During the transition from Helmut Rilling to Matthew Halls, OBF attendance dropped by over 50 percent : 2011 had 44,148; 2014 had approximately 20,000. There are no figures for recent years.
“In the 2010s, a new school of critics steeped in both intersectional politics and fandom has arisen, a more inclusive but equally obsessive alternative to the toxicity of fanboy culture. (Intersectional feminist pop-culture site The Mary Sue is a perfect example.) The approach embraces the idea that everyone appreciates things (or doesn’t appreciate them) for different reasons, making the social context of a film essential to gauging its quality. Sometimes dismissed as a politically correct “purity test,” by these metrics an otherwise flawed film can be great if it empowers its fan base, or an otherwise well-made film can be a failure if it alienates segments thereof. Therefore, diverse representation is good, and stereotypes and whitewashing are bad.”
“Postmodernism has lost its value in part because it has oversaturated the market. And with the end of postmodernism’s playfulness and affectation, we are better placed to construct a literature that engages earnestly with real-world problems. This new literature can, in good faith, examine complex and ever-shifting crises – of racial inequality, capitalism and climate change – to which it is easy to close one’s eyes.”
“Is it Pina Bausch’s raw examinations of everyday life? Is it performance that mixes movement and text? Is it dance that tells a story? Dance Magazine talked with four choreographers who use elements of dance and theater – but whose work escapes easy categorization – about playing with narrative, integrating movement and words, and what ‘dance theater’ means to them.”
“It is the invisible in our theatre culture – those who work tirelessly delivering community and participatory projects or who work in children’s theatre – who are its under-sung heroes. They are the ones who daily demonstrate how art touches and changes lives.”
As if it weren’t bad enough that the terrorist group torched rare old books and manuscripts in the municipal library while they occupied the city, as ISIS was being driven out of Mosul by Iraqi government forces, it burned down the university’s library building and its entire collection, one of the most important in the Middle East. Robin Wright visits the wreckage.
For instance, “this secret FBI summary made the mistake of treating variations on Baldwin’s name and identity” – variations such as “James Arthur Baldwin” and “Jimmy Baldwin” – “as a set of potentially criminal pseudonyms.” Then there’s J. Edgar Hoover writing, in a note at the bottom of a memo, “Isn’t Baldwin a well known pervert?” (Well, look who’s asking.)
Michael Billington makes a brief (and not entirely convincing) nod toward Richard III before suggesting a character from All’s Well That Ends Well whom he finds to bear a more-than-passing resemblance to the 45th President. (The commenters have plenty of suggestions of their own, of course.)
“Years after rival art museums in Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra completed their own expansions and reaped obvious benefits (including higher attendances), the acrimony surrounding the Sydney Modern Project, as the expansion [of the Art Gallery of New South Wales] has been called, reflects – and epitomizes – Sydney’s deep ambivalence toward culture.”
“What makes the ginned-up outrage over the play stupider is that Julius Caesar is hardly an endorsement of political violence. By its conclusion, it is a horror show in which political violence is the Big Bad. The play takes place during the twilight of the Roman Republic, as a representative government is being pulled apart by the twin stars of aristocratic ambition and public gullibility. Shakespeare depicts Caesar’s murder as a great crime that unleashes the very forces the conspirators, led by the manipulative Caius Cassius and the tortured, reluctant Marcus Brutus, were trying to prevent.”
As the middle market shrinks, many dealers are finding they can’t afford to do fairs—but they can’t afford not to, either. “It’s very hard to estimate what the revenue will be, so a gallery’s decision to do a fair is highly uncertain,” says Olav Velthuis, a professor at the University of Amsterdam who specializes in economic sociology. “People don’t realize that fairs are loss leaders for many small galleries.”
“New York art patron Agnes Gund has sold a record-smashing $165 million Roy Lichtenstein painting to create a fund to help address mass incarceration in the United States. Some $100 million from that sale will establish the Art for Justice Fund, to be managed by the Ford Foundation, which aims to raise another $100 million over the next five years, partly from art sales. Gund has thus thrown down the gauntlet to other art collectors to unload their assets to address critical issues of social justice.”
“What nobody seems to question is that Mr. Albee and his estate have an absolute right to control the casting of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” for as long as the play is controlled by copyright. I have my doubts, however, about exactly how absolute that right is. While I’m not a lawyer, I suspect that a friendly judge might well look upon the requirement that Nick be played by a white man (Mr. Albee was identically militant about denying permission to change the sexes of the characters in “Virginia Woolf”) as a racially restrictive covenant contrary to law. On the other hand, the 35-seat Shoebox Theatre would have to lawyer up to fight that battle, and I also doubt they’ve got the resources to do so. My guess, then, is that no theater company will be bringing any such action anytime soon.”
“The idea of purchasing a season’s or a year’s worth of books seemed like an interesting way to structure thinking about a customer’s relationship to the store,” Haskell said recently. At Blue Hill Books, C.S.B. members can purchase a “share” for a thousand dollars—or partial shares for two hundred or five hundred dollars—and draw on that credit to buy books throughout the year. “It’s not a donation; it’s not an investment.”
