“Comedy is not dead, but it is changing. And comedy’s association with honesty is far more recent than we might think. You and I just happen to have grown up during an unusual period in the history of comedy, one in which it became strangely bound up with truth and virtue. Trump, thank God, has cut the knot.”
“[In September,] the artist duo McDermott & McGough will unveil the Oscar Wilde Temple, a public installation at the Church of the Village in New York’s West Village neighborhood. … Forced to repress his homosexuality for the majority of his life, Wilde is presented in McDermott & McGough’s piece as a martyr of sorts – a soul who suffered because of what he believed and who he was.”
“This isn’t just metaphysical poetics. Every sensory experience triggers changes in the molecules of your neurons, reshaping the way they connect to one another. That means your brain is literally made of memories, and memories constantly remake your brain. This framework for memory dates back decades.”
“When Major-General Charles Sandford recalled the scene at the Astor Place Theatre on May 10, 1849, it was with a sentiment one would not normally associate with a night at the theater. ‘During a period of thirty-five years of military service,’ wrote the general, ‘I have never seen a mob so violent as the one on that evening. I never before had occasion to give the order to fire.'”
“You may have heard, in the past year, that irony and satire are dead, that in the age of Trump they have become indistinguishable from their opposites. … Everyone recognizes that something essential to comedy is failing: the power to defeat lies. … [But] comedy’s association with honesty is far more recent than we might think. You and I just happen to have grown up during an unusual period in the history of comedy, one in which it became strangely bound up with truth and virtue. Trump, thank God, has cut the knot.”
“Photographer Donald Graham … alleges that Prince unlawfully used his photograph Rastafarian Smoking a Joint (1996) when he enlarged an Instagram post of it for his New Portraits show at New York’s Gagosian Gallery in 2014.” The judge noted in his ruling that “Prince has not materially altered the composition, presentation, scale, color palette and media originally used by Graham.”
In life, Federico Cerruti was a solitary bachelor who made his fortune binding books, lived in a small apartment above his office, and visited his villa packed with Old Masters and Modern art every Sunday. In death, he has become the latest equivalent of Henry Clay Frick, Isabella Stewart Gardner and Albert Barnes.
“Steadily and surely over the past few years, the Mann has become much more than just a venue. In addition to making new commissions, it has gone a long way toward realizing its educational potential with master classes and a months-long schedule of projects in partnership with schools, and has discovered its neighbors in West Parkside.”
“In this case, the Albright-Knox seems to be trying to rewrite history, repeating the canard that Bunshaft’s building was built as an auditorium, not galleries, so that’s the only part worth saving. According to the history books, this is simply not true.”
What many may not realize is that when Devos isn’t busy gutting unions, spreading the word of God or reminding us that “nothing in life is free” (except her multimillion-dollar inheritance), she and her family are quite active in the arts world. In 2010, Betsy and her husband, Dick, donated $22 million to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, to endow its Arts Management Institute. Her family also founded and funds ArtPrize, a renowned international arts competition that takes over the streets of Grand Rapids, MI every fall.
“I as a director do not feel it is my responsibility to have a dialogue with a young person about subject matter that should be left to the parents. So to do a scene that is dealing with sex — I mean, I have trouble even just communicating a kiss and the emotion of love and attraction, let alone talking through a scene where they’re having sex. There’s no way I could ever do anything like that.”
“You know, I went north all those years ago, as a romantic young crusader and artist, and I imagined that in Alaska I could step outside my own culture — which is patently ridiculous. But somehow I was able to draw music from the air and the earth, and that has served me well. Even though it’s obviously a ridiculous idea, it’s given me a life’s work.”
“The human body reacts to stress in many of the same ways regardless of whether the source is mental, like a difficult math problem, or physical, like running. … If you’re conscious, your brain demands your energy, and lots of it. Using your brain takes real, honest, physical work – it’s just not visible to us the way using our muscles to exercise is.”
Pop culture at large has enjoyed mocking prog obsession via negative portrayals of prog-rock fans (see: the weird misfit characters of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Buffalo ’66, for example). But, David Weigel argues, the genre doesn’t get enough credit for its dynamism and inventiveness.
The ‘swinging’ birds were found after scientists used mathematical analysis to study the song of the thrush nightingale. The nightingale’s song deviates slightly in its note timing, making it more ‘expressive’ like a jazz swing track, the researchers, from the Max Planck Institute in Frankfurt, Germany, found.
“Across the UK, music venues that have flourished for decades have begun to disappear. This week, the Music Venue Trust, the charity that supports the interests of Britain’s small music venues, questioned Arts Council England’s decision to reject its application for funding. The trust argues that while Arts Council England does much to support new music, with money for the internet radio station NTS, live-streaming Boiler Room and contemporary music curators Capsule to name but three, 85% of its music funding has been allotted to opera and classical music, according to the charity, with £96m given to the Royal Opera House alone.”
