How the LA Phil became the envy of classical music may be what everyone wants to know. It’s maybe even more useful, though, to ask why as well. The story of the LA Phil feat is ultimately about a reason for being. Every great orchestra has had its heydays when it has been uniquely true to its place and population and purpose and art and era.
Archives for September 2018
Naeem Mohaiemen has two films in this year’s big art prize. He says, “I wanted to take the documentary form and jar it slightly. There’s an unmooring. I want people to figure it out by themselves, but it’s OK if they don’t.”
First, the author’s heirs have to want that – and they have to pick the new author carefully. (Often they do want it because, well, money.) One author got good advice from a friend: “He said, ‘Reed, I’m a huge Elvis fan and I’ve seen the greatest Elvis impersonators in the world. And sadly, there’s two things they cannot escape. First, no matter how good their act, I always know it’s not really Elvis. Second, they can never do anything new.'”
Michael Iwanowski walked 1200 miles in as straight a line as he could from Cardiff, where he lives, to his home village, Mokrzeszów, in Poland. He documented the journey on Instagram, of course. What did he find? “My experience was so overwhelmingly positive that it has made me question everything I read in the media about the hardening of attitudes that Brexit has supposedly provoked.”
Kyle Abraham feels like a ballet outsider – after all, he’s known for his work in modern dance. But he also feels the pressure of representation: “He is the first black artist in more than a decade to create a new work for the company, and just the seventh in its 70-year history. (In a repertory with more than 400 ballets, just 10 are credited or co-credited to black choreographers.)”
Basically, machines can do a lot – but they’re having a hard time with creating art. Now, “olfactory circuits bear striking similarities to more complex brain regions that have been of interest in the quest to build better machines.”
The Grey’s Anatomy star made headlines by leaning in last year, and she says, “Women approached me on the street in tears — crying — and it is really interesting how as women we are really not used to, or accustomed to being forceful and asking for what we want, or asking for what we deserve, or speaking up, or speaking our mind.” But after a couple of other cast members were written off the show, the tone of fan response changed.
Artist Arlene Shechet has a public artwork featuring a “rare project with a ceramic piece — ‘Low Hanging Cloud (Lion)’ — that weighs more than a ton.”
Yep, but not because of their content or the experience of watching. It’s because they were kinda radioactive. “Color television, in this instance, was not just bringing images of the contemporary world into the home; it was also physically manifesting one of that world’s most pressing and feared perils.”
One creepy social media guy photoshopped smiles onto Brie Larson’s face in the promotional posters for Captain Marvel. The actor responded by photoshopping the same icky smile onto the other Marvel superheroes, like Ironman and Captain America.
Stage directors with chest pains, 26 outdoor performances canceled or moved inside, and at least $2 million in lost revenue hit the festival this year, with four wildfires burning for months nearby. What does the festival’s “smoke team” plan for next year?
Wait, is Daniel Craig really going to be James Bond again? What about that one Idris Elba tweet? And what’s the deal with Danny Boyle – wasn’t he supposed to direct? Find out more on Instagram, probably, if you didn’t already see it on an actor’s Snapchat (or maybe – old school! – a Facebook Story).
Jan Fabre has all kinds of awards, honors, and money from the Belgian government, and he’s renowned for being a “boundary pusher” in dance. Perhaps some of those boundaries should have been left alone: “Eight former members of Mr. Fabre’s company signed an open letter to the magazine Rekto Verso accusing him of sexual harassment. The letter said 12 current or former members had also endorsed it anonymously. Mr. Fabre ran a company where ‘humiliation is daily bread,’ it said. The signees also accused Mr. Fabre of running a semi-secret project in which dancers were pressured to pose for provocative photos in exchange for off-the-books payments.”
Is it good for indie musicians? Maybe. It’s probably going to be great for Spotify: “This might be a way to lure more influential users away from competitor platforms, something that’s been a difficult task until now since once a user has made a decision on a platform it’s hard to get them to change. With content that’s more or less exclusive to Spotify, fans of the artist will have to subscribe to listen as well.”
