Week of October 16-22, 2000
9. Visual Arts
1. SPECIAL INTEREST
- WHO OWNS YOUR WORK? "The press would have you believe
that the worst copyright infringement occurring on the Internet
is by lone hackers sitting at their computers. However, corporate
owned and controlled newspapers and television news organizations
are hardly disinterested parties in this story. It may turn
out that individual writers (which, potentially, could be
anybody) have more to fear from people in suits trailing phalanxes
AMONG MANY: The English language has spread so far around
the world that many expect it to be the dominant language
of the future, the international language. But will it be?
It's not at all certain - just as one example, "people
who expect English to triumph over all other languages are
sometimes surprised to learn that the world today holds three
times as many native speakers of Chinese as native speakers
Most of Auckland's ballet teachers met at an emergency
meeting to discuss the survey, which attracted wide
media attention this week.
New Zealand's ballet world is "up in arms over the
survey, which was initially based on 40 students' experiences."
"It is disconcerting to realise that there are obvious
parallels to be seen between the 19th-century model of
a perfect female and the 21st-century model of a desirable
Where are the artists leaving San Francisco going?
HAVES GET HAVIER:
While leading-edge ensembles and artists struggle to keep
their heads above water financially, the good times -
and the bucks - are rolling at the city's major arts organizations.
Other cities - such as Chicago and Seattle - in the midst
of economic good times are having the same problems with
high rents displacing artists.
arts minister asks artists to "balance artistic integrity
with social responsibility.
INFLUENCE: Even critics of the way Anthony Dowell has
run London's Royal Ballet, have to admit that his infusion
of startlingly good foreign dancers has hade the company richer.
JOSE BALLET DEBUTS: "This may be the artistic organization
that finally mobilizes the elusive community spirit in dot-com
land, the one that channels all that newly acquired wealth
into a legacy for the future. The South Bay will have a fully
professional company to call its own. And, in an era when
anybody with big bucks, a ballerina chum and a serious case
of artistic amnesia can found a suburban vanity troupe, the
work of Ballet San Jose's executive director Andrew Bales
and his staff deserves a fanfare or two."
LEFT BEHIND: Now that Cleveland San Jose Ballet has
folded its tent in Cleveland and reinvented itself in
San Jose, what's next for dance in Cleveland?
AWAY: Six more dancers are leaving the Australian National
Ballet. "The Australian Ballet is approaching the end
of the year with the resignation or retirement of 20 per cent
of the dancers in its ranks."
LONG TIL ALL FILMS ARE "G"? Are movie studios
going to continue making as many adult-oriented pictures if
they can no longer market them as widely, given the restrictions
imposed by the latest political controversy over ratings?
Anyone who says that it won't (affect what gets a green light)
is being disingenuous."
Oldman's latest film: a "Goebbels-like piece of propaganda"?
OVER SLUR AGAINST BARENBOIM: Daniel Barenboim has been
feuding with the Berlin government over funds for the Staatsoper,
which he runs, and over plans to merge the opera company with
the less prestigious Deutsche Oper, run by the rising 41-year-old
star of German music, Christian Thielemann. "Enter Klaus
Landowsky, a leading Berlin politician from the Christian
Democratic party, to sum up the situation in these terms to
the Berliner Morgenpost: 'On the one hand, you have the young
von Karajan in Thielemann, on the other you have the Jew Barenboim'."(one-time
registration required for entry)
FLATTERY GETS YOU NOWHERE:
A regularly outspoken critic of the Royal Opera House's former
management, Raymond Gubbay has applied to run the institution
after Michael Kaiser's departure. In his application Gubbay
called the Opera House "the preserve of the rich, the
influential and those concerned with corporate entertainment."
CAN FIX THIS:
Gubbay "calls for a higher status for the Executive
Director which would put him or her above the Music Director
and the Artistic Director of the Royal Ballet. He also
wants more performances, longer production runs and cheaper
AARON: On the 100th anniversary of Aaron Copland's birth,
the man and his music are being reconsidered. "Copland's
avuncular image as a doyen of American music is avowed by
the voluminous testimony of all who knew him as to his generosity,
kindly nature and wry sense of humour. However, this image
implies a certain blandness which characterised neither his
life nor his music."
