Joan Acocella: “Glover is the greatest tap virtuoso of our time, perhaps of all time. … And, perhaps for that reason – that he never had to woo us – Glover had a problem with charm: namely, that he didn’t show much. … He not only didn’t smile; often he wouldn’t look at the audience. He did the show while watching his shoes or the band. And the fact that the people he wasn’t looking at were mostly white made the whole situation more edgy. We went there to love him, and he wouldn’t love us back, or even like us.”
“As part of WNYC’s 90th anniversary celebration, Marty Goldensohn, former WNYC news director, shares excerpts from the station’s 1998 series Reports on the Afterlife. It’s based on Vonnegut’s book God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian, a fictionalized account of interviews with recently deceased people.”
“Of course, for many, academic philosophy proves a disappointment – an endless slog to publish, the tedium and heartache of departmental politics, and a dismal job market that tends to people to far-flung college towns, far away from family and friends. So what is a budding philosopher to do?” Quite a bit, actually.
On the last day of 2020, Anders Weberg will release Ambiancé, which is, he says, “an abstract nonlinear narrative summary of the artist’s time spent with the moving image.” The film will “be shown in its full length on a single occasion syncronised in all the continents of the world and then destroyed.” (includes trailer)
“For its storied reputation of turning out some of the ballet world’s best dancers, Cuba has two equally dictatorial people to thank — Alicia Alonso and Fidel Castro. One an artist. One a political leader. Both with undeterrable personalities and a fierce commitment to their own agendas. Neither to be crossed lightly.”
“In the three years since the movement began, I’ve seen a definite shift in the tactics used by musicians, organizers, and other people working in the music industry as they attempt to build power and push for fair pay and conditions in the vast and strange landscape of contemporary composition, performance, and recording.”
“As the arts funding puzzle shifts dramatically under the rubric of creative placemaking—from symphony orchestras to dance companies, and from museums to arts councils—the programs, services, and fundamental kind of art being made will necessarily change to enhance an organization’s competitiveness. This is not a situation that new music stakeholders should take lightly.”
“The Howard Street theater proposal envisions three separate venues, each with its own street-level performance space and its own marquee announcing events presented by the likes of Annex Theater, EMP Collective, Acme Corporation and Stillpointe Theatre Initiative. Upstairs areas are envisioned as a beehive of various cultural, social and business enterprises.”
Her Wall Street Journal op-ed professed optimism for the ways the music business is changing. But optimism isn’t a substitute for reality…
“A group of performers, myself included, left our portakabins to make for the stage within the main building, but shockingly the entire area had suddenly been occupied by about 40 protesters who were blowing klaxons, chanting and yelling, banging metal pans with metal spoons and jostling with police and the theatre’s large security men.”
It stopped being fun. It just stopped being fun. It really wasn’t. That’s a big deal to me. It may sound like “Why do you have to have fun to go to work?” I don’t know. I like to be in a good mood. The ratio of bullshit to the fun part of doing the work was really starting to get out of whack.
“Now, as the company tries to win concessions from its unions by the end of this month, the labor talks are laying bare new details of life at the Met, from what performers earn to the Met’s recent box office struggles – which, an analysis of ticket sales showed, led the company to sell as many as a quarter of its seats at a discount at a handful of performances.”
“A movie’s Friday matinees would determine whether it even gets an evening screening, or whether the projector switches back to last week’s blockbuster. … This bleak future is the direction the industry is pointed in, but even if it arrives it will not last. Once movies can no longer be defined by technology, you unmask powerful fundamentals – the timelessness, the otherworldliness, the shared experience of these narratives.”
“The Odalisque in Red Pants (Odalisque à la culotte rouge) is thought to have been stolen from the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art in 2002 but its disappearance went unnoticed for some time because the thieves put a fake in its place.”
City funding for the museum, known as MACRO, was slashed from €350,000 in 2013 to €61,000 this year. Says the museum’s director, whose contract ran out at the end of June, “We literally have €5,000 a month” from the municipal government.
“The Martians make a visit to Earth. When they get there, everyone on the planet is in a huge meeting. ‘What are they doing’ say the Martians. ‘They’re discussing Peace in the Middle East,’ says one of the Three Wise Persons. … ‘How can it be,’ say the Martians to the Three Wise Persons, ‘that nobody can figure out how to accomplish a thing that everyone seems to want?'”
The DC title Injustice depicts a Superman who has become a global dictator. (He sends the Green Lantern to Congress to break the debt ceiling deadlock.) And the Godzilla spin-off Monstrous looks at what happens after one giant radioactive monster defeats and kills another: the corpse is now toxic waste.
The darnedest things turn up from Freedom of Information Act requests: the Directorate of Intelligence’s Style Manual & Writers Guide for Intelligence Publications (eighth edition, 2011). “As revealed in the manual, the CIA is a prescriptivist scold, a believer in the serial comma, and a champion of ‘crisp and pungent’ language ‘devoid of jargon’.”
Art for the Uber-rich
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-07-08
Companion Slideshow for My WSJ Piece on Reimagined (and today evacuated) Clark Art Institute
AJBlog: CultureGrrl | Published 2014-07-08
Intrigue: Director of Timken Museum Is Out
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-07-08
Other Places: A Sideman Remembers Silver
AJBlog: RiffTides | Published 2014-07-09
“Rowling’s millions of fans will pounce on the glimpse the novelist has provided of the wizard’s adult life, which sees Harry reunited with Ron, Hermione and their friends at the final of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup in a 1,500-word piece for her website Pottermore.”
“Graham Holdings (as the company which once owned the Washington Post is now known) has decided to sell much of the corporate art collection begun by former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham in the 1970s. The company is offering the collection, which is strong on works by local Washington artists, for what it says is a reduced rate to employees. Proceeds will be given to TheDream.US, a scholarship fund founded by Donald Graham to help undocumented students.”
“Their crude variables and simplistic results reflect a larger problem video game research continues to face as it grows, one that makes rigorous experiments hard to recognize: Scientists don’t even know how video games’ real-world effects should be measured.”
“‘Shocking’ new statistics … show that the number of authors able to make a living from their writing has plummeted dramatically over the last eight years, and that the average professional author is now making well below the salary required to achieve the minimum acceptable living standard in the UK.”
“For three and a half years, conservators at the Acropolis Museum have been cleaning the [Caryatids], Ionic columns in female form believed to have been sculpted by Alkamenes, a student of ancient Greece’s greatest artist, Phidias. … Today they are star attractions in the museum; the originals outside were replaced with reproductions in 1979 to keep the real maidens safe.”