Yay? Yes, good: “The company has asked Missy Mazzoli to write an opera based on George Saunders’s ghostly novel Lincoln in the Bardo, and is planning to stage Jeanine Tesori’s opera Grounded, based on the George Brant play about a fighter pilot sidelined by pregnancy who goes into drone warfare. They are the first two women commissioned to write operas for the Met, which has only performed two operas by female composers in its history.”
It’s almost like there’s a network of harassers. Yes: This is a story about sexual harassers all the way down, including one of the guys tasked with reviewing, and then rejecting, Ronan Farrow’s reporting on Harvey Weinstein for NBC.
Mark Steines says he was fired when he supported women who said they were sexually harassed at the channel. “Steines alleges that the Hallmark Channel allowed [Woody] Fraser, the Home & Family executive producer, to create a ‘vulgar, demeaning and hostile work environment, especially for women.’ He also accuses Fraser of ‘running a fear-based operation’ in which he regularly ‘bullied, verbally abused and harassed cast and crew members.'”
Consider the map in Treasure Island: “We are now habituated to regard cartography as a science: an endeavour of exacting precision, whose ambition is the elimination of subjectivity from the representation of a given place. But before it was a field science, cartography was – as Stevenson proved – an art.”
Culture Minister Françoise Nyssen announced on Friday that “film productions with anywhere from four to eight women in key positions would be eligible for a higher government subsidy.” She said, “When things don’t change by themselves, or do so too slowly, it’s up to us to bring about change.”
João Ribas was the artistic director of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, Portugal, for only eight months before he resigned to protest the museum’s removal of 20 photos from the Mapplethorpe show that he commissioned and curated. “The museum also restricted select rooms of the exhibition to those aged eighteen and older against the wishes of its curator, who told Público he ‘was no longer able to continue to lead the institution.'”
The Notch Theatre Company’s model of talking about public lands includes plays that are generated from a lot – a lot – of community meetings and input. “The plays also act as an indelible record of the largest loss to public lands our country has ever seen. They document a community’s unique history and culture at a particularly urgent moment in that community’s journey. Because they are based on true stories, the plays are marked by an authenticity of character and voice, and a sometimes-disarming honesty.”
A lot of docents are going to have to revamp their faintly salacious Baroque art tours – but only slightly, because the researchers found, through analysis of Caravaggio’s teeth, that the sepsis set in from an infected sword wound.
Teju Cole is a novelist, essayist, photographer and photography critic – so naturally he’d team up with composer and jazz pianist (and trained physicist) Vijay Iyer. Cole: “It’s a high-wire act. .. It doesn’t have a set text.”
As part of a Wall Street Journal column, Terry Teachout considers what it means to have 3D reproductions of Van Gogh paintings in the mall.
But that’s only because a judge overruled the country’s film board, which had said that the film – about a lesbian romance – “was an attempt to ‘legitimize lesbianism’ in the East African nation, where homosexuality is illegal.” The ban is lifted for one week only, which will make the film eligible for the Academy Awards.
Can we ever hear the real Rachmaninoff?
Artist Steven Kutcher, who paints various bugs’ (and tarantulas’) feet and then creates larger paintings based on the trails: “My favorite artists are the good ones. They created new languages.”
Wait, what? Yes: “The Met hopes to decamp from the Whitney Museum’s former flagship building in 2020. The Frick would become the new temporary tenant to 2023.”
In this town of 8,500 people in Germany, both bakeries closed, and the bookshop was having a hard time – so it was time for a combination of Brötchen and Bücher. (The Wurst came a little later.)
Indeed, the French New Wave filmmaker is still a sort of “punk monk” despite failing eyesight and difficulty walking. Varda says not to patronize her: “I am still alive, I am still curious. I should not be treated like an old piece of rotting flesh!”