FUGUE: JS Bach had 20 children, and it's natural to ask
how he managed to find time to fit composing in amongst his
parenting duties? "For him, children were not an unwelcome
distraction from other responsibilities. On the contrary,
his role as a parent was a central part of his life and was
intimately entwined in his aesthetic outlook. Indeed, understanding
Bach's attitude towards parenting can in turn help us understand
his musical attitudes in general."
DEATH: How did Beethoven die so young (he was 56)? Why
did he go deaf? New analysis of hair trimmed from his head
moments after his death may reveal the reasons...or so claims
a newly published book released this week.
Bach: the late organist
Fox and his quest to bring organ music to the masses ~ Vienna's
new interactive music museum: the classical past meets the
techno-modern future ~ Will the Canadian
Opera Company's anonymous benefactor come through with a
$20 million gift? ~ The new "Tristan"
at Covent Garden: ugly, off-pitch, misguided and uninspired
~ A roundup of for
this season from around the countryAll-female
string quartet Bond
banned from the classical music record charts in Britain and
SO WILDE ABOUT OSCAR? London's Barbican is devoting an
exhibition to Oscar Wilde. But at least one critic isn't happy
about it: "In fact he was a second-rate poseur and plagiarist,
and his influence on the visual arts in this country was almost
wholly destructive. His apologists call him a populariser,
but forget to mention the devastating effect that his popularising
had on the course of British art."
Telegraph (London) 10/18/00
RED PERIOD: Pablo Picasso was famously a member of the
Communist Party, which considered him one of its most important
members. He got a lot of attention for his political views
(and a thick FBI file). But then came that portrait of Stalin,
Guardian (London) 10/21/00
and movie critic Vincent
Canby dies of cancer at the age of 76 ~ Merce
Cunningham wins the $250,000 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize
for choreographers ~ New photography exhibition portrays Samuel
Beckett in vivid color ~ Bass-baritone Bryn
Terfel cancels next four months of performances to be with
his wife for the birth of their third child.
LONG WAY TO MAINSTREAM:
The e-book publishing community thought it was finally going
to receive some overdue recognition at the first annual International
eBooks Awards ceremony last week in Frankfurt. That is, until
the list of finalists was announced. "Almost all of the
books on the shortlist were by acclaimed print authors from
big publishing houses The controversy highlights some pressing
issues for e-publishing - Will e-books offer a way for writers
who've been snubbed by the big houses to find success marketing
their books directly to readers? Or will e-publishing simply
present the same books and authors currently found in bookstores,
only in a different, less tangible form?" Salon
MORE THINGS CHANGE...
E-books are poised to transform the infrastructures and revenue
structures of the publishing industry, but can the developments
really be called a "revolution?" "These new
technologies will alter the way books are transmitted, but
the author's task will remain essentially the same as when
Homer sang the Odyssey and Dickens presented his novels, chapter
by chapter, before enchanted listeners."
New York Review of Books 11/02/00
BOOKER JUDGES: "One of the complaints often levelled
against Britain's premier literary prize is that it functions
as a kind of club, nominating a certain kind of 'literary
fiction' chosen from a limited pool of potential 'Booker'
writers. Deliberately or not, this millennial short list has
turned its back on a number of established writers, any one
of whom might, in another year, deserve a place on some other
ideal Booker shortlist.
Mail & Guardian (South Africa) 10/18/00
has gone to hell (clue: corporate domination).
New York Times 10/19/00
registration required for access)
When asked if there is a crisis in black theatre in Britain,
Nicolas Kent, director of north London's Tricycle Theatre,
has more than a little to say. "I could go on and on
listing the problems. The fact that there is no theatre building
run by a black or Asian director, that there is no black children's
company and that theatre staffs and boards are overwhelmingly
white." And what about so-called "color-blind casting?"
"We don't just need to be told that the RSC is to have
a black Henry VI. What we need is enough money to support
black companies to do black-generated work."
Guardian (London) 10/18/00
executives learn management lessons from
plays ~ Why the board of New York's Public Theater/New York
Shakespeare Festival has backed director George
on another risky Broadway venture ~ Changing Ireland: big themes
encompass this year's Dublin
An anonymous French art collector has donated an astonishing
collection of more than 100 masterworks - by Cezanne, Manet,
Picasso, and others - to France. Although the mystery donor
insisted on remaining nameless, rumors abound that its actually
a well-known and wildly generous Parisian medical researcher.
