America’s (and Twitter’s) favorite dictionary defines dumpster fire as “an utterly calamitous or mismanaged situation or occurrence.” Abby Ohlheiser investigates the history of the term and its spread via (of course) social media and into the mainstream.
The website, which makes literary works in the public domain available free of charge to users anywhere, was sued by a German publisher for offering books by Thomas Mann, whose works are out of copyright in the U.S. (where Gutenberg is based) but not in Germany. Late last week, a German court ruled in favor of the publisher, and Project Gutenberg made itself unavailable in the the Federal Republic.
A lot of what makes physical art valuable is its scarcity — there are only so many paintings by Mark Rothko, after all. But digital art has always been different because it can be perfectly copied, ad infinitum. Crypto technology and the blockchain may be able to change all that.
“Almost 30 years after she first conceived the idea, Marina Abramović is to finally realise her Seven Deaths project. The Belgrade-born artist has turned the work into an opera, which she will direct herself. The production is due to debut at the Munich Opera House in 2020, with plans for it to tour to Covent Garden in London. The project will see Abramović play her lifelong hero Maria Callas dying in seven operas”
Thanks to the skillful portraits and drawings he made for guards, officers, and commandants, he survived seven different concentration camps, and ultimately received a scholarship to study at Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts – after which he emigrated to Los Angeles and went on to a very successful career as a painter and portraitist.
The Chinese have two different concepts of a copy. Fangzhipin (仿製品) are imitations where the difference from the original is obvious. These are small models or copies that can be purchased in a museum shop, for example. The second concept for a copy is fuzhipin (複製品). They are exact reproductions of the original, which, for the Chinese, are of equal value to the original. It has absolutely no negative connotations.
Right-wing culture warriors and the Hollywood old guard like to argue that it’s because liberal Hollywood has lost touch with its audience, but there’s an ugly undertone to leveling that accusation in a year when the academy’s membership, at least in terms of demographics, is more like the country as a whole than ever before. In some ways, the academy’s taste has actually gotten more populist.
As the movie industry has gradually shifted from 35mm to simpler, less finicky, more device-friendly digital film, even moviegoers at places like BAM—who tend to be better versed in the finer points of cinematic geekery—are often unaware or unimpressed to learn that they’re being treated to screenings in older formats.
We took a look at some of the more negative reviews of the film written after its release on March 6, 1998, and reached out with a simple query for the critics who penned them: Would you review “The Big Lebowski” similarly now? Or has your opinion of the movie changed with the benefit of two decades’ time?
Netflix says 70 percent of its streams end up on connected TVs instead of phones, tablets or PCs. That number isn’t a shock — Netflix has been clear about the importance of TVs for a long time, and it’s why the company has spent a lot of energy working out integration deals with pay TV distributors like Comcast and Sky — but it’s a good reminder that not everything is moving to the phone.
Looks like somebody was missing the Maurizio Cattelan solid-gold toilet (the one titled America) that was in the same bathroom last year (and which was not actually lent to Donald Trump’s White House). “While that work stayed in place for a full year, Saturday’s unsanctioned intervention remained in place for roughly two hours.”
In its judgment on 7 March, the Cour de Cassation found that the 1996 agreement between Pegeen Vail’s descendants and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation “imposed no constraint on the number or the duration of the displays of other collections, nor did it require a constant presentation of all the works” in Peggy Guggenheim’s collection.
“The two stars recently took a break from their intense final weeks of rehearsals” – Fleming as Nettie Fowler in Carousel and O’Hara as Despina in Così fan tutte – “to sit down at the Met and talk about what they had learned about each other’s turfs, share some of their insecurities and, at times, swap a little advice. Here are edited excerpts from that conversation.”
“French choreographer Medhi Walerski has given up a commission from Les Grands Ballets Canadiens for next season after widespread criticism that the program for which he was hired, entitled Femmes, would feature new works by three men and no women. Mr. Walerski’s replacement, however, will be another man, the company says.
“New data released Tuesday suggest that in a single year, the US arts and culture sector contributed a whopping $763.6 billion to the nation’s economy – more than the entire GDP of Switzerland. That translates into 4.2% of the US economy, suggesting that the arts and culture sector is worth almost as much as the food and agriculture industry (valued at around a trillion dollars a year).”
