Chris Ofili Honors a Young Grenfell Tower Victim, and Other News

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“Requiem” (2023) by Chris Ofili at Tate Britain. Photography by Thierry Bal, courtesy of the artist

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At Tate London, Chris Ofili Honors a Young Grenfell Tower Victim

The Turner Prize–winning artist Chris Ofili only met Khadija Saye once—they chatted quickly at a vernissage in Venice, where the young Saye was showcasing photographic self-portraits with other artists as part of the Biennale’s Diaspora Pavilion. One month later, she died along with 71 other victims in the fire at Grenfell Tower, the London apartment building where she lived on the 20th floor with her mother. A memorial to her now forms the centerpiece of Ofili’s latest artwork, Requiem, a monumental and gripping new mural that unfolds in three chapters across a staircase at Tate Britain, where it will be on display for the next ten years.

One chapter depicts a prophet cradling the burning tower; another shows Saye holding an andichurai, or Gambian incense pot, to her ear, an image taken from one of her self-portraits shown in Venice and currently on view at Tate Modern. “Public art can hold spaces of grief and it can keep alive collective memories of events that might otherwise completely just fade away in time,” Ofili says in an accompanying audio piece. “I intend the mural to invite reflection on loss, spirituality, and transformation; particularly these elements are important to me today in 2023 as we’re waiting for the final report on the Grenfell inquiry to be published.” —Ryan Waddoups

The fabrication facilities at Azulik City of Arts. Image courtesy of Azulik City of Arts

Tulum’s Sfer Ik is launching a $100,000 award to help support an AI-based art project.

Sfer Ik, Azulik resort’s visual arts branch in Mexico, has opened a call for artists to submit AI-based art projects until November 17. The winner, who will be selected by an international jury led by Sfer Ik’s creative director Marcello Dantas, will receive $100,000 along with a two-month residency at Sfer Ik’s Tulum facility, which offers a range of equipment from 3D printers to traditional glass and ceramics tools. The open call is broad in scope, encouraging artists to incorporate AI in ways that align with themes like environmental engagement and interspecies connection. Two runner-ups will also be considered for residencies. The winning proposal will be announced during Miami Art Week in December. 

TikTok’s new Shop marketplace is sparking concerns about counterfeits and privacy.

TikTok’s new Shop marketplace has gone live for some U.S. users, featuring a variety of products, many of which are shipped from China. The platform aims to compete directly with Amazon, targeting $20 billion in sales this year. The early version, however, lacks TikTok’s signature personalized algorithm and faces similar challenges to Amazon, such as overwhelming product choices and potential counterfeit sales. The marketplace also raises data privacy concerns, as TikTok processes payments through its app, collecting additional user information. This could lead to increased regulatory scrutiny, especially given ongoing concerns about TikTok’s Chinese ownership and its implications for user data security.

The Pei Dormitories and Palm Court at the New College of Florida. Image courtesy of New College Foundation

Three finalists are chosen to redesign I.M. Pei’s dormitories at New College of Florida.

The New College of Florida, in collaboration with Architecture Sarasota, has named three architecture firms as finalists in a competition to redesign I.M. Pei’s early-1960s dormitory complex on the Sarasota campus. The finalists are Brooks+Scarpa, STUDIOS Architecture, and Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors. Each will receive a $10,000 honorarium and their design proposals will be publicly exhibited in Sarasota until November 15; a winner will be announced on November 17. The competition is part of a larger initiative that also includes a contest for the city’s new Performing Arts Center.

Frida Escobedo has been named this year’s recipient of the Le Prix Charlotte Perriand.

Frida Escobedo has won the 2024 Le Prix Charlotte Perriand, awarded by the Créateurs Design Association & Awards. The award recognizes her innovative contributions to architecture, including being the youngest Serpentine Pavilion architect and her work on various key projects like public galleries and low-cost housing. Escobedo will receive the award at a ceremony in Paris on January 20. The award, which has previously gone to Jeanne Gang, marks the first time Charlotte Perriand’s family has allowed her name to be used for an award since her death in 1999.

After giving an AI-based artwork an award, the Colorado State Fair revises its rules.

The Colorado State Fair has revised its digital arts competition rules to require artists to disclose if they used artificial intelligence in creating their submissions. This change came after last year’s winner, game designer Jason Allen, used an AI program called Midjourney to create his winning piece, sparking controversy. Allen, who feels the new rule discriminates against AI art, didn’t place in the top three this year but did win a sponsored award. The fair received 55 submissions in the digital arts category, 19 of which were AI-generated, but most didn’t win top prizes. Fair officials are considering future adaptations, including potentially adding a separate AI art category, to keep pace with technological advancements in art.

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