“The Amis that Smith herself resembles is Martin. What they share is the predicament of the former wunderkind. Both burst to fame in their early 20s as truly funny comic novelists. Both are dedicated students of literature, as good as critics as they are as novelists. Both are transatlantic liberals who grew up in public and have been compelled to wear the mantle of the public intellectual. But public seriousness has never been a comfortable fit for either of them.”
A letter from 30 publishers “argues that the rule change to allow any writer writing in English and published in the UK to enter has restricted the diversity of the prize and led to the domination of American authors since it came into effect in 2014. Previously, the prize only allowed citizens from Commonwealth countries and the Republic of Ireland to enter.”
“The arts could become invisible everywhere except arts organisations if they don’t make themselves more relevant and more job-focused in schools. We need the whole arts sector to engage with education. If we stay in the bubble surrounding the arts, we get marginalised.”
According to data from the Billboard Hot 100, a weekly ranking of the most popular singles in the country, collaborations now represent more than a third of hit songs. Of the top ten songs on the current Hot 100 chart, half are credited to more than one artist.
One of Balanchine’s most famous maxims, for better or worse, was “ballet is woman.” Yet at City Ballet, he produced a number of extraordinary male dancers, including Jacques d’Amboise and Arthur Mitchell, both 83, and Edward Villella, 81 — American treasures who overcame stereotypes about men and ballet and, on Mr. Mitchell’s part, racism, to devote themselves to the art form and to Balanchine.
“What I find particularly interesting in this technological revolution is the continuing resistance from many musicians, conductors, architects, clients and funders who remain vehemently opposed to electronic acoustics — despite their obvious benefits. This camp claims that the technology and underlying power supplies are not dependable, that the complexity of the system is beyond them, and that the sounds are just not good. This resistance is not a small thing. Installation of these new technologies forces huge additional expenditures and investments in order to create the volumes of space, proper materials and reflecting angles required.”
Bevin has spent two years trying to undermine the Arts Council and its work. In addition to his 2016 board reorganization, he forced out veteran executive director Lori Meadows. Her successor, Lydia Bailey Brown, lasted nine months. Since Brown quit five months ago, there has been little apparent effort to find a new director. The annual Governor’s Awards in the Arts, which the Arts Council manages for the governor’s office, also has gotten weird.
“It’s still amazing to hear the seemingly impossible clarity of Gould’s playing, the sometimes manically fast tempos. And, for all his frenetic energy, in passage after passage, he brings out the music’s majesty, dancing grace and tenderness. Hearing the intense young Gould at work during these arduous recording sessions, playing through a variation at a breakneck tempo with prickly sound, then playing it again, and again, and again, is not just exhausting; it’s stupefying. What, I asked myself, was the point?”
“A misconception abounds that feminists who want to bring abusers to account don’t accept Roland Barthes’s “death of the author” principle. This is not really true, at least for me. I consider Woody Allen and Roman Polanski’s movies gifts, to me and to the culture—even when they’re bad—and I’m never giving them back. I don’t want Allen and Polanski to have control over their own legacies or even over their own works. If they don’t get to dictate how I interpret their films, then they don’t get to control anything about the film industry. We, the viewers, do.”
“YouTube is something that looks like reality, but it is distorted to make you spend more time online. The recommendation algorithm is not optimising for what is truthful, or balanced, or healthy for democracy.”
Artists Repertory Theatre had plans to sell half of its building, including one of its theatres, to a development group that was going to turn the pricey Portland real estate into a 20-story housing and retail building. That may still happen, but the $7 million – one of the largest arts gifts in Oregon’s history – allows the theatre company to pay off its mortgage and be, the artistic director said, “in control of our own destiny.”
The artist isn’t personally on Twitter or Instagram – or rather, she’s on them all of the time, but simply to observe. “As uncomfortable as she seems with contemporary standards of personal exposure, she is at ease in the realm of the abstract. As in her work, she quickly distills dissertation-worthy topics into stuff you want to put on a sweatshirt. ‘History is a circle jerk of hurt and damage,’ she told me at one point.”
Basically, you put a bunch of very smart people in a writers’ room and let them loose: “The result is a show packed with references to art, literature, pop culture, politics and science.” (Alternative theory: The Simpsons has so many episodes that it’s bound to get a few things right.)
You hire them as musicians. But for real, even though they’re not in the marketing department, four Millennial musicians in Milwaukee “were willing to share their ideas on how to attract more people their age to performances. Their thoughts boil down to ‘accessible repertoire,’ to use McCullough-Benner’s phrase, and friendly concert experiences.”
