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Culture Canvas

A roundup of the week’s arts and culture headlines.

Click photo to enlarge. Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

“Rhein II,” above, a 1999 photograph of the Rhine river by German artist Andreas Gursky sold for $4.3 million in New York City last week, setting a record for any photograph sold at auction. The buyer was not disclosed. The previous record for any photography sold at auction was Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled,” which fetched $3.8 million in May.

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The Walker Art Center acquired costumes, set pieces and backdrops from the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Cunningham famously collaborated with a host of celebrated visual artists, via Artnews

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Choreographer Yvonne Ranier wrote a letter to LA MOCA denouncing Marina Abramovic‘s most recent performance piece at its opening gala for labor abuses. In the piece, performers sit underneath Lazy Susans, heads exposed, and make eye contact with patrons who are eating. Allegedly, performers were told that they would be unable to leave, to resist attempts by diners to feed them and that they had to remain silent throughout the evening. Some of the heads spoke up to the Los Angeles Times about the experience.

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Record company EMI is selling its music unit to Universal, via the BBC.

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The Boston Phoenix reported on micro-funding organizations supporting local arts.

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The Dallas Symphony is dropping five concerts next season to save money, via The New York Times.

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Washington’s Arena Stage is cancelling a production as the result of cuts in federal funding for the arts. That decline in funding is due to reduction in funding for the The National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs program by about seventy percent. Arena is dropping a second production because of creative difficulties, via the Washington City Paper.

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A Saudi artist is at the center of an online campaign in his home country after he showed work at an Israeli art museum, via the Art Newspaper.

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Celebrated author Ann Patchett is opening a book store in her hometown of Nashville, Tenn. She tells the New York Times: “I have no interest in retail; I have no interest in opening a bookstore. But I also have no interest in living in a city without a bookstore.”

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Pablo Dittborn, editor-in-chief of Random House Chile, discusses the lack of transcontinental publishing within Latin America at Publishing Perspectives.

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Barbara Greier, who co-founded the influential Naiad Press, died of lung cancer at 78, via the Los Angeles Times. The Naiad Press was one of the first publishing houses to print work by and about lesbians.

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Dancer and choreographer Donya Feuer, who collaborated with filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, died at the age of 77. Feuer’s work reached across multiple mediums. She directed this performance in 2000:

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Abstract expressionist painter Pat Passlof died at the age of 83.

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