Sally Tallant, head of the Liverpool Biennale in England, was appointed the new director of the Queens Museum in New York. Tallant will succeed Laura Raicovich – who left office in January after disagreements with the museum board – next spring. During his three-year tenure, Raicovich had been outspoken about his political views and came into shock with the council during an event the institution held that was sponsored by the Israeli government. His departure sparked a debate about the role and responsibilities of museums today.
As director of the Liverpool Biennale, Tallant faced difficulties earlier this year when one of the works of art included in his latest edition, which ended Oct. 28, was repeatedly targeted by vandals. The list, a huge installation of the Turkish artist Banu Cennetoğlu with the names of 34,361 refugees, migrants and asylum seekers who died when they tried to reach Europe since 2013, was demolished and disfigured on several occasions, prompting the mayor to denounce "Bandits fascists" behind the attacks. Prior to joining the biennale, Tallant served as program manager at the Serpentine Gallery in London from 2001 to 2011. She is also a board member of the International Biennial Association and a member of the London Regional Council of the Arts Council England.
"His unique combination of local and global experience in the world of the arts made it the superlative choice to lead the Queens Museum, and to serve distinctly the county's international electorate," Mark J. Coleman, chairman of the museum council, said in a statement.
Commenting on his new post, Tallant said, "Amidst the hardships and stress points we see in the world today, institutions like the Queens Museum are fundamental in terms of creating cultural spaces for people to get involved with the urgent issues of our time".