“This means that by 2026, Neef will be the longest-serving General Director of the COC (18 years), after Richard Bradshaw.”
“Members of IS are definitely involved in sales,” says one scholar, “particularly now that the so-called state is rapidly unravelling.” However, there’s little independently verifiable evidence of the scale of the ISIS trade in stolen antiquities – not to mention the fact that there are plenty of fakes mixed in with the genuine artifacts.
The 2000-year-old piece was once part of an elaborate mosaic floor in one of the Roman emperor’s floating palaces on Lake Nemi south of Rome. Somehow it ended up in the Park Avenue apartment of an antiques dealer. “Last month, prosecutors seized the mosaic, saying they had evidence it had been taken from an Italian museum before World War II.”
“These ballet dancers are great and they’re ready and what they need is more interesting work. I feel people are playing it safe a lot. If anything, I think it’s the choreographers and the directors who need to make an effort for these dancers who have made this art form their passion, and to really be as daring or at least as relevant as some of our peers were when they were commissioning pieces a long time ago.”
“Most obviously, the city’s financial woes were so calamitous that, funders, most of whom already had extensive footprints in the city, had no choice but to respond en masse. Samuel Johnson’s old adage applies here: ‘When a man knows he is to be hanged, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.’ That being said, there’s far more to Philadelphia’s success than the threat of (figurative) imminent hanging.”
“When Borders opened in 2002 across the street from Readings, Melbourne’s best-known independent bookseller, retail experts predicted catastrophe for the musty old shop competing with the shiny new chain store. Instead, Australians rejected Borders right into bankruptcy.” As Amazon launches its book business there, Damien Cave reports, there’s a chance it may not catch on much better than Borders did, thanks to some unique features of the Australian market.
The company, founded by Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, Matt Walsh and Matt Besser and the training ground for many comedians, sketch actors and Saturday Night Live cast members, is moving from its longtime base in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood to the group of Off-Broadway theaters on the far west end of 42nd Street.
“If, in any given year, somewhere up and down the UK, you can see a starry production of Hamlet being staged with Big-Name Acclaimed Actors showing off their Big-Name Acclaimed Acting Chops, then the cachet of that role is reduced. No question. It’s the basic economics of scarcity: when every Tom (Hiddleston), Dick (Burton) and Jude Law has had a crack at moodily wafting on stage, like a Smiths fan in search of legitimate melancholy, then theatre’s great and good might consider that it is time to call a moratorium on more Hamlets.
The Society of the Spectacle
Does one really need to see Swiss filmmaker Jean-Stéphane Bron’s The Paris Opera? … read more
AJBlog: Fresh Pencil Published 2017-10-19
What’s Growing in Albion?
The title of the new Mike Bartlett/Rupert Goold collaboration at the Almeida Theatre (until 24 November) tells you everything. “Albion” is, after all, just another name for this island, … read more
AJBlog: Plain English Published 2017-10-19
“No other modern-day leader has used the myth-making power of architecture to construct a sense of national identity like Nazarbayev,” says Frank Albo, author of a new book on the Kazakh capital, Astana: Architecture, Myth and Destiny. “What you see here is a blend of postmodernism, Central Asian art, Islamic decor, Russian baroque, neoclassicism, orientalism, all melded into something that looks like Las Vegas meets Disneyland on nationalist steroids.” In a bid to cast off the shackles of the Soviet era, the president has embraced practically everything else.
As researchers in learning and text comprehension, our recent work has focused on the differences between reading print and digital media. While new forms of classroom technology like digital textbooks are more accessible and portable, it would be wrong to assume that students will automatically be better served by digital reading simply because they prefer it.
“The system of values that is manhood in the American south held up as its virtues firmness, reserve, self-containment, reticence, mastery of emotion. I longed to adhere to this system, but however hard I tried, I failed. I felt too much. I was prone to sudden rushes of emotion, to enthusiasms, affections, to tears… When I sang opera, the same things that had been sources of shame were sources of value. The gestures that embarrassed me in life made sense when I was on stage.”
“The real problem is much bigger than Rotten Tomatoes—it’s that so much of Hollywood is now fixated on capturing the widest audience possible with every film. Blockbuster action movies, superhero franchises, jolty horror pictures, and animated family films that can draw large crowds are the order of the day. Even mother!, which was light on actual scares but heavy on mood and allegory, was marketed as a horror movie in an attempt to pull viewers; theatergoers who felt misled by the advertising may have contributed to the F CinemaScore rating.”
“In taking dance out of the theatre, Is This a Waste Land? not only takes the theatre out of dance, but most of the dance too. We’re left with a kind of social choreography, and an open expanse of questions that can – like other projects that venture outside theatre’s contained space – revitalise our experience of performance, spectatorship, sometimes even the world itself. Like seeing a familiar landscape anew.”
“Her plays are staged almost twice as often as anyone else’s on the list, far ahead of venerated figures like Eugene O’Neill and August Wilson, who edged her for the top spot last year. (The survey excludes Shakespeare, America’s perennial favorite.) Although men still write three-quarters of the plays that get produced, Gunderson has built a national reputation with works that center on women’s stories. And, though most playwrights also teach or work in television, she has managed to make a living, in San Francisco, by writing for the stage.”
