“The online archive, which is catalogued both in English and in Spanish, includes drafts and other material relating to all of García Márquez’s major books, … [as well as] previously unseen photographs, notebooks, scrapbooks, screenplays and personal ephemera, like a collection of his passports. Many archives are digitizing their holdings. But to make so much material from a writer whose work is still under copyright freely available online is unusual.”
“During the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, there was a rise in plays about gay life that addressed issues of identity, homophobia and the decimating AIDS epidemic. Plays like Boys in the Band, The Normal Heart and Angels in America shattered taboos and brought gay characters into the mainstream. Many of these groundbreaking plays are now returning to Broadway, but will they hold up a generation later?” (audio)
“The road to Broadway has rarely been this cold.”
“The board of the Berkshire Museum made a decision to just shift focus [to history, natural science, and tech], not to tear up the institution and start all over again. … The sad truth is that the people running the Berkshire Museum just don’t care that much about American art any more, at least not from an institutional point of view. Given that reality, it’s actually better if they are not entrusted with important artworks.”
The AP’s Mark Pratt offers “a look at the arguments for and against, and why the case against the Berkshire Museum has aroused such anger:”
“As [director Kirill] Serebrennikov himself notes in a program interview: ‘I am doing an exotic, probably nonexisting job. Perhaps I am the only ballet stage director around.’ And so the big questions: Does having a director make a difference? And is Nureyev any good? The answers are yes and somewhat.” Roslyn Sulcas reports.
That was the title of a panel discussion at Art Basel Miami Beach that “included artist Jordan Casteel, Brooklyn Museum director Anne Pasternak, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston director Bill Arning, and writer and photographer Teju Cole. While there weren’t many concrete solutions drawn, the conversation offered a clear diagnosis of the key issues facing art and culture and, at the very least, a starting point for how we can understand and address them going forward.
“Unrest has broken out at the Lleida Museum in western Catalonia after Spanish law enforcement officers entered the institution this morning. The move is the latest development in a long-running restitution saga centred on 44 religious artefacts housed at the museum, which have become a symbol of Catalonia’s bid for independence.”
With his bullish idealism, Daniel Barenboim is putting a stamp on the State Opera and its satellite organizations that increasingly defines a large segment of Berlin’s cultural identity in his own image.
Janine Jansen at Carnegie Hall without veneer – or microphones breathing down her neck
What price freedom? Carnegie Hall’s Perspectives series allows its selected artist-curators to have something close to carte blanche over multiple concerts in numerous different forums. This year, the glamorous Dutch violinist Janine Jansen is one of those artists, … read more
AJBlog: Condemned to Music Published 2017-12-11
Great Expectations, Set By Museums, And Then?
I was drawn to an exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art by its title: Glorious Splendor: Treasures of Early Christian Art. When I went to see it last month, it was not quite what I expected. Or what the title conjured. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good show. … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2017-12-10
Robert Gard on Arts and Communities
When my good friend Maryo Gard Ewell asked me to write a reflection on the Gard Foundation/Americans for the Arts collaborative collection of Robert Gard’s writings (To Change the Face & Heart of America), … read more
AJBlog: Engaging Matters Published 2017-12-11
Iyer on Iyer
Vijay Iyer’s music occupies a fascinating terrain. It’s a world that emanates from a lifetime of improvisation and a multilayered approach to the passage of time. It’s also music that reflects its creator’s quiet defiance … read more
AJBlog: Infinite Curves Published 2017-12-11
Monday Recommendation: Discovering “Melanctha”
Dave Brubeck & Carmen McRae, Tonight Only (Columbia)
What would the Rifftides staff do without readers who keep us informed and on track? … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-12-11
Things like “ums” and “uhs” signal there’s some delay in processing. But as a speaker, what I can do is exploit those kinds of signals. I can use them dishonestly. I can use something like “um” to give the overt signal that I’m having some sort of trouble with processing, but in reality, all I’m doing is trying to claim more ground and get you to keep waiting for me to finish.
Although satellite television and video downloads have made the ban on commercial theaters all but moot, the announcement highlights the diminishing power of the kingdom’s conservative clerics. The grand mufti, Saudi Arabia’s highest religious authority, publicly called commercial films a source of “depravity” and opposed the opening of movie theaters as recently as a few months ago.
Less than a year before presidential elections, Russian authorities appear unable or unwilling to do enough to protect the country’s artists and civil society from attacks by activist thugs.
“As it turns out, genes contribute to intelligence, but only broadly, and with subtle effect. Genes interact in complex relationships to create neural systems that might be impossible to reverse-engineer. In fact, computational scientists who want to understand how genes interact to create optimal networks have come up against the kind of hard limits suggested by the so-called travelling salesperson problem.”
