“In a world of hot takes, criticism is cold, slow and distant … and, once everyone can voice an opinion, their value is diminished. … Readers want to consume art, not consider it. They’ll take recommendations, sure – but reviews? Save your prose for Medium.” What the Web and social media have nurtured instead, writes Rowland Manthorpe, is fandom. “Fandoms do provide criticism, albeit of a different sort. For one thing, it’s more likely to be well-informed. … [Fans] also have a more creative relationship with the creator, so criticism takes the form of remixes, or fan fiction, or animation, or cosplay. The critic has been replaced by the co-creator.”
Modigliani scholar Marc Restillini (who has gotten death threats for exposing forgeries): “My worries aren’t about the number of fakes, which is going down, but about the type of forger that we’re dealing with. We have people who are more sophisticated than those of 15 or 20 years ago. … I think that the scientific community [investigating art fakes] doesn’t realize this. Its response is naïve. Instead of taking necessary steps to fight forgeries, it’s taking steps that will encourage them.”
“It’s bubbling up all over the place. New blogs and podcasts and Reddit discussions concerning themselves with various aspects of Lost have started to appear without warning. Gamers, too, seem to have suddenly rediscovered the series. This week alone, for instance, a Fortnite user found a hatch in the woods, prompting speculation of a Lost crossover, and a Far Cry 5 user recreated the Lost island in its entirety using the game’s map editor. Meanwhile, in entertainment, you can feel Lost‘s influence everywhere.”
The Bode Museum in Berlin is using a Siemens Art Foundation grant to repair Old Master works that were damaged in a 1945 fire and then looted by the Red Army. Says the Siemens foundation’s general secretary, “Restoration is more important than acquisitions. If we were to buy works of this quality on the art market, then we would have to pay several times more than the amount we are investing in restoration – if they were even available.”
“Plain sailing for 200 years at the forefront of British theatre was never an option. Any theatre as venerable and vibrant as London’s Old Vic is bound to have had its ups and downs, but the Waterloo-based venue has had more than its fair share – from bankruptcy to bailiffs and bombing during the Second World War. What is regrettable is that arguably its worst ever crisis should have cast a major shadow over this, its bicentenary year.”
“Had it been down to him, [director Calixto Bieito would] have called the show The Anatomy of Melancholy, after the encyclopedic study by 17th-century scholar Robert Burton, whom he calls the British Montaigne. With a nod to the box office, however, he’s gone for a title that sums up a show in which the Heath Quartet will play angsty Ligeti, while four actors draw on texts ranging from WH Auden’s The Age of Anxiety to Byung-Chul Han’s The Burnout Society.”
“While the threats that climate change poses to material history are well-known and frequently studied, researchers have tended to focus on immovable assets … Archives, because they are technically mobile, have received less attention … Sadly, relocating buildings full of old and fragile documents may be too expensive and complicated to undertake.”
While there was praise for the faculty (and sympathy for their heavy workloads), there was blistering criticism of administration and, especially, of the decrepit physical plant. Said one grad of her damaged studio, “Facilities entered the space after it flooded, and cut into the walls with my ceramic sculptures still on the shelves. I returned to my studio to find a pile of my broken artwork on the ground, with no forewarning. I spent more money than I have to have my most valuable possessions destroyed.”
Technology is no longer a novelty—it’s a given. And artists, who might have in the past approached technological advancement with a hint of idealistic curiosity, now question the impact it’s had on the way humans interact with one another. This tension is ripe territory for artists, who are often more interested in creating provocations around technology than they are in building practical applications.
Director Christopher Nolan saw 2001: A Space Odyssey when he was 7 years old – and now he’s worked “to recreate the experience audiences had in 1968, allowing moviegoers today to see the epic exactly as Kubrick intended. His goal meant there would be no digital manipulation in the new version but the occasional visible scratch would be allowed to slip through.”
The numbers are ugly and persistent across festivals, including the BBC Proms, which has taken a pledge to have 50/50 gender representation by 2022.
Uh-oh: “Shares of MoviePass’ parent company Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc. tumbled nearly 70% Monday through Friday to about 65 cents a share, after the company disclosed that it was running low on cash. That represents a stunning decline for a stock that peaked at nearly $33 a share in October.”
Fox announced it was cancelling Brooklyn Nine Nine on Thursday, and Twitter freaked out. On Friday, NBC announced it had picked up the comedy for a sixth season.
So things are … interesting … for the artistic director: “Kramer, who has never before held a position at an opera house or run a major arts organization, will need all his optimistic, feisty exuberance to prove himself and rescue the company. Its subsidy has been slashed, and it has bled administrative and artistic executives in recent years, curtailing its offerings, renting out the Coliseum for longer stretches to gin up revenue, and threatening its high reputation.”
Or just download the updated version of scriptwriting software, actually. Highland 2 will tell you how many lines your characters of different gender specifications are speaking. Its creator is a screenwriter himself: “During the writing process, you’re not always aware of how little your female characters are interacting or speaking … because you’re only looking at a scene at a time, a page at a time. It’s not a good overview.” But this is.
Mayer wouldn’t go into hiding after the Ayatollah Khomeni called for the deaths not only of Rushdie but of his publishers at Penguin. His point of view: “Once you say I won’t publish a book because someone doesn’t like it or someone threatens you, you’re finished. … Some other group will do the same thing, or the same group will do it more.”
Small blessings in this tale of workers gone a bit too careless (and in the debate of whether great art should be lent out or moved): “‘At least it didn’t pulverize; it came off in one piece,’ the Rev. Augusto Frateschi, the parish priest, said.”
That’s partly because he has learned, while writing screenplays for his films, to work with film directors who are also theatre directors. The author says, “A theater director is used to the idea of finding out what’s the best way of realizing the play. … They are very much more open, I think, to the idea of the screenwriter as an equal collaborator.”
By invitation only, selected organizations are being offered unrestricted support — roughly 10 percent of their annual operating budgets — in addition to arts-management training. That includes a consulting mentor for each organization and a series of seminars for all grantees in a given city on topics such as fund-raising, strategic planning, marketing and board development.