Jane Rule Burdine: “I could have lived anywhere. I’ve traveled a great bit for work, but I came back to Mississippi because it’s what I know. When I go out hunting for these photographs, it’s not like a stranger coming to town. I can move fluidly. I know what I’m seeing. There’s so much here that I know and can discover within my knowledge. How could I ever exhaust it?”
The Massachusetts Cultural Council grant, frozen in September when the museum decided to deaccession and sell some of its art, represents a tiny fraction of the money that’s coming in from art sales. But, after a bruising fight, the museum wants the money anyway. A state representative says, “These are funds paid for by the residents of the Commonwealth. This is where they belong.”
U.S. college students just aren’t good at essays, says one prof, and that’s because no one takes those students seriously, not even themselves. “A decade teaching young writers has taught me a great deal. First, we need to value more the complete and complex lives of young people: where they come from, how they express themselves. They have already lived lives worthy of our attention and appreciation. Second, we need to encourage young people to take seriously those lives they’ve lived.”
Aïda Muluneh brought East Africa’s first (and still only) international photography exhibition into being, but she’s doing more than that with her color-saturated studio images. “This place has so much complexity, and I’m witness to that complexity. There are so many subcultures, there are so many contemporary things happening here, there are so many cities with interesting people who are trying to change the continent.”
Junior winner Christian Li “shared his win with Chloe Chua from Singapore, who at age 11 was the second-youngest to compete this year. Each of them won 10,000 Swiss francs and Li also was awarded the audience prize.”
Of course there’s the Jeff Koons “Balloon Dog (Orange),” but as a museum of the Dachshund opens in Bavaria and the American Kennel Club prepares to move its AKC Museum of the Dog from St. Louis to New York (there’s another, more plainly named Museum of the Dog in Massachusetts, by the way), is there enough dog art to fill these spaces? (And what’s up with cats?)
One theatre writer (who’s white) says that it’s disingenuous to have all-white casts, white directors, and white designers for plays that supposedly examine white privilege.
But writers, says novelist and essayist Alexander Chee, must write to fight back. “If you are reading this, and you’re a writer, and you, like me, are gripped with despair, when you think you might stop: Speak to your dead. Write for your dead. Tell them a story. What are you doing with this life? Let them hold you accountable. Let them make you bolder or more modest or louder or more loving.”
There are slip-ups, and then there’s the CNN Incident. “Many of the obits were filled in with text from Britain’s Queen Mother, who had died the year before, including a description of Dick Cheney as ‘the U.K.’s favorite grandmother.’ Castro was listed as ‘lifeguard, athlete, movie star,’ a description lifted from Ronald Reagan’s bio.”
The writers are from Iowa, of course. One of them says: “We just knew inherently those were dangerous. They were always things that farmers and parents said to stay away from, because you can easily drown in those. Combining that within the world and the context of what ‘A Quiet Place’ was, felt like a natural fit — but obviously, a very, very terrifying fit.”
Wow: “There was poetic justice of a sort in the auction of the poets’ belongings by their daughter, Frieda Hughes, at Bonhams in London in March. Ms. Plath’s lots, which included clothes, jewelry and childhood drawings, outsold Mr. Hughes’s mostly literary remnants (which is to say, books) twice over and then some, earning $551,862.” (Yes, this piece is about money – but also about who Plath was.)
The Guardian says: “In this brittle standoff, fault lies on both sides. The French anti-streaming measures may be draconian, but resistance to Netflix’s anti-cinema model is quite understandable. … Quite aside from diminished screen size and visual impact, what films gain in universal accessibility, they lose in promotion, public awareness and even prestige, slotted as they are into a vast, fast-moving content menu between Adam Sandler originals and new episodes of Queer Eye.”
Acosta, who had a painful separation from his country and family in order to become a star in Europe and the U.S., says “I want to bring them to the world, but also to bring the world to them.”
There’s a reason this might be happening: “More often than not, the passcodes that appear in my Google Authenticator app seem tailored to reduce the cognitive burden of storing them in my working memory, the short-term storage bin our brains use to stash information for a few precious seconds before forgetting it forever.”
Thandie Newton, on getting equal pay to the men of HBO’s Westworld for the upcoming Season 3: “It’s unprecedented. It’s — goodness; it shatters so much calcified pain, resentment, frustration. It just shatters it.”
The thing is, “the museum received a blistering report from a City Council-hired consultant earlier this month calling for a ‘complete rebirth; and reorganized leadership. Museum Management Consultants Inc. issued its 62-page report April 9.” Now the Kansas City City Council is putting forth widely divergent plans for what to do about the museum at 18th and Vine.
Here’s the deal: “We owe translators, and perhaps also ourselves, some recognition of what it might have meant to have handled every single word (space and punctuation mark) of the writing-to-be-translated, to have taken a decision in relation to its every single word (space and punctuation mark), and indeed to have written every single one of its parts.”
