On June 27, when writer Dennis Cooper tried to access his blog—hosted by Blogger since 2002—he discovered that Google had deleted his fourteen-year project along with his Gmail account. Since then, readers have been greeted with a message simply stating, “Sorry, the blog at denniscooper-theweaklings.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.”
Cooper is not certain whether Google merely disabled the blog or completely erased it. The latter would mean he has lost years of artistic output that included writings, research, and photographs, as well as a platform through which he engaged almost daily with a community of followers and fellow artists. The blog also featured Cooper’s storytelling through GIFs, which inspired his recent GIF novel, Zac’s Haunted House (Kiddiepunk, 2015), reviewed by Paige K. Bradley forbookforum.com, and the 2016 short-story collection Zac’s Control Panel. He told Lauren Cavalli of artforum.com that his latest GIF novel, which is supposed to be published this fall, was stored on the blog. “Of all the things about this that concern and worry me, losing that novel is my greatest fear,” he said.
Cooper tried reaching out to the technology giant via phone and numerous emails, but has only received a generic statement about a “violation of the terms of service agreement”; he has not been offered any precise explanation. “There seems to be some major stonewalling coming from somewhere, but I don’t know where or why,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
The Los Angeles branch of Martos Gallery will change into a second location of dealer Jose Martos’s project space Shoot the Lobster, according to Nate Freeman at Artnews. Shoot the Lobster started at Martos’s former space on West 29th Street in Chelsea before moving to its own on Eldridge Street, where it remains today. The space is overseen by Martos Gallery director Ebony L. Haynes, along with artist Quintessa Matranga.
The first exhibition at Shoot the Lobster LA opened on September 22, featuring a coven of witches and magicians known as the Astral Oracles.
US photographer Jock Sturges’s exhibition titled “Absence of Shame,” which opened at Moscow’s Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography on September 8, has closed due to a public outcry over images of naked children,The Moscow Times reports.
Among the forty works on display are photographs of adolescents and their families living in nudist colonies in America. In a press release for the show, Sturges said, “Nudity means nothing to anybody here…People are naked…because they are naturists and spend their summers in a resort dedicated to the absence of shame.” In an interview with Russia’s Ren TV, he said, “Galleries and museums across the world haven’t seen these photos as pornography. It simply isn’t the case.”
Members of the nationalist group Officers of Russia, who are calling the exhibition child pornography, blocked the entrance to the venue on Sunday. A Russian children’s rights organisation also spoke out against the show. One activist, a man pretending to be a journalist, entered the centre and threw a bottle filled with urine mixed with acetone at the works. He was arrested and charged with hooliganism.
Curator Natalia Litvinskaya said that the decision to end the show had “nothing to do with paedophilia.” It was cancelled because of “threats from absolutely delusional people.” She added that there were no demands from the police or the authorities to close the exhibition despite Federation Council member Yelena Mizulina’s demands that the prosecutor-general investigate the exhibition and its organisers.
Sturges’s photographs have also elicited strong reactions in the United States. In 1990, the FBI raided his San Francisco studio and confiscated cameras, equipment, and works, but he was not charged.