Many things once thought worthless—vinyl records, Brutalism—have grown in value. The Internet, which leaves no take unturned, has been predicting a compact disc comeback for years. After seeing what my lost Felt CD was now selling for, I began checking the prices of the CDs I’d held onto. A solo album by Kevin Rowland, of Dexys Midnight Runners, turns out to be worth $100 to $200 on Amazon. A couple Alex Chilton discs fall within the same price range. I was pleased, but scandalized too; I’d been so negligent with this treasure.
“I had been here for just a couple of months, and I was getting used to [Chef Bottura’s] style,” Canadian-born chef de partie Jessica Rosval told me when I visited the restaurant. “He burst into the kitchen one day and said, ‘Okay, everybody, new project for today: Lou Reed, Take a Walk on the Wild Side. Everybody make a dish.’ And I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, where do I even start?’” But Rosval’s initial panic soon turned to excitement. “We created a wide variety of dishes,” she said. “Some people focused on the bass line of the song. Some people focused on the lyrics. Some people focused on the era in which the song was written. We had this diverse array of different plates that were created from this one moment of inspiration when Massimo had been listening to the song in his car.”
“If my family want entertainment, they are more likely to spend their money on a motorised ride-on esky scooter than a subscription to Sydney Theatre Company. My school friends only ever come to the theatre to see me. Other times, they feel alienated and unsafe in arts institutions, if they can ever afford to go. Some of them say theatre is for people more educated, but mostly they just think it’s boring. I want to tell them that they’d love it if they went. That it’s their stories on stage, their culture. But most of the time, I’d be lying. Its middle-class stories about middle-class problems. This would bore them.”
“It took more than three years for the leaders behind a proposed Desert Storm memorial to secure the plot of federal land they want to build their project. The World War I memorial has a site and a winner of a national design competition, but its officials are still tweaking and adjusting their plans to get clearance to build. And then there’s the cautionary tale of the 20 years it will have taken the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial to move from authorization to opening in 2021.” Peggy McGlone looks into the challenges and obstacles.
“As the old saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.” David D’Arcy recounts the aggravating story of Russian-born American art dealer Alexander Khochinsky, who reported to Poland that his father, a World War II veteran, had left him an 18th-century portrait that had belonged to Poland’s National Museum in Poznan, was stolen by German troops in 1943, and then seized (and kept) by Soviet troops as the Nazis retreated.
“ENO is now a shell of the great and pioneering company it was when Peter Jonas was general director in the 1980s. Under Jonas, director of productions David Pountney and music director Mark Elder, ENO developed enormous self-confidence, great visual elan and an in-your-face aesthetic that combined high camp with raw violence.” Now the company lurches from crisis to crisis, runs fewer performances of duller productions, and rents out its house for half the year. Stephen Moss has a few suggestions for making ENO great again – including getting rid of its ‘white elephant’ of a theatre.
Lauren Post caught her foot in the hem of her costume and tore a knee ligament onstage. Michele Wiles was being lifter high over her partner’s head when he lost balanced and they crashed – onstage. Natalia Makarova famously has a piece of scenery crash onto her mid-performance. And there’s that dreaded pop! of the Achilles tendon rupturing. Sarah Kaufman tells tales of bodily disaster and recovery.
Rising from a series of limestone terraces above a scrubby valley of olive trees, this metallic box is the new $21m (£15.95m) home for the AM Qattan Foundation, an arts centre that its founders hope will stand as a “beacon of culture” in the occupied West Bank. “It is more than just an arts centre,” says Omar Al-Qattan, the Beirut-born, British-educated chairman of the foundation. “We hope it might be a modest microcosm of urban public life, something that Palestinian cities lack.”
Life is awash with inducements to stupidity and greed. The bizarre, defiantly anti-utilitarian practice of making and enjoying art can function as a respite, a space for genuine reflection and reevaluation – as R.M. Rilke learned while staring at a broken ancient statue of Apollo, art can help us see that we must change our lives, if we want to live truly well in our short time. In our time that space is being increasingly colonised by the same venal lusts that already run so much of the wider world.
Yayoi Kusama’s newest exhibit brings attention to Hurricane Sandy-damaged Rockaway Beach, but also attracts the very people it’s (perhaps) making fun of.
Sure, it might make their publicists cringe, but bestselling authors like Elin Hilderbrand, Stephen King, and even J.K. Rowling are happy to comment on politics, using their social media feeds (and their readings).
OK, the person fainted because they’d had too much to drink, and the opening was too packed, but still. More Q&A: “Who’s your favorite regular? There was the five-year-old daughter of the owner of a thrift store on the next block who would come in, find some books, walk to the front, and hand me a five-dollar bill over the counter with a beatific smile. She wasn’t totally clear on the concept of sales tax, but I usually covered it for her.”
