The key, based on academic research into adult learning, is cognitive dissonance. Suzanne Cope explains.
You don’t need drugs, either, according to research – though both religion and drugs can help. “Much of our personality is made up of attitudes that are usually subconscious. We drag around buried trauma, guilt, feelings of low self-worth. In moments of ecstasy, the threshold of consciousness is lowered, people encounter these subconscious attitudes, and are able to step outside of them. They can feel a deep sense of love for themselves and others, which can heal them at a deep level. Maybe this is just an opening to the subconscious, maybe it’s a connection to a higher dimension of spirit – we don’t know.”
Primatologist Robert Sapolsky: “Humans universally make Us/Them dichotomies along lines of race, ethnicity, gender, language group, religion, age, socioeconomic status, and so on. And it’s not a pretty picture. We do so with remarkable speed and neurobiological efficiency; have complex taxonomies and classifications of ways in which we denigrate Thems; do so with a versatility that ranges from the minutest of microaggression to bloodbaths of savagery; and regularly decide what is inferior about Them based on pure emotion, followed by primitive rationalizations that we mistake for rationality. Pretty depressing. But crucially, there is room for optimism.”
Watch the oddly compelling video of neural circuitries made by neuroscientist Greg Dunn, his colleagues, and some computer algorithms that tossed in randomization. “As LEDs scan across the surface, they reflect off the varying depths and angles of the gold leaf grooves to make each neurological pathway shimmer like it is truly alive with electrical firings.”
“An Irish former trade association head, a German lawyer and a native-born business executive, all residents of Washington and not an author among them, decide to create a museum dedicated to American writers. In Chicago, where two of them have never lived. … The American Writers Museum lacks a resident curator. And a permanent collection of artifacts, the stuff that generally creates a museum.” For that matter, it lacks a permanent building. Karen Heller meets the three people who founded this museum and finds out what on earth they’re thinking.
The 1919 novel about a young German man rebelling and trying to find himself – and then going to war – resonates strongly. “In Korea it has attained such cultural importance that critic Lee Dong-jin, host of the Red Book Room podcast, can make this pronouncement: ‘There are two kinds of people: those who read Demian, and those who don’t.’ Given the enduring presence of the book on their country’s school curricula, most Koreans fall into the former category.”
Corey Stoll, who played Brutus: “It felt as if we were acting in two plays simultaneously – the one we had rehearsed and the one thrust upon us. The protesters never shut us down, but we had to fight each night to make sure they did not distort the story we were telling. At that moment, watching my castmates hold their performances together, it occurred to me that this is resistance. … In this new world where art is willfully misinterpreted to score points and to distract, simply doing the work of an artist has become a political act.”
“Twenty years ago [Monday] the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision and unanimously overturned congressional legislation that made it unlawful to transmit ‘indecent’ material on the Internet if that content could be viewed by minors. The justices ruled that the same censorship standards being applied to broadcast radio and television could not be applied to the Internet.” David Kravets recounts the history.
“I love the city. There’s a lot of depth, a lot of pride in the way the city operates, and the institutions here are fabulous. … I am particularly interested in this third of the country because I think that third has a deep soul, and the soul of the country in many ways stems from what happens here.”
Stephan Salisbury looks at a little-known part of Wyeth’s work: portraits of the historic African-American community (dating to before the Civil War) just down the hill from his home in Chadds Ford, Pa.
“The edfringereviews.com site proposed to charge companies £50 for a review during the fringe under the slogan ‘It is not about the reviewer it is about your show’. The site, which does not have any reviews on display, now says that the concept is ‘more complicated than we thought’, and that it will introduce the scheme in 2018. A spokesman for the site has told The Stage that the proposal this year was a ‘fishing trip’ to see if there was any interest in what he was offering.”
“Pilar Abel, a Tarot card reader, wants to be recognized as Dalí’s daughter, born as a result of what she has called a ‘clandestine love affair’ that her mother had with the painter in the late 1950s in Port Lligat, the fishing village where Dalí and his Russian-born wife, Gala, built a waterfront house.”
In 2011, Mariafrancesca Garritano (pen name Mary Garret) spoke out and eventually wrote about the anorexia she developed after being fat-shamed by instructors at La Scala’s ballet school – and the company fired her and charged her with libel. Last year Italy’s highest court ruled that she had been unfairly dismissed and should get her job back. Here she talks about her return to the company and the effects of four years away from ballet.
“Women and minority actors and stage managers are getting fewer jobs and often wind up in lower-paying shows than white male theater artists, according to a new study … based on an examination of employment data for shows that opened between 2013 and 2015.
“For years [François] Pinault, a self-made man whose luxury group had acquired a string of the world’s most famous fashion brands, from Yves Saint Laurent to Gucci, has been searching for a Paris home for his €1.25bn art collection of more than 3,500 works, including pieces by Mark Rothko to Damien Hirst. … Now Pinault is making his long-anticipated renewed bid to create a museum by renovating and restoring the former Paris stock exchange, the 19th-century Bourse de commerce – one of Paris’s most historically important but least known buildings.”
The company was removed from Arts Council England’s national portfolio (i.e., the list of major arts organizations guaranteed funding from year to year) in 2015 after several troubled years, with a threat that government funding could be removed altogether if it didn’t get its act together. Now the Arts Council seems satisfied that ENO has.
Amiruddin Shah, 15, was spotted by a visiting ballet instructor who saw him doing backflips and cartwheels and found that his feet have “perfect arches.” Now, after less than three years of study, Shah is headed to American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.
