Ai Weiwei puts himself back in a jail cell in new Spanish show

CUENCA, Spain Artist Ai Weiwei has reproduced scenes of his incarceration for a new art installation, a series of almost life-size dioramas - encased in steel boxes - showing his life in jail.Visitors to the exhibition, in a cathedral in central Spain, have to peer through peep-holes in the stark, gray boxes to see the 3D scenes, which show Ai watched by two uniformed guards as he eats, sleeps, showers and uses the toilet in his tiny cell.Ai, one of China's most high-profile artists and political activists, was jailed for 81 days on charges of tax evasion in 2011. China confiscated his passport, only returning it in July last year.His installation, "S.A.C.R.E.D.", is a highlight of a series of events under the title "The Poetry of Freedom" taking place across Spain to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes. The Spanish writer was held as a slave in Algiers for five years in the late 16th century and spent months in jail in Spain later in life for bookkeeping discrepancies, where he is thought to have conceived the idea for his masterpiece "Don Quixote". A quote from that novel, about a middle-aged gentleman obsessed by ideals of chivalry who travels central Spain with his loyal squire Sancho Panza, adorns the wall of the Cuenca exhibition: "Freedom, Sancho, is one of the most precious gifts that heaven has ever given man." The exhibition, at the 12th century cathedral in the fortified medieval city of Cuenca, opens on July 26 and runs until Nov. 6. (Reporting by Catherine Bennett; Editing by Sonya Dowsett and Robin Pomeroy)

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Apple wins dismissal of lawsuit over MacBook logic boards

Apple Inc won the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit accusing it of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook laptop computers that contained "logic boards" it knew were defective, and which routinely failed within two years.U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said the plaintiffs, Uriel Marcus and Benedict Verceles, failed to show that Apple made "affirmative misrepresentations," despite citing online complaints and Apple marketing statements calling the laptops "state of the art" or the "most advanced" on the market."Plaintiffs have failed to allege that Apple's logic boards were unfit for their ordinary purposes or lacked a minimal level of quality," Alsup wrote. "Both plaintiffs were able to adequately use their computers for approximately 18 months and two years, respectively."Alsup gave the plaintiffs until Jan. 22 to amend their lawsuit, which sought class-action status, against the Cupertino, California-based company. Omar Rosales, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple did not immediately respond to a similar request.The plaintiffs claimed that Apple's sale of MacBooks since May 20, 2010, violated consumer protection laws in California and Texas, where the lawsuit began last May before being moved.They also contended that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was told about the defective logic boards in 2011, but did nothing. Logic boards contain computer circuitry and are sometimes known as motherboards.A separate and still pending lawsuit in California accuses Apple of defrauding consumers by selling MacBook Pro laptops in 2011 that contained defective graphic cards, causing screen distortions and system failures. MacBooks are part of Apple's Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. The company reported unit sales in that business of 18.91 million in its latest fiscal year.The case is Marcus et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 14-03824. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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Grammy-winning singer Chaka Khan enters rehab for drug abuse

LOS ANGELES Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Chaka Khan has postponed all performances for this month after checking herself into a drug addiction rehabilitation program, her representatives said in a message posted on her website.The 63-year-old vocalist has struggled with a dependence on prescription pain medications and has "voluntarily entered the program to get healthy and stay that way," the statement said, though it did not say when or where treatment began.The treatment was described only as "an addiction rehabilitation and aftercare program" that would require her to "postpone all dates scheduled for the month of July.""As part of the ongoing outpatient treatment the doctors have urged her to resume recording mid-July and commence all performances beginning August 1st and onward," according to the statement posted on Sunday. Khan, who first gained fame in the 1970s as the lead female vocalist for the funk band Rufus, launched her solo career with the 1978 smash hit "I'm Every Woman." Her 1984 chart-topping version of the song "I Feel For You," from the hit album of the same name, was written and first recorded by Prince and is widely credited as the first R&B track to feature a rap, which was performed by Grandmaster Melle Mel. Prince, a longtime friend and collaborator with Khan, died in late April from an accidental overdose of the powerful opioid painkiller fentanyl. He was 57. (Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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Giacometti art trove at center of Franco-Swiss legal tussle

