“The Cape Henlopen [Delaware] School Board nuked its entire summer reading list to keep kids from reading The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Emily M Danforth’s acclaimed YA novel about a gay teenager coming of age in Montana.”
The Armory Show of 1913, Hitler’s 1937 “Degenerate Art” exhibition, MoMA’s The Photographic Object 1970, the 1966 show that introduced America to Minimalism, the infamous human zoo from 1914, and numerous others – why recreate entire assemblages by other curators, and why now? (Yes, of course there are good reasons.)
There are more out-of-use terminals around than you’d think, some of them architectural landmarks (Saarinen’s TWA terminal at JFK) and all of them expensive. Jonathan Glancey looks at what’s been tried, from the triumphant repurposing of Berlin Tempelhof to Saarinen’s building to poor old Montreal Mirabel.
Sasha Frere-Jones: “With his parodic versions of hit songs, this somehow ageless fifty-four-year-old has become popular not because he is immensely clever – though he can be – but because he embodies how many people feel when confronted with pop music: slightly too old and slightly too square. That feeling never goes away, and neither has Al, who has sold more than twelve million albums since 1979.”
“The principle,” says the president of the AAMD, “is that works of art shouldn’t be considered liquid assets to be converted into cash. They’re records of human creativity that are held in the public trust.” On ther other hand (says the other side), “Once you’ve decided to sell a work of art, what you end up with is money. And money is fungible. And saying that that money has to be cordoned off and only used for art doesn’t address the realities of running any sort of museum.”
“[Jonathan] Davis was shocked to find that his interview aired during a 2013 Shark Week special called Voodoo Shark, which was about a mythical monster shark called ‘Rooken’ that lived in the Bayous of Louisiana. … His answers from unrelated questions were edited together to make it seem like he believed in its existence and was searching for it.” And his is not the only instance.
The New Republic offers from its archives Max Eastman’s assessment of Death in the Afternoon – in which he suggested that Hemingway’s prose style was the equivalent “of wearing false hair on his chest.” (The new preface to the review recounts Papa H’s response.)
Lyn Gardner: “It’s always good to talk, and maybe these shows and others are a sign that we are getting better about being honest with each other about our own frailties. When I’ve discussed these shows with other people, several have opened up their own mental-health issues. That can only be good. It’s as if these shows give us permission to talk about the taboo, let down our guard.”
Maria Konnikova interviews Austin (Soon I Will Be Invincible) and Lev (The Magicians) Grossman – really, they interview each other – about separating (and not) from each other and from the family business: both parents were writers, the black-sheep sister is a sculptor, and they say they’re “failed non-writers”.
The troubled company, which canceled its last production and lost its artistic director, has engaged the former managing director of the Indiana Repertory Theatre to help program the coming fall season and realize a “new artistic vision and business model that reflect the interests of Indianapolis audiences.”
Says one longtime local, “We’re lucky the world discovered Marfa, but the week your [assessed] property values get sextupled is not the best time to get people to admit it.”
Jayme McLellan, an adjunct instructor at the Corcoran, had been engaged to teach her usual class in professional practices for artists this fall. Last week “she was notified that the class was canceled and her employment terminated. … The problem: McLellan is the co-founder of Save the Corcoran” – the group that filed suit to stop the planned dissolution/division of the Corcoran between the National Gallery and GWU.”
The Royal Ballet star “told the Communist Party newspaper Granma for a Monday article that he’d like to form a small company along neoclassical and contemporary lines” following his retirement from the ballet stage at the end of the 2015-16 season.
The Tiny Times film franchise “is a wholesale celebration of conspicuous consumption … a cross between Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada.” The series has greatly irked “those who think individualism and materialism have gone too far in China.” It has also pulled in $200 million so far.
This past spring, the Montreal-based collective En Masse, as part of a University invited residency program, worked with local youth to create a large piece on the side wall of an empty muffler shop on the South Side. Then, thanks to some very bad luck, the community turned against the piece – and so the arguments began.
