Afarin Sajedi Shows Powerful, Feminine Paintings in Dorothy Circus Show

Iranian artist Afarin Sajedi crafts stirring portraits of women that explore their role in society and pull in iconography and notes from global cultures. In an upcoming show at Dorothy Circus Gallery, the first solo effort in the U.K. for the artist, she offers recent paintings. The show kicks off March 8 and runs through April 6.

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Roq La Rue Group Show Asks Artists to React to ‘A Beautiful Ghost’

Travis Louie

Inspired by the John Foxx instrumental “A Beautiful Ghost,” the gallery Roq La Rue asked several artists “to do their take on the title theme.” The result is a group show currently running at the gallery through March 3, with work from Brian Despain, Rick Araluce, Nannette Cherry, Kai Carpenter, Travis Louie, Jeff Jacobson, Kate MacDowell, Peter Ferguson, and Bella Ormseth.

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Hacker Posts Information of 1M Artsy User Accounts for Sale on Dark Web

A screenshot of the Artsy homepage

On Wednesday, February 13, Artsy’s chief technology officer, Daniel Doubrovkine, sent out an email to Artsy account holders to warn them of a “data security incident that may have impacted your Artsy account data.”

They say they became aware of the breach on February 11, 2019 — the same day that technology news and opinion website The Register posted an article revealing “620 million accounts stolen from 16 hacked websites” had been posted for sale on the dark web.

The hacker is selling the information for 1,070,000 Artsy accounts, collected in April 2018, for just 0.0289 bitcoin, which is about $104. Currently, Artsy has over 1.3 million registered users.

“While the investigation is ongoing, we believe that the compromised information includes some users’ first and last names, emails, IP addresses, and password hashes,” Doubrovkine wrote in last night’s email. “Please note that Artsy does not store passwords, but only a password hash, which is a type of password protection and is considered industry best practice.”

The passwords must be “cracked” before they can be used — meaning the buyer will siphon through the easier-to-guess options.

Doubrovkine recommends all Artsy users change their password immediately. The Register suggests that this information will likely be attempted to use to hack more personal accounts, like Facebook and email accounts, suggesting affected individuals changing those passwords as well. There does not appear to be financial details in the sales listings.

Doubrovkine says, “[W]e are investigating this fully and taking steps to prevent this type of incident from happening in the future.”

Artsy has enlisted a “leading cyber forensics firm” to work alongside their engineering team to decipher the cause of the hack. They have not yet been informed of any incidents of fraud relating to the data breach, and “have no evidence that commercial or financial information was involved.”

Artsy was not able to offer additional comment at the time.

The post Hacker Posts Information of 1M Artsy User Accounts for Sale on Dark Web appeared first on Hyperallergic.

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Dawoud Bey Enters the Imaginations of Freedom Seekers

Dawoud Bey, “Untitled #12 (The Marsh)” (2017) (all images courtesy the Art Institute of Chicago unless otherwise stated)

CHICAGO — I’m able to make out a picket fence, a porch, a bramble grove, a tree with all its leaves, a river, a path. There are muted highlights, but everything is a shade of darkness. The black and white photographs I am looking at in the Art Institute of Chicago that are all created around Cleveland and Hudson, Ohio, are meant to represent the stations, the properties and areas said to have constituted stops along the Underground Railroad.  They register as the visual records of someone able to see at night with a cat’s sight. But people generally don’t. The darkness must have been darker than how it is represented here. I suppose some runaway slaves would have been lost on the way, stumbling on animals endowed with teeth and venom, claw and night sight. Still, they ran away, because the circumstance they were leaving behind was so annihilating, they welcomed the risk.

There are two basic sleights of hand underlying this series of photographs by Dawoud Bey: one, that the landscape might have appeared like this to one fleeing a former master by way of the Underground Railroad in the well of night. I think of how I negotiate my own living space in the dark trying to find my way through the kitchen to the bathroom, and though this space is my own, I still sometimes get it painfully wrong. The second trick is that these are not really images of the territory that was traversed by escaping slaves. It’s an approximation made by Bey who wants to evoke that clandestine, dangerous, almost mystical journey undertaken by US slaves who were using the hooded cape of night to steal back their selves from someone who had no right to claim ownership of that self in the first place. This is all imagined. But the act of escaping one’s enslavement is also an act of imagination — to envision what it might be like to not live in fear, to presuppose having one’s will have meaning in the world.

Dawoud Bey, “Untitled #1 (Picket Fence and Farmhouse)” (2017)

Bey’s invented images of that passage, expressed in huge, engulfing, exquisitely made black-and-white prints for the exhibition Night Coming Tenderly, Black mean to alter the ways the viewer might think about the night. Most viewers will likely know the night — how it conceals acts of appalling violence, provides a space to work out carnal desire, is the means for escape. Bey makes it apparent that the night is all these things in one: a membrane a person might run, walk, or crawl through, to get to some other side.

Dawoud Bey, “Untitled #14 (Site of John Brown’s Tannery)” (2017)

One can read this journey as a narrative. Outside the exhibition proper there is a wall with several other artists in the Art Institute’s collection that Bey has gathered to give his own work scope and context, and perhaps a sense of story. I recognize that some of these images might represent the before: images of a slave’s back, gnarled and branched with scar tissue used in the work of Carrie Mae Weems. And there are several that might constitute the after: There is a photograph of Frederick Douglass, a man who became a public intellectual and world traveler and came to exemplify the promise of all Black people who escaped bondage. There is an image by Danny Lyon of another civil rights warrior, John Lewis, kneeling and praying in protest at a segregated pool in Cairo, Illinois. It occurs to me that an image of a Black man peering out of a partially lifted up manhole cover (which has been used for the cover of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man) can signify Black people who are emancipated legally, but still marginalized socially. There is also an image of a lynched body hanging from a tree. That too, occurred with barbaric frequency after Black people won their liberation. Finally, there is an image of three figures on a bucolic road the winds into the distance through a middle-class housing subdivision, manicured and serene. That too is what Black folks have hoped for and worked toward as we pick our way through various kinds of night.

Installation view of Night Coming Tenderly, Black (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

The subtle supposition of Night Coming Tenderly is also that the night won’t go on forever, that the runaway slave will reach the dawn in a new place. Night will come to an end. Then the work of reinventing the self will begin again, having had its start in thoughts of the dawn one has to believe would come. Dawoud Bey, born David Edward Smikle, knows this intimately. What gives us a new day — if these days come at all — is the real, felt potential of finding what exists in ourselves to do and be, and having the opportunity to make that self known in the world.

Night Coming Tenderly, Black continues at the the Art Institute of Chicago (111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL) through April 14.

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