Delta and Bank of America pulled out of sponsorship of the Public Theatre over the Julius Caesar production. “Twitter erupted in scorn: Had none of these people read the play in eighth grade? Did the killing come as a surprise? Did they not realize that it’s supposed to be tragic, not celebratory? Didn’t they remember that in a different production, in 2012, the Romans murdered an Obama-like Caesar, and nobody flipped out? And where does an immense bank or a widely unbeloved airline get off expressing moral qualms about a play?”
Streaming is now the dominant platform for music consumption, and it’s growing rapidly–up 76% year-over-year, according to Nielsen. YouTube has birthed a whole new breed of celebrity: the YouTube star. And Netflix plans to spend hundreds of millions annually on original content. “It’s not just about music–it’s about every form of entertainment,” Nielsen’s David Bakula says. “You don’t really have to own anything anymore, because for $10 a month you can do this: You can have everything.”
“The way conservative outlets packaged this story was brilliant. They removed Shakespeare from the top of the story and immediately made the report a referendum on amoral coastal elites. In the same way you can disparage “New York values” to indicate that you dislike homosexuals, or disparage “New York intellectuals” to indicate the same for Jews, you can call Julius Caesar a “New York play,” and your disciples will know exactly what you mean: an artsy-fartsy subversion perpetrated by a bunch of degenerate pansies. Should anyone be mad at Delta or Bank of America? Yes, but mainly for stupidity.”
Peter Dobrin talks to composer Hannibal Lokumbe (currently composer-in-residence with the Philadelphia Orchestra) about his new oratorio, Crucifixion Resurrection: Nine Souls a Traveling, which premieres on the second anniversary of the massacre in the historic Charleston church.
“The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has successfully acquired Parmigianino’s £24.5m painting of The Virgin and Child with Saint Mary Magdalen and the Infant St John the Baptist. … The painting was sold by the Dent-Brocklehurst family of Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire, and has been in the UK for nearly 250 years.”
“The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters award, which comes with a $25,000 prize, is widely described as United States’ highest honor for jazz. Today, the NEA announced its four newest recipients of the prize: pianist Joanne Brackeen, guitarist Pat Metheny, singer Dianne Reeves and producer Todd Barkan.”
A Masterpiece That Needs More Attention
On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal published my latest entry in its Saturday Masterpiece column, about Enguerrand Quarton’s Pietà of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, … Many people have told me that they’ve never noticed the work in the Louvre. Yet is it a large work, more than 5 by 7 feet. … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2017-06-12
A Better Idea for the Guggenheim
One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s fantasies for his design of the Guggenheim Museum was to color it pink. … But Richard Hamilton had a better idea: … read more
AJBlog: Straight|Up Published 2017-06-12
After a controversial 2010 bailout package brought relations between Germany and Greece to a new low, organizers had said they hoped the festival would help mend relations between the two countries. However, the undertaking has largely failed to appeal to locals, and in the process has even alienated some. According to Yanis Varoufakis, the enigmatic former Greek finance minister who stepped down after pressure from European leaders forced Greece to accept harsh austerity measures in exchange for an international bailout package in 2015, Documenta’s arrival was nothing more than “crisis tourism.”
“The effect of watching Caesar-as-Trump is outrageous, comical, and—especially if you number among those for whom the election of this President has felt like an appalling and dangerous swerve into farce—cathartic in its use of satire.”
“In part, this policy of promoting relationships with other fields and interest areas stems from our strategy that our alliances with other sectors is a way for us to advance our interests and our agendas, and demonstrate our value over and apart from the intrinsic value of the arts. And while those who decry that too much emphasis is placed on the value of the arts as a handmaiden to other values, and perhaps not enough emphasis on what the arts do for individuals, communities and society by just being the arts, the advance of the promotion and involvement of the arts where they intersect with other areas, and where they spur partnerships, is a genie not likely easily put back in the jar.”
This year’s ceremony drew a 0.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 6 million viewers, airing on CBS from 8 p.m.-11 p.m. That is compared to a 1.6 and 8.7 million viewers in 2016, which represents a drop of approximately 44% in the demo and 31% in total viewers.
“In the field of self-improvement, there have always been snake oil salesman ready to promote gimmicks disguised as legitimate answers. But the internet age has ushered in a whole new era: The maddening proliferation of hope — clouded in broscience. The 7 ways to transform your sex life. Use polyphasic sleep to hack your energy levels. Dump a stick of butter in your coffee to energize your breakfast and keep you feeling full all day (no shit — you just dumped a stick of butter in your coffee). All of these hacks carry a similar message: If only we did XYZ, then our bodies, minds, and entire lives will transform for the better.”
Fewer than 20 fluent speakers of Haida are left in the world, according to local counts. For the Haida themselves, the destruction of their language is profoundly tied to a loss of identity.