All The News That's Fit For Art

Carlo McCormick

The art world has always had a penchant for adopting arcane media on the verge of obsolescence from popular culture. So it perhaps only makes sense that, in response to the recent rush to entomb the near-corpse of the daily newspaper, the New Museum would mount "The Last Newspaper," an ambitious exhibition on the issues that such a monumental demise represents. Of all its myriad components, most intriguing to those of us mired in this world of print is the selection of the Barcelona-based curatorial team Latitudes to produce a free newspaper on-site that will chronicle the events and ideas of the ten-week show itself.

Begun in 2005 in London, but moving soon after to Barcelona as a more affordable base for their minimally funded cultural freelancing, Latitudes is the working partnership of Mariana Cánepa Luna and Max Andrews, a couple as engaged in promoting an exchange between Spanish and international artists as they are in their own itinerant relationship to art's expanded globalism. Hardly their first trip to our shores -- Latitudes  has previously collaborated with our favorite hucksters of absurdist intervention, Bruce High Quality Foundation -- their concern with art's relationship to the broader world of social, economic, political and environmental issues has, to date, produced a dauntingly prolific body of exhibitions, symposia, public commissions, publications and other projects. Of their proposed weekly in-house 12-page newspaper for the New Museum, which will cumulatively amount to the show's publication of record, Latitudes tells us, "The question of 'How do you get your information?' hangs all over it. We have always been interested in art's role in the organization of information, images and data, and how we process and understand it. The role of the media in forming opinion and its role in a free society is formidable, though not always progressive." We'll try not to take that last bit personally and just wish them lots of luck.

★ "The Last Newspaper" is on view at the New Museum through January 9, 2011. ★

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