“It is difficult to prove that digital technologies are actually making people into worse writers. It is likely that the world is just seeing more unfiltered thoughts written down than at any other time in history. People are not writing worse so much as writing and publishing far more. But the internet is changing language.”
Retired ballet stars generally take a few select paths in their second stage of life, among them teaching, joining the artistic staff at their home company, directing some other troupe or running a university dance department. Not many continue filling their calendar with dance gigs.
Museums in the 21st century face particular and special challenges: in an age of digital communication, when an image – almost any image – can be summoned up effortlessly on an electronic device, why go to the trouble of visiting an actual institution just to see the supposed “original”? Does the word “original” have meaning any longer in this context? In other words, the mere displaying of objects, even uniquely valuable objects, no longer, of itself, justifies a museum’s existence; something more is required to render a visit to a museum worthwhile.
Gallery information panels and texts can exert a powerful influence on how we view a work. Do we really need to be told that something could cause offence or disturb? Do we need to be protected from our own potential feelings?
Theatregoers and shoppers who parked illegally in Westminster – which includes the West End – amassed a total of 125,727 parking charge notices between July and September 2017, the data suggests. This amounts to almost a quarter (23%) of all fines issued in London during the period.
“More than 40 percent (43 percent) of today’s Fortune 500 had a first- or second-generation immigrant among their founders, even though just 14 percent of the U.S. population is foreign-born. Nearly a fifth (18.4 percent) of these companies were founded by first-generation immigrants, and another quarter (24.8 percent) were founded by their children. All told, these 216 immigrant-founded companies accounted for $5.3 trillion in global revenue in 2016 and employ more than 12 million workers worldwide. Immigrant-founded companies make up more than half of the Fortune 25 (52 percent) and Fortune 35 (57 percent).”
How an earthquake would kill the Pacific Northwest leads the list.
Their program can identify dozens of structural and stylistic details in huge chunks of text, and if you give them a collection of great stories—stories that maybe you wished you had written—they are able to identify all the details that those great stories have in common.
In a city with more than 800 public monuments, four in particular have irked artists and academics, who have signed a public petition. The 500 signatories are advocating for the removal of monuments of Christopher Columbus, James Marion Sims, Theodore Roosevelt and one adjoined honouring Philippe Pétain and Pierre Laval. “For too long, they have generated harm and offense as expressions of white supremacy,” reads the petition, in a city which “preaches tolerance and equity”.
“The cult of the maestro has thrived precisely because of the uniquely difficult demands of the music: great power and privilege is sycophantically bestowed on those perceived to be geniuses, and behaviour that would be unacceptable in other contexts may be excused or swept under the carpet; different moral standards can be applied to them by virtue of their artistic brilliance.”
Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” led nominations on the movie front. On the TV side, HBO’s “Big Little Lies” picked up six nominations, while FX’s “Feud: Bette and Joan” followed with four. Meanwhile, “Fargo,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and “This Is Us” all landed three nods.
It started with little things. “This is England, speak English,” said one woman to Agnieszka as she was speaking Polish with her children. “Go back to your own country,” Diana was told in school. Then, this spring, her neighbor mounted the first of the cameras on the wall and said: “I’m going to take care of this damn Polish problem!” After several instances of intimidation, Agnzieszka called the police. She was told: “If you don’t like the cameras, maybe you should move away.”
“A lot of old fellas are buying reissues of the records they had in their youth before replacing them with CDs, which they’re now getting rid of so they can buy the vinyl again. We’re talking Led Zep, Pink Floyd, etc – the usual suspects. But the main problem is an inability to plan releases properly. To promote a record you need to have a release date and a certain amount of time before that date to promote it. If you don’t know when your stock will arrive, it’s hard to set a release date … and if the record sells out fast, you need a re-press now, not several months later.”
“After World War II, the CIA’s strategy in Europe was to strengthen intellectual elites who supported socialist policies but not Communism, who they termed the non-communist left. Doing so without having those actions traced back to the US, however, was challenging. The CCF was one solution: its director Michael Josselson proposed that strengthening the non-communist left should be done through cultural organizations rather than straight-out political ones.”
So, what is cultural appropriation and why has it become such a contentious issue? Susan Scafidi, professor of law at Fordham University, defines it as ‘taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artefacts from someone else’s culture without permission’. This can include the ‘unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc.’ But what is it for knowledge or expression or a cuisine to ‘belong’ to a culture? And who gives permission for someone from another culture to use such knowledge or forms?
Translating literature is not always more difficult than translating other texts—tourist brochures, technical manuals, art catalogues, sales contracts, and the like. But it does have this distinguishing characteristic: its sense is not limited to a simple function of informing or persuading, but rather thrives on a superabundance of possible meanings, an openness to interpretation, an invitation to measure what is described against our experience. This is stimulating.