ZURICH A rich trove of drawings by Alberto Giacometti and photographs of the renowned sculptor and artist has been lying in sealed storage cartons in a Swiss museum for more than two years due to a legal dispute over their rightful ownership.Swiss prosecutors said they had ordered the seizure of the collection pending a decision by a French court after the Paris-based Alberto and Annette Giacometti Foundation alleged that the works had been stolen decades ago.The Swiss-born Giacometti, who died in 1966, is one of the best-known sculptors of the 20th century. His "Pointing Man" sold last year at Christie's for $141 million, the largest sum ever for a sculpture.But the legal tussle over a relatively obscure collection of drawings and photos has played out quietly, in lawyers' offices and hushed museum corridors in what Swiss courts call a "prosecution against unknown persons" by French authorities.The Foundation in Paris, home to some 5,000 Giacometti works, the world's largest collection, has not said whom it accuses of theft. Sabine Longin, director of development at the foundation, told Reuters it would speak publicly of the issue only after the ownership battle had been resolved."They have asked us to confiscate the drawings and photographs, which we have done," said Claudio Riedi of the local prosecutors' office in the Swiss town of Chur where the museum holding the drawings and photos is located."Whether there is a separate request for them to be returned is up to the French court."The collection includes 16 Giacometti sketches and 101 photographs of him by famous photographers including Man Ray, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau covering a period from the 1920s to the 1960s. Though Swiss court documents are heavily redacted -- in no place is Giacometti ever named -- Reuters was able to reconstruct the case by speaking with people familiar with its details."GREAT ART LOVER"The collection was in Giacometti's possession when he died in Chur in 1966, but may have changed hands among family members before finding its way to an unidentified "great art lover" in Switzerland around 1998, according to the Swiss court documents.After learning of the collection in 2009, the Grisons Art Museum in Chur enlisted Remo Stoffel, a local real estate tycoon and patron, to buy it for more than $1 million. Stoffel then loaned it to the facility for 15 years.With the collection's first public exhibition in 2011, however, the foundation in Paris lodged a complaint alleging the works had been "fraudulently stolen," Swiss documents indicate.Since the Swiss police intervened in February 2014, the works have been kept in storage at the museum. A Swiss appeals court two months ago rejected a bid to at least allow the collection to be exhibited, pending a court ruling.On Monday Stoffel confirmed his role as a benefactor to the museum, but declined direct comment on the case. Museum director Stephan Kunz and his predecessor, Beat Stutzer, who organised the original deal with Stoffel that brought the collection to Chur, also declined comment, citing the legal proceedings.Art historians say the collection provides an intimate glimpse into the life of Giacometti and his contemporaries.In one 1946 photo, for instance, Bresson captures Giacometti and his wife descending a staircase to his Parisian studio. Another shows him sculpting in the Swiss village of Stampa in 1964, two years before his death from heart and lung disease.And in a sketch dashed off almost casually on a magazine page, Giacometti offers his rendition of a Picasso nude on the facing page -- art imitating art."It offers a very important documentation of the artist and his private side," said Katharina Ammann, a Swiss art expert who helped produce a catalog of the works that accompanied the 2011 exhibition. "It is also the perfect accompaniment for the few Giacometti works already part of the Grisons museum's collection." (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham dies at 87

NEW YORK Bill Cunningham, the celebrated New York Times fashion photographer known for his shots of emerging trends on the streets of New York City, died on Saturday at age of 87 after being hospitalized for a stroke.Cunningham worked for the New York Times for nearly 40 years, operating "as a dedicated chronicler of fashion and as an unlikely cultural anthropologist," the newspaper said. His photo spreads were a staple of the paper's Style section and chronicled changing fashion through his choice of themes such as swirling skirts, Birkin bags and gaudy floral prints."A lot of people complain about fashion and fast fashion. There is no fashion. That is baloney. Look at this," he said in a video for a recent spread in the paper on the use of black and white contrasts in clothing.Cunningham took pictures of celebrated New Yorkers at swank events and traveled the city by bicycle for decades, often wearing his signature blue jacket, to shoot street fashion typically using a single-lens reflex camera."He wanted to find subjects, not be the subject. He wanted to observe, rather than be observed. Asceticism was a hallmark of his brand," the newspaper said. Cunningham, who had tried his hand at hat making, was drafted by the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After he got out in 1953, he eventually found work as a fashion reporter.In the mid-1960s he acquired a small camera to help him with his work, and that started him off in fashion photography."I had just the most marvelous time with that camera. Everybody I saw I was able to record," he wrote in the Times in 2002. In 2008, the French government awarded him the Legion d’Honneur for his work. A year later, he was named a Living Landmark by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.Cunningham became known to a wider world through an acclaimed 2010 documentary chronicling his career, in which Vogue Magazine editor Anna Wintour quipped: "We all get dressed for Bill."In an obituary in Vogue, editor-at-large Hamish Bowles wrote "his scrupulous editorial standards of both content and comportment were old world." Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., publisher and chairman of the Times, said Cunningham's "company was sought after by the fashion world's rich and powerful, yet he remained one of the kindest, most gentle and humble people I have ever met."His life was one of austerity. He slept on a single size cot where he lived until 2010 in a studio above Carnegie Hall, chock full of file cabinets containing his negatives.When asked why he spent years ripping up checks for his work from magazines, he said, "Money's the cheapest thing. Liberty and freedom is the most expensive," the Times reported. (Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Mary Milliken)

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