Charles Glass: “Within the grounds of the ancient city, nothing was as I recalled it from thirty years before. The triumphal arch was gone, its plinths silhouetted against the bare sky. The Temple of Bel had become a sea of broken stone that archaeologists believe will take a generation to piece together. The agora was unrecognisable.”
“More diversity among students means higher education is drawing more deeply on those who have faced economic and academic inequities that reduce their odds of success. And yet the taxpayer resources that public institutions are receiving to guide them to completion are diminishing. That’s a recipe for widening economic inequality and declining national competitiveness, as kids of color comprise a growing share of the future workforce and tax base.”
“The new curatorial activism builds on the heritage of critical museology, but also reflects its failure. Rather than adapting museums to serve a wider audience, they argue that museums should actively shape their audiences by impressing on them the gospel of social justice. It devalues collections and condescends to visitors.”
Somewrittenlanguageshavenospacesatalland o thers re quire a space be tween ev e ry syl la ble. Ob viously, thereneed to be standards. Unless you’re doing avant – garde po e try, or something , you can’tjustspacew ords ho w e v e r y o u want. That would be insanity. Or at least, obnoxious. Enter three psychology researchers from Skidmore College, who decided it’s time for modern science to sort this out once and for all.
“Targeted at readers 12 to 18 years old, [the genre] sprang into being near the end of the turbulent decade of the 1960s – in 1967, to be specific, a year that saw the publication of two seminal novels for young readers: S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and Robert Lipsyte’s The Contender. … Before these two novels, literature for 12- to 18-year-olds was about as realistic as a Norman Rockwell painting.”
“As soon as the show was over on May 1st, we were hearing complaints that the administrative team did not like our dance at all,” said junior student Ibrahim Sesay. “Calling our whole performance nasty, calling us a disgrace to African culture, picking fights with one of our students and they were just attacking us and our whole performance.”
Not brilliantly. Or rather, some shows are doing pretty well with acknowledging what their audiences know, and how times have changed since the show first started, and some … are not.
First, there was a 47-second video that dramatically changed Germany’s concept of its ability to deal with contemporary anti-Semitism. And then there’s the Christian cross: “The situation in Germany has become complicated. Previous certainties are being lost and old battles are being launched anew. In Bavaria, for example, the cabinet of Governor Markus Söder recently moved to require that the cross be displayed at the entrance of every state government building.”
Here’s why, according to writer and teacher Joanna Russ: “The myth of the isolated achievement so often promotes women writers’ less good work as their best work. For example, Jane Eyre exists, as of this writing, on the graduate reading list of the Department of English at the University of Washington. … Villette does not appear on the list. How could it? Jane Eyre is a love story and women ought to write love stories; Villette, ‘a book too subversive to be popular,’ is described by Kate Millett as ‘one long meditation on a prison break.'”
This puts a new spin on the old Emma Goldman quote, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen: “It’s too late to get rid of all of us. We are here because white people were there, invading — sorry, civilizing — our countries of origin. Americans descended from Vietnamese refugees, undocumented Nicaraguan immigrants and African slaves cannot unlearn English. In my case, I love English and will not leave it, even if some people use it to say, ‘Go back to where you came from.’ (They can’t say ‘Speak English,’ since I teach it.)”
Author and cultural commentator Nicole Chung on why Chee’s work resonates so much with her: “Alex said he ‘wanted to plant that flag in the culture,’ and until he said that I don’t know if I’d thought about it as a reason to write. The need to exist in the canon, in the literary world. I found that very powerful, and very brave.”
His revised M. Butterfly closed early after getting uneven reviews, and he has a new, very ambitious musical in the works. How has the 60-year-old playwright kept powering through? Maybe part of it is to get back at certain publications: “I think it’s kind of cool I can go for 21 years without a good review in The New York Times and I can still have a career.”
Maybe its strategies and events at first sound disconnected from traditional museum reverence, but they can bring in people who never would have guessed how much they might enjoy the museum context. Says Nick Gray: “I don’t think anybody before Museum Hack has said, ‘We’re going to really intentionally go after people who think that they don’t like museums.’ ”
“It’s incredible that people are looking at dancers’ bodies as healthy, because that hasn’t always been the case. It’s been associated with us having eating disorders or being too thin, not being strong. For us to be in this moment and have [people] want to have a strong, lean, feminine body — I think it’s amazing. I hope going to these barre classes will introduce people to ballet in a way that they’ll want to step into an actual barre class.”