"I can think of no comparable donation in the recent
history of this country's museums." BBC
THE PO-MO IS GONE: "As we enter an era that could
well be post-post-modern, questions are increasingly being
asked about just what Modernism was or even whether it was
really anything at all. It is almost as if Modernism were
now being recast in the image of pomo. Modernism, in these
reinterpretations, is gnomic, ironic, wavering.(one-time
registration required for entry)
eye movements of thousands of visitors to an exhibition at
the National Gallery in London. "It will be the biggest
investigation ever carried out into how humans absorb images
and how artists' use of colour and texture affects the way
a painting 'works'."
OF IMPERMANENCE: Museums generally take great pains to
protect and care for the artwork that comes to them. But what
is their responsibility toward conceptual art in which the
artist often intends its decay or obliteration to be part
of the work?
TURNER DEAL: The Tate Museum has struck a deal with insurers
over the 1994 theft of two of its Turner paintings. The insurers
had paid out £24 million on the loss. But the museum was afraid
to spend the money lest the paintings turn up and the insurance
had to be paid back... The Art
V&A CONSIDERS OFFLOADING ART: London's Victoria &
Albert Musem is suffering from falling attendence and aconfused
mission. Now a suggestion that the V&A offload some of
its artwork to other museums. ďWe have marvellous pictures,
but people donít come to see them here and they donít immediately
think of Constables at the V&A. Even when they come for
the paintings, it is hard to find them. Either we should rehang
the paintings in the galleries where they were originally
shown or offer them on long-term loan to other museums."
The Art Newspaper 10/20/00
DEMANDS ARTWORK BACK: Ottawa's National Gallery of Canada
recently landed a $20 million private collection of Chinese
and Mid-Eastern antiquities, and the donation was seen as
quite a coup. But now, after giving the some 1,800 objects
to the museum, the donor has abruptly demanded them back.
"They couldn't meet the conditions that I imposed. They
weren't able to meet it, so we said, screw it." The museum
has been under ongoing financial difficulties.
Ottawa Citizen 10/17/00
COLLECTING ELITIST? Some British museums are having difficulty
convincing their governing boards that adding to their collections
is an important thing to do. "A fashionable theory that
objects are less important than visitors' experiences, and
that collecting is little more than elitist hoarding, is now
in vogue among some museum governing bodies."
The Telegraph (London) 10/16/00
Museum of Fine Art makes
a deal with the heirs of a painting sold under court order in
Nazi-occupied Paris during World War II ~Guggenheim
will feature 20 works from the Russian museum and 20 from Guggenheim
that will rotate every six months
from the 5th Century BC unearthed under a plain in Tuscany ~
New large archeological finds in Central
America help solve the riddle of why Mayan
culture collapsed ~ New York's Museum
of Modern Art unveils site for its temporary home in Queens
New York teacher who defaced a painting at last year's controversial
"Sensation" show at the Brooklyn Museum says it was
his constitutional right to do so.
A genetically-altered French bunny named Alba that glows green
in the dark is at the center of an international controversy."
Eduardo Kac--an intense, cutting-edge artist at the School
of the Art Institute of Chicago--claims he conceived of Alba
and spurred scientists to create her for the sake of art.
He wanted to use her living being as a canvas, if you will,
to generate debate about the future of genetic engineering.
Art?! you exclaim. Greening a living thing as art?!"
AS HE RELLY WAS: New translation of Mozart's letters restores
the coarse grammer and broken spellings. "Some modern
analysts have suggested that his verbal incontinence may have
been a symptom of Tourette's syndrome, but Mozart lived in
an earthy, unbuttoned age and he shared what Spaethling politely
calls his "bathroom" humor not only with his naughty
cousin, but also with his parents and sister. In their letters
they are always encouraging each other to 's--- in your bed
with all your might'."
CRITIC PONDERS THE HONESTY OF REVIEWS: The world of popular
culture is filled with profanity. But you'll never read any
of that included in newspapers' accounts of pop music events.
Isn't the absence of same leaving out a part of the story?
"Do readers really think that the sight of an f- over
their morning coffee will have them unwillingly rubbing shoulders
with Satan? Will an s- send them spiraling downward into a
sweeping, swirling eddy of moral despair?"
END OF THE VEGAS LOUNGE LIZARD? The Las Vegas lounge lizard
is slithering away. More and more of the Vegas lounges are
closing, and the lounge singer - as true a symbol of Vegas
as any - is being replaced (mostly by magicians and illusionists).