Consider the holes in doughnuts. No, not the “doughnut holes” made out of the dough, because they’re clearly not holes. “If we do not take the removed dough to be the hole, then what do we take the hole to be? Are holes material things, where material things are physical (like tables and chairs), or are holes immaterial things, where immaterial things are not physical (like abstract entities)? Or are holes not even things at all?”
Lauren Yee, who wrote the new musical Cambodian Rock Band, explains why it works so well. “Cambodian music is not just covers of American or Western music. It’s really this modern, distinctive sound that is found nowhere else. It is kind of all these influences, from traditional Cambodian music, French New Wave, some of the Vietnam War-era radio. It is so ingrained in the culture in a way that I just find incredibly unique.”
The dancer is Marcelo Gomes, who resigned from American Ballet Theater in December of 2017. Sarasota Ballet’s artistic director, Iain Webb, only wanted to talk about the former principal’s artistry. “Asked whether he had discussed the allegation against Mr. Gomes, he replied: ‘We didn’t go into the details. Whatever’s gone on, it hasn’t been made public, and he didn’t need to tell me.'”
Anthony Tommasini: “For 80 years, New York audiences — and critics, including me — have felt as much affection for the Frick’s music room as the artists who have performed there, even ones of international renown. It truly is the closest thing to a 19th-century music salon this city has to offer. But the beloved room is, sadly, now on borrowed time.”
The bullseye is the 1940s, of course. Why? The audience. “What’s been bubbling for a while, probably since The Iron Lady and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel came out [in early 2012], is the conviction that the most reliable cinema-going audience are the over-50s. And a period movie falls into the category of films that audience will go to see.”
Actually it’s a pay cap – the Chinese government says it’s necessary to prevent tax dodges and also to curb “excessive paychecks and waste.” Top actors are not exactly thrilled.
When you want to perform Karlheinz Stockhausen’s “Gruppen” in the Tate Modern, and you really, really, don’t want the three orchestras to fall out of sync, you have to take rather a lot of meetings. The three conductors: “Pencils in hand, they laid out their scores on a table and mimicked their orchestras’ parts in a cacophony of hummed notes, whoops, grunts, bleats and birdlike sounds — and every once in a while, in unison, a triumphant’Bang!'”
The streaming behemoth has quite the foreign film library. It takes a little work to find the films, but they’re worth it for most tastes: “The sheer amount of material may be the most impressive thing about the category. And for a mainstream platform like Netflix, international doesn’t mean art house.”
Here’s a journey that starts 100 years ago: “A remarkable centennial few are paying attention to is the premiere of the first meaningful American opera to have any real national success: The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Charles Wakefield Cadman’s ‘Shanewis (or The Robin Woman).’ The 1918 opera is about a Native American singer who leaves her reservation in Oklahoma to study voice with a Santa Monica socialite at a ‘bungalow by the sea’ (I’m not making this up).”
Ashley Bouder isn’t OK with how few women get to choreograph, or become company directors, in the world of ballet. So the City Ballet principal is trying to change that through her own company, in her free time. But it’s not necessarily easy: “Ballet is both a largely nonverbal art form and one that prizes conformity. ‘We’re used to being told to shut up and get in line and point your foot and turn out,’ Ms. Bouder said, noting that this pressure tends to weigh more heavily on women, who are more easily replaced than men.”
Full-time writers in the UK earn less than ten thousand pounds a year, a new survey says. This seems … unsustainable for authors (publishers dispute the number): “The Society of Authors chief executive Nicola Solomon estimating that authors were paid just 3% of publishers’ turnover in 2016, based on their profits. ‘What concerns us is that during the same period that we see authors’ earnings plummet, the large publishers are seeing their sales rocket,’ she said.”
“The draft strategy is an opportunity to raise ambitions around the potential and profile of culture and to recognise that culture can be at the centre of wider societal shifts,” the strategy reads. “It places culture as of equal importance alongside other areas such as the economy, education, environment, health and tackling inequality, and values culture for the unique perspectives it can bring.”
Every generation re-evaluates the art it has received and decides whether or not it is still worthy and relevant to their interests, but it feels like we’re in a moment of particularly intense scrutiny right now. Maybe it’s important to remind Shakespeare-lovers that much of Shakespeare’s work is deeply problematic. But if we’re going to force people to confront Shakespeare’s problems, then what is the point if we’re not allowed to then say, “Actually, you’re right, this is incredibly offensive, hopelessly out of date, and I want to walk out of this play/stop studying this subject/decide never to watch, read, or produce Shakespeare again.” I think that’s a legitimate response, but not the one, I suspect, that people who are most precious about censoring Shakespeare would support.