They mistakenly believe it improves their performance, he says. Saying actors must refocus their attention on preparing properly, Nighy argues the trend has been propagated by those who simply “don’t want to do their homework”.
Why make art when buyers treat works as an alternative currency, hiding them away like bullion bars in storage facilities? Can anything be done about questionable corporations and oppressive regimes using contemporary art to generate a spot of positive PR for themselves? And what links can be made between fuzzy surveillance images and abstract art?
“Local councils have seized on the volunteer idea as an easy answer to budget cuts. Each local authority has struggled to find its own solutions, with local residents doing whatever they can. The commitment of volunteers is wholly admirable, but the result is that as a country, we have been left without a coherent library service and we have seen no real attempt to find out how well community-run libraries work.”
Ultimately, the reasons for a noteworthy author’s obscurity are as various as the authors themselves. Fowler’s findings show that other contributing factors seem to include underrating their own work, reclusiveness, and genre (with notable exceptions, comic writers tend not to be taken seriously enough to preserve). The caprices of fashion hit populist fiction especially hard; striving as it does to capture the mindset of its time, it’s inevitably more perishable.
The satire by Armando Ianucci (creator of Veep) is getting great early reviews in Britain (The Guardian‘s critic called it the movie of the year). The Russians beg to differ – even though no one there has seen it and the distributor hasn’t even applied for a license for it yet. A pro-Kremlin newspaper pro-Kremlin newspaper called the film “a nasty sendup by outsiders who know nothing of our history”; one politician said it was a “planned provocation” and another described it as an “unfriendly act by the British intellectual class … [part of an] anti-Russian information war.”
Richard Overy points out where Armando Ianucci’s new The Death of Stalin gets the history wrong but allows that cinematic license could be legitimate. But the caricature, he writes, is just wrong, and not only because Stalin’s victims deserve better: “The presentation of Stalin and his cronies as a collection of foul-mouthed misfits … will certainly not help to understand the Russia of the 1950s while it mocks by implication the Russia of today, a country still shaped in some ways by the legacy of Stalin’s modernisation drives and the operation of the Stalinist state.”
“Languages are dying out at an astonishing rate: a language is being lost every two weeks. And each of those languages has a poetic tradition of some sort, whether it’s written or aural – within that poetry will be all the different approaches and styles of writing poetry, as well as everything that poetry can tell us about those people: what they’re interested in; what their concerns are.”
The prize-winning images, chosen by readers of Scientific American, play with our perceptions of shape, motion, and length. Neuroscientist Susana Martinez-Conde talks with the three winners about how their illusions work.
The painting is estimated to fetch $100m (£75m) at auction next month. But “in a forthcoming study, Leonardo da Vinci: the Biography, Walter Isaacson questions why an artistic genius, scientist, inventor, and engineer showed an ‘unusual lapse or unwillingness’ to link art and science in depicting the orb.”
A reporter visits Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons to watch the Bard Hall Players rehearse Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Every member of the cast and crew is a medical student; several have degrees and/or previous professional experience in music or theater.
“By reputation, Kenneth MacMillan was the dark genius of British ballet – its destroyer, if you listen to some. They think this country’s classical ballet reached its pinnacle under the Apollonian hand of Frederick Ashton, before MacMillan stomped in with his working-class neuroses and rape simulations and took ballet down to the psychological underworld.” Ismene Brown looks at his body of work – especially the little-performed short ballets – in this 25th anniversary year of his death.
The 50-year-old company, a legend of the late 20th-century downtown avant-garde theater scene, is back at the old P.S. 122 building, just renovated, in Manhattan’s East Village. Reporter Zachary Small visits the new Mabou Mines HQ and talks with co-artistic director Sharon Fogarty and company co-founder Lee Breuer, who – at age 80 – is premiering a new play there.
“In one of their odder and more chilling moves, the Nazis occupying Lithuania once collected Yiddish and Hebrew books and documents, hoping to create a reference collection about a people they intended to annihilate. Even stranger, they appointed Jewish intellectuals and poets to select the choicest pearls for study.”
The novel Spy of the First Person, on which the playwright/actor began working just after he was diagnosed with ALS (of which he died in July) and which his daughters and his old friend Patti Smith helped him complete, is “the story of an unnamed narrator who retraces the memories of his life as he undergoes treatment for a medical condition that renders him dependent on the loved ones who are caring for him.”
A few hours before right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik shot 69 people dead at a summer camp outside the Norwegian capital in 2011, he left a car bomb in the city’s government district that killed eight and severely damaged two landmark Brutalist buildings which have been empty ever since. Now the Norwegian government plans to tear down and replace one of those buildings and relocate its two murals, created by Pablo Picasso with Carl Nesjar. “Opponents of the decision see it as an affront to Norwegian and global artistic heritage, and a capitulation to Mr. Breivik.” Says one official, “We don’t want the ministry to tear down the building when the terrorist didn’t manage to do that.”