The lawsuit is from a current vice-president at the basic cable station. The woman suing the station, Leslie Isaacs, “contends she was unfairly passed over for a promotion and a raise. The suit alleges that other female employees also faced repeated crude and demeaning comments from their superiors.”
Says one of the hosts of a popular NPR roundtable podcast: “No wonder you feel as if you know them; that the sound of their voices comes to fire precisely the same neurons, arouse the same feelings, that the voices of your closest friends do. It’s purely biological, and it’s indistinguishable from intimacy — except for one minor, mundane, trifling detail: It’s unidirectional. You know them, you trust them, you love them, and they have absolutely no idea who you are.”
After a gay Latino board member resigned and a straight white male artist declined to be honored because all museum’s honorees have been straight white male artists, “MOCA said it is rethinking its gala and will send out a new announcement in the next few weeks.”
Lisa Halliday won the Whiting Award for her first novel, in which an editorial assistant meets a famous writer on a bench. The writer is pretty clearly modeled on Roth. “The likeness is no accident. Ms. Halliday, 41, and Mr. Roth, 84, are good friends. And for a time, when she was in her 20s and working at the Wylie Agency, which represents him, they had a romantic relationship.” (Should any of this matter in the reception of the book?)
“If you want to read through a magnifying glass, you will like this book. Otherwise, it is worthless as the pages are too thick for toilet paper.”
A Met official disagrees with the union (American Guild of Musical Artists), which asserted that a written apology and a rehearsal change would have been enough. The Met official said “that while the chorister had indicated that he would accept a written apology, he had also communicated to Met officials that he did not want to see Mr. Copley either in the underground rehearsal rooms or on its stage, and threatened to consult a lawyer if he did.”
He’s the year’s best-selling debut artist (so far) across all genres, and – to quote another article about this phenomenon – “His first recording, which includes works by Shostakovich and Leonard Cohen, takes its place alongside the likes of Ed Sheeran and Eminem.”
There is a lot going on around this planned house, and the artists’ colony on the Munch estate, in Norway. “In the coming weeks, the country’s top heritage conservation authority will decide whether to grant a permit for the project. Artists and journalists have raised concerns in the Norwegian news media that it would alter the last remnants of the landscape Munch painted and would overshadow the historical importance of the site. … Mr. Melgaard, who is gay, also suggested that the opposition was partly fueled by homophobia”
Algeria has no dance studios or companies, so when an Algerian French choreographer wanted to hold auditions, he started looking in other directions. “There are groups of men who train themselves by imitating YouTube videos and each other in the arts of hip-hop and the Brazilian martial-arts-cum-dance-form capoeira. … Much like the early hip-hop crews in the Bronx in the seventies, these men (only men) would gather on the beach to dance for each other, for the pleasure of it.”
Sotheby’s has expanded into 21st-century services like art advice and managing artists’ estates, but Christie’s and Phillips rely on auctions for their good news. And, “for the moment, the 18th-century model of live auctions continues to do nicely, tracking global economic growth.”
Cornelia Parker, whose election works go on public display this week, said that she “felt she could not do otherwise than represent the voices – often anxious, fearful, or angry – of the people she had encountered during her time observing the election campaign. ‘I was bombarded by so much emotion and visual information I had to have sound, and sensation,’ she said.”
A Bachelor contestant’s mother couldn’t contact her for a while – and reported her missing to the local sheriff’s office, which kept a Missing Persons report active for months. “All the while, Ms. Martinez has been publicly active on Instagram and Twitter. After writing on Sept. 17 that she was giving up social media for ‘the next several weeks’ — a time that corresponds with the filming of ‘The Bachelor — she began posting photos on Instagram again on Nov. 22.”
Despite global economic and political uncertainty, 2017 was a strong year for the top end of the art market, with data-driven reports pegging the growth at 25% across auction houses.
“Austin Opera has terminated the contract of artistic director and principal conductor Richard Buckley, … effective immediately.” The company’s statement included no details, and Buckley’s spokesperson said that the allegations are baseless and without merit,” but “two women spoke on the record with the American-Statesman on Thursday about Buckley’s behavior while he was artistic director.”
“On Thursday, Poland’s Senate pushed through a measure that would make it illegal to accuse Poles of complicity in the Holocaust or any other crimes associated with the Nazi era. Offenders could find themselves imprisoned for three years once the law, which is awaiting the signature of the Polish president, comes into effect.”