Judy Hegarty Lovett, director of Beckett specialists the Gare St. Lazare Players Ireland: “The challenge is both daunting and promising. When we first staged Beckett’s novel Molloy in 1996, there were fewer questions about why we wanted to take it from page to stage. We knew Beckett himself had staged elements of his prose works in a one-man show performed by Jack McGowan. If the author himself had attempted to do it, surely it was possible. In the intervening years, I’ve come to see the staging of his prose as a convergence of form and content similar to that of the written works, where the very means of communication is in doubt.”
The absence of joy and pleasure—anhedonia—has, in its way, become a popular issue in the wake of the disease depression. A quarter of us are affected by it over the course of a lifetime, various studies suggest, and its frequency is increasing in the industrialized world. The treatment of depression has become both a window display and a battleground for deep brain stimulation.
“The fictional children of the past frolicked on the heather-clad slopes of Kirrin Island or battled the armies of evil at Hogwarts, free from the restrictions of their parents. Today, according to [Philip Womack], novelists are eschewing adventure stories for ‘claustrophobic’ domestic dramas and creating ‘a depressing children’s literary landscape’ in the process.”
“By the mid-1950s, the civil rights movement in the US had become a major international news story. People were horrified by the brutality of Emmett Till’s lynching in 1955, and by the mob violence directed at young black students in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. It undercut America’s claims about freedom and equality. US foreign policy officials decided that America needed to create a new international narrative about its domestic racial struggle.” Enter Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and their colleagues.
The final court decision in the famous “monkey selfie” case reaffirmed that animals have no IP rights under U.S. law, which requires human authorship. For now, the same is true for any works created by artificial intelligence – but, as Rachel Withers explains, this may soon change.
With her husband Eugene, co-founder of Texas Instruments, and for decades after his death, she gave millions to educational, civic, and cultural groups, including virtually every major visual and performing arts institution in Dallas. As recently as last year, she endowed a biennial $150,000 prize for achievement in the arts.
“The art masterpiece in question – Flesh and Spirit, a 12-by-12-foot painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat – is just days away from the auction block. It is a prized asset of the estate of [Hubert] Neumann’s wife, Dolores Ormandy Neumann, who died in September 2016, and its potential sale shines a spotlight on what appears to be a nasty family dispute.”
“With outposts and partnerships either launched or pending in Metz, Málaga, Brussels, the Gulf, Shanghai and possibly Latin America, … the Pompidou’s president, Serge Lasvignes, is boldly steering it into a number of new ventures, which he believes will deepen the Parisian museum’s relationship with artistic centres it might otherwise be unable to reach.”
“Like Bollywood, Polish cinema has flourished” – with some titles even making the weekly top 10 at the box office – “in UK multiplexes rather than arthouses, without any help from the British media. It is only partly true to say that the mainstream press has ignored these releases; what’s more significant is that its attention and approval were never sought in the first place. With Polish now the second most commonly spoken language in England, English-speaking viewers are not part of this particular success story.”
Off the pedestal
Here’s a phrase from the biography of Beth Bahia Cohen, a violinist who plays our kind of classical music, but who also plays just about every violin-like instrument found anywhere in the world. … read more
AJBlog: Sandow Published 2018-05-03
May 3 Birthdays
This is the birthday of two men who had significant effects on jazz and popular music. Bing Crosby was born on May 3, 1903 in Spokane, Washington, John Lewis seventeen years later … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2018-05-03
The event marked the end of to the international investigation of black-market antiquities and the evangelical Green family, the owners of Hobby Lobby and collectors of biblical material who opened the Museum of the Bible in Washington last November. The museum was not involved in the settlement, and the returned objects were not part of the its collection.
“Wages have stagnated as funding cuts take hold. Young musicians are particularly affected, with two-fifths of newcomers taking unpaid work in the last year. Forty-four per cent of players told the MU they struggled to make ends meet. And two-thirds of veteran musicians – who’d been playing for more than 30 years – said they’d considered alternative careers.”