER 14

According to Le Monde, the sixth edition of Monumenta will take place in 2014 in the Grand Palais from May 5 to June 22. The news comes after reports earlier this year that the next iteration of Monumenta would be canceled due to budget cuts. The 2014 edition of Monumenta—curated by Jean-Hubert Martin, who is responsible for the current Dali retrospective at the Centre Pompidou—will feature the Russian duo Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, who are reportedly constructing an immersive gorod, or city.

In Norway, many have been taken aback by the culture ministry’s recent treatment of the Office of Contemporary Art in Oslo. Jacquelyn Davis reported in Kunstkritikk that the new minister of culture, Hadia Tajik, unveiled a 2013 budget that rejected OCA’s request for around half a million dollars to present Edvard Munch alongside relevant contemporary artists at the upcoming Venice Biennale. Tajik insisted that the OCA would have to come up with its own funding to move forward with its biennale plans. For years, OCA has warned that its means are insufficient to cover actual expenses, and has appealed for earmarked funding towards biennial participation. Now, in a new development, the culture ministry’s undersecretary, Kjersti Stenseng, has decided to sack OCA’s entire board for financial mismanagement, telling Aftenposten, “Confidence is now so poor that we feel that cooperation has become very difficult in this climate.” Stenseng added, “The board is up for election in February and we have announced that we want a new board.” Critic Jonas Ekeberg took the culture ministry to task, saying, “The ministry should not be blinded by partly petty criticism [of OCA] from a limited part of the art world. Instead, one should look . . . at what an amazing job OCA does for Norwegian art, as well as at the enormous importance of the Venice Biennale.” Some have accused the office of elitism. Others point out that the power struggle is due in part to the fact that the ministry is not familiar with the increased costs in Venice and does not understand the significance of the biennial.

The pages of Liberation contained an odd revelation about Salvador Dalí: He had once swindled Yoko Ono. Amanda Lear, Dalí’s muse, disclosed that the artist had said that Ono had purchased a piece of Dalí’s moustache hair for $10,000. He, however, had suspicions that she was a witch, and sent her hair that wasn’t his. Lear—who met the artist in 1965 when she was eighteen and he was sixty-one—said, “Dali loved defrauding people.”