weekend links: Nobel Prize in Lit, Guggenheim protests, alt-right double agents

Huang Yong Ping,  Theater of the World  (1993).  Image courtesy Huang Yong Ping/Guggenheim Abu Dhabi /The New York Times.

Huang Yong Ping, Theater of the World (1993). Image courtesy Huang Yong Ping/Guggenheim Abu Dhabi/The New York Times.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to British author Kazuo Ishiguro, who, “in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.” The prize took Ishiguro by surprise, and the author says he feels inadequate receiving it before other great living authors like Murakami, McCarthy, Atwood, and Rushdie. Humility is always a winning trait in our book. [The Guardian]

Animal-rights supporters have successfully convinced the Guggenheim to remove three installations from its highly anticipated show Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World. The pieces, including a video of pit bulls positioned close enough to attack but harnessed in such a way as to never make contact with each other, came under fire from protesters and online petitions who claimed that the museum was sanctioning animal abuse. The controversy has pushed audiences to once again consider whether and how potentially offensive art should be displayed. [The New York Times]

Dia:Beacon's new exhibit featuring posthumous work by land artist Walter De Maria bridges the artist's natural and industrial inspirations. "Truck Trilogy" features three Chevy pickups with steel rods in their beds, each with a different shape. De Maria's work can baffle the uninitiated, and Yelp reviews to it shed light on what viewers expect from space that is designated as art, even when that space may just be a room full of dirt, steel poles, or a trio of trucks. [Hyperallergic]

We're delighted to discover this interview with emerging Chicago poet and sociologist Eve L. Ewing, who just released her debut collection of poetry, Electric Arches, through Haymarket Books. Electric Arches tackles subjects like violence in Chicago, gentrification, and trauma, while also imagining new narratives around Afrofuturist themes. Look to this space for a review of her book in the near future. [Pacific Standard]

Anthony Fantano, the self-proclaimed “Internet's Busiest Music Nerd,” has been identified as a moonlight alt-right edgelord. In recent years, Fantano's monetized vlog The Needle Drop has made its mark on the world of music criticism with a subscriber base of 1.1 million. At the same time, Fantano's less popular and recently deleted vlog, thatistheplan, pandered to alt-right meme communities on Youtube, cementing his place in a depressingly long list of alt-right double agents. [FADER]

Seattle’s newest art gallery, Party Hat, sets out to be funny and accessible enough to change the world. Although founders Adj McColl and Mary Anne Carter believe in accurate representations of the world and its atrocities, they also believe that there needs to be a space of respite and humor, where actual dialogue between the highly bifurcated poles of the left and right can take place. "Humor is a digestif for the left and an aperitif for the right," Carter explains. "It reduces your inhibitions and increases your capacity to listen." [The Stranger]

The Texas Biennial went up last week here in Austin, celebrating work from artists all across the Lone Star State and, notably, some neighboring Mexican communities. Curator Leslie Moody Castro discusses her long drives and all the artwork she had to think about in this interview. If you haven't yet seen the exhibit, you can view it at 211 E. Alpine through November 11. [Austin Chronicle]

—I. Feigle and Sean Redmond

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