Fog isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when you encounter the rippling white cliff face that now looms behind the museum’s original home, built in 1995 by Swiss po-mo maestro Mario Botta. It looks more like a gigantic meringue, a building-sized baked alaska slumped on the skyline between Botta’s weighty temple and the elegant Art Deco tower of the Pacific Bell building behind.
Archives for April 2016
“ENO said the American-born director would take up the position on 1 August, more than a year after the previous director, John Berry, resigned from the job. Daniel Kramer has divided opinion in the past, with some arguing he is one of the most exciting directors of his generation, while others have criticised his directorial style.”
The move follows the release of internal documents seen by the Guardian that appear to show the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery and other institutions bending to accommodate the demands of the oil company.
Projected at 12,000 lumens, phrases like “ULTRA LUXURY ART/ULTRA LOW WAGES,” “EVERY DAY IS MAY DAY,” and “1%” glowed on the museum’s walls. An eerie video loop of the faces and names of trustee members was followed by the scolding statement “YOU BROKE TRUST.”
“The world is missing female characters. A lot of times there is one female character, maybe even a cool one, maybe even an important one. But where are all the rest?”
“Even when midbrow television is critically acclaimed and beloved by those who watch it, it still doesn’t get much in the way of award recognition or break into the larger cultural conversation. Midbrow is considered good for right now, not for posterity.”
“We found it fairly easy to answer the question of why so many venues are closing; the problem is similar to that plaguing other cultural and community-led spaces across the capital. Artists are being turned into cultural commuters, unable to sustain themselves in the capital because of a lack of spaces – adequate housing, studios and rehearsal spaces – and, now, stepping-stone venues.”
“Traditional audiences accessing traditional forms of culture in traditional ways are under threat throughout Europe and North America. Increasingly, people are enthused by experiencing the arts in new spaces and contexts, particularly ones where they can socialise, hang out and come and go according to their own timetable.”
“Music training not only improved the babies’ ability to notice when a musical rhythm skipped a beat, it also improved their ability to notice when the rhythms of speech changed unexpectedly, an important skill for learning to talk.”
“Stevens’s seraphic art and his plodding life … merge as sides of a coin: philosophical, in his continual grappling with implications of the death of God – a loss that he tried to remedy by making poetry stand in for religion – and psychological, in his constant compulsion to cheer himself up.”
“Only 27% of the 590 major solo shows organised by nearly 70 institutions between 2007 and 2013 were devoted to women, The Art Newspaper’s annual attendance survey reveals.”
“In yet another sign of a recovering economy,” the festival, renowned for reviving obscure and forgotten scores, will from 2017 “be extended from a 12-day event to an 18-day event, a return to the pre-Recessionary format.”
“Initially celebrating the wealth of European heritage, the title, with its attendant year-long cultural extravaganza in the host city, went to the obvious candidates, including Berlin, Amsterdam and Dublin … But, hand on heart, who can say that in the intervening years they have beaten a path to Maribor in Slovenia, Mons in Belgium or Essen in Germany? Who can name five cultural highlights in Guimarães in Portugal, Stavanger in Norway or Umeå in Sweden?”
“A radio production company is launching the ‘audio drama equivalent of the fringe’, in a bid to widen the market beyond the BBC’s output.”
“Pop quiz: The New York City Ballet principal Robert Fairchild is dancing to the sounds of Gershwin, in choreography by Christopher Wheeldon. The title of the work contains the word ‘American.’ Where are we?”
“Just past sunset on Saturday, a man standing atop an aircraft carrier along the Brooklyn waterfront waved a long bamboo pole with a black garbage bag attached to it, and hundreds of tiny lights shot up like sparks spat from a fire.”
“Some five years into its violent civil war, Syria remains a hotbed of archaeological exploration. Such exploration involves perhaps a good deal more danger than those archaeologists envisioned when they were in graduate school.”
Zac Goldsmith (Conservatives), Sadiq Khan (Labour), Caroline Pidgeon (Liberal Democrats), and Sian Berry (Greens) make their cases.
“With Harriet Tubman coming to the American $20 bill, and other changes being made to the look of money in the United States, the design of dollars is once again set to evolve. But our current bills still hold many of the symbols and motifs that existed in our earliest paper money, the Colonial and Continental currencies.”
“I think it’s a great shame that the National Theatre, which has enough money to do it, doesn’t have, at the centre of its work, a company that stays together for a period of time.”
“The library board in Newfoundland and Labrador announced sweeping changes to its services Wednesday, adopting a regional library model which will see 54 branches close in the next two years. The board met Tuesday to discuss how best to deal with a $1-million loss in its annual budget, a cut announced in the provincial budget.”
“The budget outlines a new 10 per cent tax on book sales in Newfoundland and Labrador, which would be added to the current five per cent federal GST. … If implemented, Newfoundland and Labrador would become the first province in Canada to have its own tax on books.”
“These are pieces that have entered the collective unconscious. The act of combining something that you’ve already experienced with something you haven’t yet seen is something I like to use as one of the tensions available to a work. There’s a sort of distortion between the stage and the audience that is dependent on the memories of each individual.” (One thing Lock did not do is leave the music as is.)
Museum Admissions: Better Than Free
Over the years, so many people have advocated for free admissions to art museums that one cannot keep track. I have almost always disagreed, with an exception possibly being federally supported museums like the National Gallery … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2016-04-28
Brothels & Landscapes: MoMA Mines Degas’ Monotype Monomania–Part II
While most of Degas: A Strange New Beauty at the Museum of Modern Art (to July 24) assembles the artist’s usual cast of characters—dancers and singers, acquaintances and nudes (often in … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2016-04-28
Take me to your leader
What does leadership look like? We’re seeing an American election which has thrown up new models of presidential presentation: female politicrat, throwback socialist, celebrity blowhard. In Toneelgroep Amsterdam’s Kings of War, we see three … read more
AJBlog: Performance Monkey Published 2016-04-28
“The best thing conservatories can do is to graduate healthy, intact people with a sense of agency over their careers and lives. The whole Svengali thing has to be held in check, because universities have ways of burying those bad experiences and boards don’t want to hear it.”
“Gagosian himself is estimated to clear $1 billion in sales annually and is among a small group of gallery owners whose appetites are omnivorous: He works across the contemporary and modern eras, representing living artists like John Currin and Mark Grotjahn while also dealing on behalf of the estates of Alberto Giacometti, Richard Avedon and Helen Frankenthaler.”
Gabriele Finaldi said the floor space of the gallery “hasn’t actually changed pretty much in a generation and we are now having 50% more visitors, and potentially that is going to grow in the future”.
Madame Tussaud’s in Tokyo has opened a new attraction. “Visitors can waltz and disco with Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Marilyn Monroe, or pirouette in a “Swan Lake” ballet with Olympics figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu.”
The BBC said that, by 2020, 50% of on-screen and on-air roles will be filled by women, including lead roles in all genres, with a similar 15% target set for black, Asian and minority ethnic people on screen. In terms of the representation of LGBT people, the BBC has committed to an 8% target, which is also the target set for disability on screen. However, this does not include a commitment to having 8% of lead roles filled by disabled talent, with the BBC pledging “some lead roles”.
“Changing Canadian broadcast and content regulations is a hellish task. The public feels very differently from the industry, and the creative side of the industry, especially in TV, doesn’t really want creativity – it wants jobs. It is implausible that all sides will agree on a paradigm that benefits everybody. Even more unlikely is the sudden emergence of great Canadian television.”