“The panic was illuminating, because there shouldn’t have been a panic in the first place. … ‘If SoundCloud is no more,’ Los Angeles rapper-producer Jonwayne tweeted, ‘people will continue to make music. Another [better] aggregate will take its place. We won’t miss it.’ … Singer-rapper D.R.A.M. offered a similar sentiment: ‘We gon’ be alright, I promise.'”
“HBO said that the show” – titled Confederate – “would portray events leading to a Third Civil War and follow ‘a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone – freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slaveholding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.'” (The Twitterverse does not seem to like the idea.)
“The play, he says, will not focus on the Trump presidency itself, but will be set two years before the election. Kushner says he will try to write Trump as a direct character, rather than anything oblique or symbolic. ‘He’s the kind of person, as a writer, I tend to avoid as I think he is borderline psychotic,’ Kushner says. ‘I definitely think that incoherence lends itself well to drama, but he really is very boring. It’s terrifying because he has all the power, but without the mental faculties he ought to have.”
“The city has been funding the arts since the 19th century, but until now City Hall has never embarked on a comprehensive review of where all that money goes and what it does. The result of that effort is a 180-page report … called ‘CREATENYC: A Cultural Plan for All New Yorkers,’ which aims to reorient the city’s cultural life toward neglected corners of the five boroughs by bringing the arts to previously ignored neighborhoods and pushing some of the jewels in the city’s cultural crown to make a greater effort towards getting residents of those neighborhoods through their doors.”
“GPs prescribing arts activities to some patients could lead to a dramatic fall in hospital admissions and save the NHS money, according to a report into the subject of arts, health and wellbeing published after two years of evidence gathering. … [The] inquiry contends that the arts can keep people well, aid recovery from illness, help people live longer, better lives and save money in health and social services.”
“Many people see dance and choreography as separate pursuits, or view choreography as a dance career’s second act. For some dancers, however, performing and choreographing inform one another. … Though a dual career can be fulfilling, simultaneously inhabiting the roles of dancer and choreographer requires focus, organization and a great deal of energy.”
“Officials at the Centre Pompidou have confirmed that … more than 20 exhibitions drawn from the holdings of the Beaubourg Gallery will be shown in the new outpost, called Le Centre Pompidou Shanghai (West Bund), which is based in a wing of the new 25,000 sq. m West Bund Art Museum designed by the UK architect David Chipperfield.”
The World Is Your Classroom (Or Gym)
Naomi Even-Aberle introduces us to her community: her gym. She shares how impactful it can be to take part in the successes, failures, and challenges of her students and peers as well as … read more
AJBlog: Field Notes Published 2017-07-19
Part of Something Bigger
Jaclyn Roessel reflects on the first time she felt like a part of a community, when she was 12 years old and had her Kinaaldá ceremony, in which she became a woman and felt the kinship of not only her nuclear family, … read more
AJBlog: Field Notes Published 2017-07-19
Recent Listening In Brief: Mitchell, Zeitlin, Cole
Roscoe Mitchell, Bells For The South Side (ECM)
If you have followed Mitchell’s searching music over the past 50 years, Bells For The South Side will reassure you that the septuagenarian composer, … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-07-19
“This week, change could finally be on the way, as 110 professional bodies in Catalonia have signed up to a plan to change the region’s daily timetable by 2025, shortening the classic three-hour lunch break so that employees can finish work earlier in the evening. Such a change would radically reshape ordinary people’s lives—and controversially, it could drive a wedge between Catalonia and the rest of Spain.”
We’re are not in Hoboken but in a space beneath the 14th Street entrance and exit of New York City’s High Line, and this is the immersive theatrical experience of Seeing You.
The goal of the Dollywood Foundation’s Imagination Library project is to send one free book a month to every child under 5 who wants one. “Five percent of the U.S. population younger than 5 years old receives a book through the program. The goal is to reach 10 percent by 2024.”
The only copy outside Florence of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise, cast in bronze from the 15th-century originals, has arrived at the Nelson-Atkins Museum. Victoria Stapley-Brown tells the story of the work, how and why it came to be copied, and how the copy arrived in Kansas City via Japan, India, South Korea, and New York.
“[It’s] about more than booking acts, selling tickets and waiting for the cash to roll in. It means knowing where to hire a crane at 3am so you can lift a trampoline through a window, as Zoo Venues’ artistic director, James Mackenzie, had to do one year. Or dealing with a hole that opens up overnight right in front of Pleasance Dome’s entrance. Or ferrying truckloads of water from Leith to fill the Pleasance Courtyard tanks when the water supply fails, so the venues’ toilets can flush.”