Leslie Jamison visits the one-of-a-kind Zagreb museum and considers the meaning(s) of the institutions and of seven of its objects on display (wall texts included), as well as the Bad Memories Eraser in the gift shop.
Cowboy poetry goes as far back as the late 19th century, when herders were known to recite original poems sitting around their campfires at night. Those poems mimicked the popular verse of their day, at least in form—they never veered into free verse, and they featured a singsong rhythm. Cowboy poetry continued for the next 100 years or so in this fashion, confined to fleeting performances in hushed fields, until 1985, when a group of folk historians used a small grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to create the Gathering in Elko with a simple purpose: to bring together men and women who craved poetry that valued and found beauty in their rural existence.
Hundreds of millions of people with disabilities live in cities around the world. By 2050, they will number an estimated 940 million people, or 15% of what will be roughly 6.25 billion total urban dwellers, lending an urgency to the UN’s declaration that poor accessibility “presents a major challenge”.
You can understand the confusion that could arise in an audience member who, aware that theatre performances are now broadcast live to cinemas via NT Live and the like, thinks they are entitled to act as a private broadcast channel to their friends at home. Theatre invites you to be uniquely ‘in the moment’ but, for many, it’s now important also to capture it so that you own it forever.
“According to Bloomberg’s math, the four winning projects based in Los Angeles; Gary, Indiana; Spartanburg, South Carolina; and a triumvirate of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy in New York generated $13 million for those four places, both in terms of new jobs, related neighborhood investments, and visitor spending. More than 10 million people are estimated to have viewed those works, which not so subtly encouraged water conservation, culinary job training, better-lit public spaces, and improvement to blighted buildings, respectively.”
“Silicon Valley tech companies draw on innovative technical theory but have yet to really incorporate advances in social theory. The inattention to such knowledge becomes all too apparent when algorithms fail in their real-life applications – from automated soap-dispensers that fail to turn on when a user has dark brown skin, to the new iPhone X’s inability to distinguish among different Asian women.”
“This agreement effectively allows the museum to do what it always wanted to do,” Nicholas M. O’Donnell, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said by today by phone. “My clients are stunned at the complete reversal by the Attorney General’s office in barely two weeks,” he added in a statement, in reference to an earlier AGO filing that suggested the museum’s “failure to select the less harmful, reasonably practicable, alternative mode of action” could be a breach of fiduciary duty.
University tuition fees are a prime example. Public transport run for profit by private-sector franchisees is another. Sooner or later, central government’s what-next-to-privatise spotlight was bound to turn to the Arts Council. Unthinkable? Ask any client of the Student Loan Company. Ask anyone who commutes to work by train, paying the highest fares in Europe. Ask English Heritage (once the Ministry of Works) or the Canal and Rivers Trust (formerly British Waterways).
“The foundation is the five-paragraph essay, a form that is chillingly familiar to anyone who has attended high school in the US. In college, the model expands into the five-section research paper. Then in graduate school comes the five-chapter doctoral dissertation. Same jars, same order. By the time the doctoral student becomes a professor, the pattern is set. The Rule of Five is thoroughly fixed in muscle memory, and the scholar is on track to produce a string of journal articles that follow from it. Then it’s time to pass the model on to the next generation. The cycle continues.”
“We felt the New York Philharmonic should be of our city, about our city, and in our time.” Like every other arts organization, the orchestra is chasing the young (or youngish), and Deborah Borda insists the key is not to peddle outdated prestige or blandish with watered-down entertainment but to present art that is socially engaged. “Millennials are hungry for experience, but they need a different context, one that’s political and social,” she says.
The genre has moved far beyond Disney’s screen-to-stage extravaganzas, Hairspray, and The Producers: in London alone, there are currently live-theatre versions of Network, Jubilee, Fanny and Alexander, and The Exorcist. Says director Chris Goode, “I think what has happened over the last 10 years or so is that we’ve stopped having the idea that theater is essentially a literary form.”
“The poet who wrote the words can be confrontational. The composer is known for cutting-edge jazz. The singer specializes in ornately written operas from another century. Suffice it to say that Cycles of My Being, a new song cycle by poet Terrance Hayes and composer Tyshawn Sorey – prompted by police brutality against African Americans – won’t be anything typical. Or demure.” Says Lawrence Brownlee, who conceived the project for Opera Philadelphia, “Hold on to your seats. We don’t know what’s going to happen. But something is going to happen.”
“There have been really good articles showing that if you take a white man that’s in prison for, say, stealing from a store,” the philanthropist tells a reporter, “and he has the same record, the same number of years incarcerated, the same good behaviour as a black man that’s done the exact same thing, the white person gets paroled sooner.”
“Prosecutors allege that Michael Rohana, 24, of Bear, Del., sneaked into the Franklin Institute’s ‘Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor’ special exhibit in December and snapped the thumb off one of the priceless statues inside. With the filched finger shoved in his pocket, he left … the museum that night and kept the clay digit in a desk drawer in his bedroom for more than three weeks.”
“[Krzysztof Wodiczko’s] site-specific work, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, 1988-2000, was restaged for the first time in 30 years on Tuesday and was meant to remain on display for three days … The three-story-tall piece … shows two hands holding a gun and a candle on either side of a row of microphones.”
“[She] epitomized the company’s early eclectic profile by excelling in roles that ranged from Billy the Kid’s Mexican sweetheart to the ‘Bluebird’ pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty … Because of her lyrical style in ballets like Les Sylphides, Ms. Koesun was often cast as a Romantic ballerina. But she could also show dramatic ferocity, as the evil antiheroine Ate in Antony Tudor’s Undertow.”
“Dr. [Ahmad] Sarmast founded ANIM in Kabul in 2010 in response to that country’s civil war destruction of centuries of rich musical tradition. In the 1980s the pop music and film industries were thriving in Afghanistan, with hundreds of ensembles and a national radio orchestra playing Western and Afghan musical instruments. Between 1996 and 2001, music was completely banned. Over the last eight years, ANIM has been providing a challenging and safe learning environment for all students regardless of gender, ethnicity, religious sect or socio-economic status. The institute has a special focus on the most disadvantaged children in Afghanistan, including orphans, street vendors and girls.” the other winner of this year’s $125,000 prize is the band Metallica.
You can get a diverse audience there — you just have to offer something that they want to do. I think it would be impossible to take the old art museum and somehow magically say, “Now you’re welcome to come and see it.” It wasn’t developed with any input from that audience whatsoever — for instance, nobody on the staff looked like that, and generally they don’t look like that now.
“Empathy is, perhaps, the most plausible of music’s utopian promises. The universality of musical communication dissolves the barriers of isolated viewpoints. We can gain direct access to perspectives and emotions far from our own experience. Music expands our ability to empathize, to sympathize, to humanize. It’s a great story. It’s a story I’ve told enough times, certainly. And, at those times—now, for instance—when empathy seems to be a dwindlingly scarce societal resource, it’s a story we like to tell with greater insistence, and confidence, and hope. But what if it’s just that—a story?”