“[His] minimalist sculptures were starting to attract attention in New York when his friend Ulfert Wilke, the director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art, recommended him for a faculty position at the university. Mr. Breder accepted, and began teaching an experimental drawing course in 1966. Friends threw up their hands, warning him that he was leaving the center of the artistic universe for a cultural desert. He blithely replied, ‘I will bring New York to Iowa.'”
Art for ____________’s sake. What would you fill in?
A few weeks back I was in NYC and had the opportunity to attend a Public Forum event featuring the brilliant Jeremy McCarter … Toward the end of the evening McCarter turned to the rather large panel of activists and artists he had assembled and asked them to reflect on the phrase “Art for Art’s Sake.” There was an awkward silence. … read more
AJBlog: Jumper Published 2017-06-25
A New American Home for Italian Contemporary Art
There’s a new kid on the art block in the Hudson River Valley–Magazzino, in Cold Spring, about an hour and 45 minutes north of New York City. I went up to attend its opening on … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2017-06-26
“On Deadline with Gabe Pressman”: My Starstruck 1973 Profile of the Late Dean of NYC TV Reporters
Back in 1973, clutching a masters degree in journalism from Columbia, I decided to take the class that Gabe Pressman gave at the New School. This “indefatigable dean of New York’s television reporters” (as described … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-06-26
Monday Recommendation: A Captivating Book Of Photos
Jean-Pierre Leloir, Jazz Images (Elemental)
Jean-Pierre Leloir, who died in 2010, left a remarkable legacy of photographs from his work in the years when France was a destination for, and in a … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-06-26
Butterflies in the spotlight
Like many other major newspapers, The Wall Street Journal has started presenting special events for its subscribers. The editors approached me a few weeks ago about taking part in a theatrical event, a post-show talkback … read more
AJBlog: About Last Night Published 2017-06-26
Yes, really: The idea is to look at your phone, with the app open, during the concert. “The app, Octava, is intended to ‘assist the participant through a musical journey,’ with Chris Evans, director of press and marketing at RPO, saying its tone is ‘specifically aimed towards new and potentially younger audiences.'”
Not that Nutella needed help on the shelf, but … “The algorithm pulls from a database of dozens of patterns and colors to create seven million different versions of the Nutella label — pink and green, striped and polka-dotted, Pop Art-inspired and minimal.”
Charlotte Brontë was facing two crises: Her father’s health was in trouble, and she had for years been in love with a married, and uninterested, man. “The unstated fantasy driving the writing of Jane Eyre, which she began drafting nine months later, was in all likelihood to create a novel of romantic love that would achieve—through imagination—the fantasy fulfillment of an adulterous passion that was never to be hers. It would be a letter to him. At least in a novel, Brontë could have the heroine voice her own feelings, addressing them not to Heger but to the fictional Fairfax Rochester.”
Where the brutalist designs of the 1960s meant to give the complex an aura of “high art,” the ethos of 2017 means opening up, warming up, inviting people in, including many people who don’t have tickets and never will have tickets to events inside. But Alex Bozikovic asks, “What if, 50 years from now, every public building is a glass pavilion with a humming espresso machine and slightly dated modern furniture? What if cloistered, dramatic public spaces are again in vogue”?
Kris Vire: “What we have in this moment, I believe, is a theater community that feels newly empowered in the wake of last year’s explosive Profiles Theatre saga to root out bad behavior within its ranks, and a new generation of artists in the social-media age who believe criticism should be a back-and-forth conversation with many voices participating.” (Not that Hedy Weiss is planning to participate, of course.)
Seriously though, think of The Iliad. “Our cultural anxiety about audiobooks may have deeper roots in media and educational history, dating as far back as the beginning of the Enlightenment period, when the West made a general shift towards the privileging of sight over the other senses. After all, oral storytelling predates print and writing by thousands of years.”
“You would lean against the lockers with a faraway expression on your face and let people assume whatever they wanted. Like that you were a girly girl but could also be a tomboy. Or that back in your home town you’d been friends with a bunch of crows. And everyone assumed that if they saw a crow it probably knew you, because you had some kind of understanding with crows owing to undefined telepathic abilities that made you look troubled now and then but also really important. And if anyone wanted to track down an old friend of yours and write her an actual letter to find out if any of this was true, well, best of luck to them.”
“In the mid-2000s, Dafen’s copy industry was booming. It was at this point that auxiliary commercial avenues began to take root in the village. Quaint cafes, as well as more accessible ‘gallery shops’ (predominantly fronts for anonymous art workers and addresses from which to tout for business both wholesale and retail) lent the village lucrative tourist appeal.” But things have changed. Can Dafen become a creative hub instead of a copy factory?
Joe Berkowitz: “The best pun I heard during the course of writing the book was: ‘I went to go shopping for cherries and microphones the other day: bought a bing, bought a boom.'”
Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins: “There’s a thing where just because you’re an arts journalist, you’re automatically assumed to be quote ‘woke’. But that’s actually part of what this moment is about, it’s about not being so complacent with your own perceived tolerance.”
Beverly Jenkins’ books teach the history between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement – almost all with romance as the focus. But she’s a little tired of the miscategorization of her books. She says, “African-American is not a genre! When they put us on a separate shelf, it cuts down on discoverability for people who may be white and looking for a good book. So when people say, ‘I don’t know if I can relate to that,’ I think, ‘But you relate to werewolves and vampires and shape-shifters and all kinds of other craziness. Why can’t you relate to people who are a different race?’”