This week was the clash of the fairs, as both Art Cologne and Art Brussels opened their doors on Thursday. This is the first time since 2013 that the fairs’ dates have clashed, but Art Cologne director Daniel Hug has assured that he and the managing director of Art Brussels, Anne Vierstraete, have set up an “informal cooperation” in order to encourage fairgoers to visit both. They are the two oldest art fairs in Europe (Cologne just beating Brussels, who turns fifty this year, by two editions), and many collectors in the region would ordinarily visit both. Pointing out that it’s only an hour and a half in the car between cities, the fairs’ directors emphasize that this is still possible.
Ireland’s 38th Eva International has got off to a strong start with a procession organized by the Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment. Introduced in 1983, the amendment reads “The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.” The group of artists and writers marched through the streets of Limerick (themselves plastered with posters produced by campaign group Save the Eighth) with banners and plaques in peaceful protest. On 25 May the Irish government will hold a referendum asking voters to decide whether the wording of the amendment should be changed.
Protests have also come to the Tate Modern, as members of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain held placards outside the Picasso 1932 exhibition, drawing attention to the potential redundancies to be faced by cleaners of the investment firm Ernst & Young, who are major sponsors of the exhibition and long-term partners of the Tate. “We wanted to make people aware of how these low paid migrant workers are being treated,” the IWGB press officer told the Art Newspaper. “Cleaners provide such a vital service to our society, so we have to do what we can to ensure that their struggle is visible.”
Eyes are on the Tate in South Korea too, as yesterday it unveiled an extensive Erwin Wurm exhibition at the Hyundai Card Storage in Seoul, entitled Erwin Wurm: One Minute Forever. Promotion of the show, the latest in Tate’s collaborations with the corporate sponsor, seems to have been kept pretty much on the down low—but we do know that Wurm will be exhibiting a new blue Dumpling Car along with pieces from Tate’s collection, including his absurdist participatory One Minute Sculptures.
And for anyone wishing they’d been hanging out at New York’s Chelsea Hotel during its heyday, don’t worry, because now you can snap up part of the iconic lodgings for yourself—or, you could have done, if you were at the New York auction run by Guernsey’s last week. Fifty-two of the doors went on sale, including those that belonged to the rooms of the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jack Kerouac, Joni Mitchell, Andy Warhol and Bob Dylan, whose door sold for $100,000.