“Last year, wondering what it means to be a Syrian artist when Syria in many ways no longer exists, I began to map the journeys of a hundred [visual, performing, and literary] artists from the country.” Eliza Griswold shows us some of the maps and profiles seven of the artists.
“In some cities, libraries are partnering with established news sources, teaming up in Dallas to train high schoolers in news gathering or hosting a satellite studio in Boston for the public radio station WGBH. In San Antonio, the main library offers space to an independent video news site … In smaller communities starved for local coverage, some libraries are playing a hands-on role, even if it is an expansion of traditional duties.”
This is what happens when you go to the Art Institute of Chicago, or pretty much anywhere, after being trained by Nochlin to truly see. “How ought we read these works? Now that we know the assumed universality they project is specious, what do we do? Nochlin’s answer, in part, is to see the works in their own time, to lay bare their assumptions and examine them for ourselves. Meaning needs context. By looking at how artworks were situated in their own historical moment, how they resonated then and now, Nochlin takes charge of the interpretation.”
The mysterious, metallic nautilus shell is only one of the artworks that NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs team of artists has produced. The artist team has “made travel posters for planets in distant galaxies, and they’ve simulated Jupiter’s churning atmosphere in a small room. They once drilled a hole in a grain of sand, then displayed it alongside six rooms filled with sand to give a sense of how tiny we are in the vast universe.”
Danez Smith’s poetry is part of a movement, or so it feels. “This is a significant moment for poetry. We are meeting days after Ocean Vuong (gay, Vietnamese and a friend of Smith’s) won the TS Eliot prize, and it is tempting to think poetry is at a turning point, belatedly diversifying, relaxing its borders. The reality is that there is still a long way to go, but this is a flicker of intent, the poetic ghettoising becoming less flagrant. It’s a mainstream momentum.”
Barbara Hannigan’s “star has been rising with performances such as her role in the L.A. Phil New Music Group’s world premiere at Walt Disney Concert Hall of Gerald Barry’s opera Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. She will serve as music director of the Ojai Music Festival in 2019.” The full list of classical winners is at this link, and the full list of Grammy winners is here.
Not only did curators decide to look at red arrows chalked on the back of the painting this time, but they found that it might be more figurative than they had expected – and that the painting’s title had been different, and referring to the potential figure, in a 1953 exhibition.
Wood is environmentally friendly (at least while it’s still a tree), lighter than steel and certainly faster – and quieter – to build with, and basically, a material whose time has come (again). “Mild-mannered, unassuming timber has gone into a phone box and come out as a super-substance.”
Well, that’s one way to be more Elizabethan: “Drunk Shakespeare is akin to watching a live version of Comedy Central’s Drunk History, only the audience is drinking along with the cast in real time — and sometimes even changing the direction of the performance.”
The estrangement wasn’t ever explained in their lifetimes, but here’s a bit more info from a tape made by one of Bacon’s close friends: “Bacon poured scorn on Freud, ridiculing one of his paintings in the Charles Saatchi collection and lamenting in 1982 that Freud ‘doesn’t want to see me.'”
There’s a lot going on in New Zealand: “The Royal NZ Ballet’s new artistic director is said to have given her American husband a job. The revelation comes after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met the RNZB’s board this week to express her concerns over the publicly-funded company ignoring New Zealand dancers.”