This former assistant to Le Corbusier (whom he calls “my guru”) and Louis Kahn, now aged 90, is the first Indian architect to win the Pritzker. Relatively unknown in the West (all his built projects have been in India), Doshi is noted for bridging the gap between Modernism and traditional Indian architecture as well as for several complexes of low-cost housing.
NME (for New Musical Express), something like Great Britain’s version of Rolling Stone, had a circulation in the hundreds of thousands in the days of The Beatles and Rolling Stones and through the eras of punk, New Wave, and Britpop. In 2015, its print sales figures down to 15,000, NME made itself free and got its circulation back up to 300,000 – for a while. (NME will continue as a web-only title.)
People concerned about issues related to the arts and equity (funding is just one area) have used many terms to describe the juggernaut that is the world of symphonies, ballet companies, museums, and theaters. Most of the terminology used is either offensive or absurdly complex (and/or unwieldy) … read more
AJBlog: Engaging Matters Published 2018-03-06
Romancing a High-Low Split: John Haskell’s The Complete Ballet: A Fictional Essay in Five Acts
It’s hard to recall the last time I heard someone say Balanchine’s name aloud. Since his death in 1983, more and more ballet companies around the world have fueled their repertories with his visionary neo-classical … read more
AJBlog: Fresh Pencil Published 2018-03-04
Bible Bumble: Copy Confusion Muddles Museum of the Bible
My belated visit to the three-month-old Museum of the Bible during my recent Washington sojourn began inauspiciously and went downhill from there: … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrlPublished 2018-03-07
Just Because It’s (Almost) Spring, Spring, Spring
The Coltrane project (two items down) is progressing to the extent that I was able to get out the office for a short bicycle excursion. … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-03-07
Lyric Opera entered into a swap agreement in 2006 to cover $40 million in bonds. The fixed rate that Lyric’s paying is 3.8 percent, while the variable rate it’s getting in return is now 1.58 percent. Over the 12 years that the swap has existed, Lyric’s paid about $16.8 million for it. During that same period, the cost of interest on the bonds amounted to about $4 million. But Lyric is hardly alone in this. A look at financial statements from a few randomly selected cultural organizations suggests that it’s the rule for our major institutions, not the exception.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts on Tuesday unveiled their most recent analysis of the economic impact of arts and culture in the U.S. In 2015, the year with the most recent reporting data, goods and services generated by museums, architecture firms, artists and other artistically inclined businesses and agencies accounted for 4.3 percent of the Colorado’s GDP, the feds say. It was part of $763.6 billion arts and culture contributed to the U.S. economy as a whole that year, 4.2 percent of GDP and more than mainstay industries like agriculture and transportation. Creative industries accounted for a $20 billion trade surplus that year, according to the analysis.
“Laurence des Cars is an anomaly in the male-dominated world of French museums. Since March 2017, she has been running the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, with its envied collection of French 19th-century masterpieces, and the Musée de l’Orangerie across the river, for which Claude Monet produced a celebrated series of water lilies. Ms. des Cars was a strong contender for the job. To begin with, she was already partly doing it.”
“This month, 189 of the world’s leading specialists in fine and decorative art – from Old Master paintings to 20th-century design – will gather to work their way through the objects in the fair. They are the final line of defence … on authenticity, provenance and condition.” Jane Morris meets some of the vetters and explains how they work. Says one, “We’re judging ‘beef on the hoof’.”
The Windham-Campbell Prizes, no-strings-attached grants of $165,000, go to English-language writers who don’t know they’re being considered. This year’s winners include British authors Olivia Laing and Sarah Bakewell, American playwrights Suzan-Lori Parks and Lucas Hnath, novelists John Keene (US) and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Uganda/UK), and poets Cathy Park Hong (US) and Lorna Goodison (Jamaica).
“Lift: Slobodan Show premiered at a packed theatre in Gračanica, a Serb-populated town outside Kosovo’s capital of Pristina. It was performed by a local theatre group and artists from Serbia. Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority shunned the play.” Slobodan Milošević, the eponymous dictator, died in 2006 while on trial for war crimes and genocide in The Hague.