Alastair Macaulay visits a competition in the form called Detroit Jit. (includes video)
“In view of Amazon’s hilarious misappropriation of an Orwell quote in its ongoing battle with Hachette, it might be more fun to take a look at a few of the many times in recent memory when Orwell’s memory has been used and abused … but watch out for Big Brother.”
“South Africa’s fearless theatre-maker Brett Bailey has made a career out of tackling the most difficult aspects of race. His new show” – titled Exhibit B – “features black people in cages, in reference to real 19th-century human zoos – and even some of the performers are uneasy about it ”
That’s what the ticket website Viagogo reports. “In the hours following the release of tickets, the popularity of [the 12-week run at the Barbican next summer] also appeared to outstrip demand for major music tours, registering 214% more ticket searches than Beyoncé & Jay Z’s On the Run tour.”
The fiberglass work by British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, titled Piggyback, depicts two nude girls, one with a penis sticking out of her mouth.
A bracket-style competition by public vote to choose the Smithsonian Institution’s “most iconic” object has led to a barrage of competitive tweeting and Photoshopping, as a Pullman train car races against the original “Star-Spangled Banner” flag, and a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton battles the National Zoo’s young panda (“Bao Bao may be small, but at least she’s not extinct.”) and the space shuttle Discovery (“What is black and white AND has been to space? Not Bao Bao.”).
When a group of young people demanded that John R. MacArthur make Harper’s available for free online, “what he told them was ‘essentially, forget it.’ The web, to him, ‘wasn’t much more than a gigantic Xerox machine’ designed to rob publishers and writers. He was mocked as neo-Luddite. But the fight only hardened his convictions, which are reflected monthly in his magazine.”
Dmitri Shostakovich, Yuja Wang, Cultural Drift and Cher
AJBlog: Condemned to Music | Published 2014-08-11
“I did my best work there.”
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts | Published 2014-08-12
A Playwright and a Composer Meet in a Forest
AJBlog: Dancebeat | Published 2014-08-11
“Is Spotify Killing Music?”
AJBlog: CultureCrash | Published 2014-08-11
“The Juilliard-trained actor and uncontainably exhibitionist comic who became one of the most dazzling all-around talents in show business … was found dead Aug. 11 at his home in Tiburon, Calif. He was 63 … The cause of death was [apparently] suicide due to asphyxia … His media agent said he had been battling depression.” (includes slide show and video clips)
David Edelstein: “He never found a form that would capture the genius of his stand-up act or his early appearances on The Tonight Show, when his mind worked faster than anyone alive and very possibly dead, when he seemed to be channeling a fleet of circling UFOs containing the galaxy’s best comedy writers.”
Sure, there are clips from Mork & Mindy, Dead Poets’ Society, Good Will Hunting and Mrs. Doubtfire – but there are also treasures like an old Richard Pryor roast, a 1977 pop-up on Laugh-In, and a phone company commercial.
Dahlia Lithwick: “I was aware that I was in the presence of a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime talent who could not even for a moment settle down enough to breathe himself in. For the few minutes that he was himself, talking to me, he was this sweet gentle, big-hearted guy. But he was happiest doing the voices. And you see this quality in everything he ever did, including an interview about his history of addiction where he only really seems happy when he is doing the British, the French, and the Italians.”
“Most authors wittingly or unwittingly provide their fictional characters with more behavior than physical description. Even if an author excels at physical description, we are left with shambling concoctions of stray body parts and random detail. We fill in gaps. We shade them in. We gloss over them. We elide. Our mental sketches of characters are worse than police composites.”
“Just to make sure the letter writers stayed on message, Amazon offered a list of talking points. The first one … was, ‘We have noted your illegal collusion,’ always an icebreaker in these circumstances.” Amazon’s post went on to say, citing a truncated quote, “Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion.” That just isn’t so.
“Several expressed dismay that opera, which at its best offers not just escapism but also catharsis, is becoming mired in a polarizing, all-too-real postdownturn conflict.” Said one Pittsburgh fan, “When people go to the opera, those of us that love opera want to be transported. … This is really like taking away the magic. We just want to go and love it.”