La Salle Art Museum’s Promo Video Highlights Deaccessioned Works
“Wander through six permanentgalleries [emphasis added],” the caption for the video walk-through on the La Salle University Art Museum’s homepage exhorts potential visitors. But while the galleries may be “permanent,” the installation shown on … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrlPublished 2018-04-20
‘For Sure Verboten’
U.S. cities with the fastest-growing wealth gaps. Monster Nor’easter The first day of spring a blinding white curtain kidnapped the city. It was a true blast of winter. We solemn jurors braved the … read more
AJBlog: Straight|UpPublished 2018-04-20
Replay: the Benny Goodman Trio plays Gershwin
Benny Goodman, Teddy Wilson, and Gene Krupa, the original members of the Benny Goodman Trio, play George Gershwin’s “Nice Work if You Can Get It” in an unidentified 1960 video clip: (This is the … read more
AJBlog: About Last NightPublished 2018-04-20
Armstrong And Ellington: Azalea
Until the past couple of days, spring around here was a date on the calendar and a rumor. But now there are tulips in front of the house. And magnolia blossoms 15 feet … read more
AJBlog: RiffTidesPublished 2018-04-19
Breasting the Wave
The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company Celebrates its 50th Anniversary Season Lar Lubovitch’s Something About Night. (L to R): Barton Cowperthwaite, Brett Perry, Nicole Marie Corea, Tobin Del Cuore, and Belinda McGuire. Photo: Nan Melville Once … read more
AJBlog: DancebeatPublished 2018-04-19
He led the museum through competing curatorial arguments, staff strikes, and more, while also getting a massive expansion and a boost to the endowment. But it all began with books, and a close relative: “Mr. Oldenburg — whose older brother is the Pop Art sculptor Claes Oldenburg — was a publishing executive when MoMA hired him to run its publications department in 1969. The job allowed him to work closely with curators and artists on catalogs and books, an experience that proved critical when the board of trustees named him director three years later.”
Mont-Saint-Michel, in northwestern France, was evacuated Sunday after a man made threatening remarks on a morning shuttle to the site, got into a fight with café owners, and made threats against security forces. “Tourists were blocked from entering during the lockdown as around 50 police conducted a house-to-house search. Holidaymakers were evacuated from hotels and the abbey was shut.” The site was reopened after police found the man.
Mark Swed: Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ “is simply a collection of 53 melodic motives, all in or around the key of C. Any instrument or vocalist — and any number of them — can play or sing. Each motive is repeated, over a pulse, as long as each performer wants before moving on. … I was told not only that I couldn’t bring that sacrilege into the classroom, but to get it out of the music building and that the only place for it on campus was the trash can. That’s when I knew the revolution had begun.”
Renaissance tapestries are cold, ice cold – no one seems to want to spend substantial amounts of money on them. But new tapestries? Think computer-assisted, bright, and built to last. “Artists are getting really excited by tapestry and are trying to push what can be done with the medium.”
Tim Hetherington, killed on assignment in 2011, “abhorred violence, but he took it upon himself to explore the subject of war on the front lines, alongside soldiers in Liberia, Afghanistan, and Libya. While embedded in Afghanistan on assignment for Vanity Fair (for which he won the 2007 World Press Photo of the Year), Hetherington came to understand war as a function of male sexuality.”
“The union that represents stage performers announced this week that it would cease using the title ‘Gypsy Robe’ to describe one of its most cherished insider rituals — the passing of a colorful patchwork garment from one chorus to another on a Broadway show’s opening night — citing the potential offense to Roma people.” Some performers are not happy with this decision.
Here’s why: “Literary recognition would transform every other young black boy writing rhymes. It would stick two fingers up at the notion that the only way young black boys can get respect is on the streets. Contrary to popular belief, young black boys spend more time writing poetry than they do stabbing and shooting each other. For real. They have transformed the English language with an unparalleled lyrical dexterity. But we refuse to acknowledge that.”
Violinist and Pulitzer jury member Regina Carter: “I just sat down and it was like wow. I just felt like what he had to say and how he would say it, you had to really sit down and think about it and what does it mean for me? It might mean something completely different for someone else that’s listening to it. I felt like it was his experience as a black man in America — and a lot of peoples’ story, not just his story—and just trying to figure stuff out. It’s so poetic. I felt like if you took his lyrics and put them in a book, it would be great literature.”
Lubaina Himid won the prize in 2017 and has shows planned all over Europe this year. “All were programmed before the prize was announced, but Ms. Himid is now using her enhanced clout to request that galleries showing her work reach out to black artists living and working nearby and include them in events like talks and debates that run with the exhibitions. If curators say there are no black artists working in their region, as Ms. Himid said they often do, she provides them with names drawn from an extensive network she has built up over many years.”
Mattel’s been met with a temporary injunction after “Kahlo’s great-niece Mara de Anda Romeo argued in a Mexican court that Mattel does not have the rights to use Kahlo’s image as part of its Inspiring Women series.” The toymaker had permission from the Frida Kahlo Corporation, but not (some of) Kahlo’s family members.
Jaina Lee Ortiz is starring in a show about firefighters, so naturally, she “signed herself up for the firefighter’s Candidate Physical Abilities Test as soon as she landed the Station 19 role, running up flights of stairs in weighted gear, dragging a 165-pound dummy out of a building.” And going on climbing walls for “moving meditation,” of course.
This wasn’t a fast decision about the man who didn’t use anesthesia when he performed experimental surgeries on the women. “The removal of his 80-year-old statue comes after eight years of protests, activism and the local community collecting more than 26,000 signatures.”