Volker Hagedorn: “You might think you’re just there for the music, but the fact is that you are still participating in an entirely invented, cultish religion. … For me, Bayreuth nowadays is more of a curiosity than anything else. A gigantic hamster wheel, with directors racing each other to prove their relevance; an exhausted Dracula, sucking the lifeblood from artists from outside the music scene; a museum of local history, starring an international elite of singers, who appear to be of the opinion that no one needs to understand the words.”
The oldest form of physical media is actually holding up quite well. According to PwC’s Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2018–2022, the consumer market for physical, printed books is holding its own in an increasingly digital world (see “Print Presses On”). Between 2018 and 2022, sales of physical video games, home video, and music are expected to decline each year, in some instances by double-digit percentages. By contrast, sales of physical books are expected to grow modestly, by about 1 percent annually, every year.
Fashion is about the only ad category in the print edition that looks healthy. Visual arts reviews used to be surrounded by notices paid for by art galleries. Now that Friday section is lucky to have a small promo from one of the auction houses. Other sections of the newspaper are even more ad-deprived. Sports and Metropolitan commonly have none. The New York Times Sunday Magazine, once fattened with messages from General Motors and Coca-Cola, is an editorial skeleton without commercial muscle. Only the perfect-bound T has flesh on its bones.
“While the majority of Bergman’s movies are available for streaming (largely thanks to Criterion) and cinephiles will always be viewing and discussing them, most audiences today know about his work only through parodies of The Seventh Seal” — the one about the medieval knight who plays chess with Death.
The institution somehow came back from trying to cancel the 2017-2018 season to go bigger than ever, and remain relevant to its city. “Over the coming season, it will play free concerts at every branch library in the city, collaborate with the Guadalupe Dance Company, attempt to stage a performance with a Mexican orchestra, deliver a series of free concerts for children and play Veterans and Memorial Day shows.”
Times are changing, and poets? Well, they draw huge crowds. “The face of poetry in the United States looks very different today than it did even a decade ago, and far more like the demographics of Millennial America. If anything, the current crop of emerging poets anticipates the face of young America 30 years from now.”
The Passepartout Duo aren’t kidding with their name: They go everywhere, landing (for good) nowhere in particular. “At this point, we’ve completely given up location-dependent life. That’s to say: we’re homeless, and we’re happy about it. We have four small bags: one backpack and one instrument case each. We each have one pair of shoes and we use them for everything, until they fall apart; then, we pick up a new pair and keep going.”
In June, vandals cut a water pipe to the Kansas City (Missouri) museum – which is in the building where the Negro Leagues were founded in the 1920s. The vandalism wasn’t discovered for hours, and by that time, water had caused more than half a million dollars in damages. The museum president says “Small contributions are coming from virtually every corner of the country. … It’s lifted everybody’s spirits.”
Time’s just about up for dude-focused statuary: “In the United States, there are about 5,200 public statues depicting historical figures, according to The Smithsonian’s Art Inventories Catalog. Very few of those — fewer than 400, according to one account in The Washington Post — are of women.”
“Arcane side deals” trouble the waters, and the value, of the auction house.
The designers asked them to, in an open letter from their union to American Theatre: “When ATM denies credit to designers while simultaneously highlighting photos of our work, they minimize the role designers play in a production. Not crediting our work diminishes designers’ contributions to a production, denies them publicity and exposure that is rightfully theirs, and further minimizes the value of good design to theatre producers, directors, playwrights, and other theatremakers.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with Pose, of course, but there’s more – bucking, “a tight-knit community of black, gay men who’ve transformed a dance of thrusting body movements popularized in Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ video into a second family.”
According to Hungarian news site Parameter.sk, the woman, identified only as Eva N, played a four-minute aria from Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ non-stop, in her house with on speakers full blast, from morning until night. Parameter.sk says that the homeowner in the southern town of Sturovo played the music for years to drown out a neighbour’s loud barking dog, and had simply continued doing it.
There are a lot of problems with resale royalties schemes, and we have addressed some of them at length elsewhere. Here, we focus on one overriding difficulty: Resale royalties take real money from the entire art world, including young and struggling artists, and transfer most of it to a tiny group of famous and rich super-artists—the artistic one-percenters. New data we have collected shows this clearly.
The eight small pieces had no documentation of any kind to help the police, but the museum experts could literally read their origin. They included cone-shaped ceramics with cuneiform inscriptions identifying the site as Tello, ancient Girsu in southern Iraq, one of the oldest cities on earth recorded in the earliest form of true written language.
“The more I talk to other women of color hailing from nations across the globe, the more I understand how the subconscious presentation of diversity framed exclusively as a “middle-class white cisgender woman’s problem” has the ripple effect of silencing women of varied ethnic backgrounds and gender identities.”
As part of the Reykjavik arts festival in June, Indridadóttir showed photographs of topless young women standing in front of painted portraits of older men. The photographs were taken in locations such as the Icelandic parliament, a sports club and a school, where rooms are decorated with portraits of men that had been playing an important part in the history of those institutions
She took that role in the first U.S. version of Nutcracker, in 1944 at San Francisco Ballet. She was a founding member of that company, and she led her fellow dancers in raising the cash to save it from bankruptcy in 1974; she later spent 20 years teaching at the company school.
According to Statistics Canada, using 2011 data (the last year for which detailed figures are available,) musicians and singers made an average of $10,402 a year from employment, and $16,061 from gross wages and salaries. StatsCan defines employment as including both salaried jobs and income from professional practice, and it should be noted the figures include everyone in the country who declared income as a musician or vocalist.
“Pandora’s box is now open — and what’s inside is a lot more than fake sex tapes. New technology is often adopted for prurient purposes, but the prospect of fake war crimes, fake political scandals, and maybe even a fake apocalypse now feels like an inevitability. Let’s take a deep, terrifying dive.”
As opposed to residential fine art policies, terrorism coverage is not automatically part of commercial property insurance. That means museums and commercial art galleries need to purchase protection for this potentiality separately.
Sarah Kaufman: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that one of the dorkiest things a dad can do is dance, especially in public. … Therein lies the coolness of the real-life dancing dad. He’s the opposite of embarrassing! … Through his dance, he forges a spontaneous, healing bond with his youngster whose power can be felt by millions of onlookers.”
The decision to announce the new category without a name or a list of qualifying characteristics made a bad decision seem even worse, almost to the point of deliberate self-sabotage. Will candidates for Best Popular Picture be determined by budget? By box-office returns? If the latter, is it possible for a movie like Get Out or A Quiet Place to cross over from one to the other? And if not, will it be analogous to the split between lead and supporting performances, where the line is subject to campaigning and manipulation that sometimes verges on outright fraud?
“Stephanie Ybarra, director of special artistic projects at New York’s Public Theater, has been named the artistic director of Baltimore Center Stage. Ybarra will succeed Kwame Kwei-Armah, who wound up his seven-year tenure with the company in January and became artistic director of London’s Young Vic Theater.”
The AZ Phil, whose creation has been spearheaded by Toni Tennille (of the 1970s pop duo The Captain and Tennille), will be based in Prescott, where it will give its first concert on August 26.
“As it happens, before the Oscars were even the Oscars (the name was officially Academy-approved in 1939), the awards show actually played this card in its [very] first iteration, but arguably with very different motives in mind.”
“The 156-year-old museum is now five years into an ambitious program that’s been injecting life into the Western New York region’s parks, neighborhoods, buildings, and other infrastructure through paint, plastic, steel, cloth, and whatever else their international cast of commissioned artists want to work with.” In a Q&A, Albright-Knox public art curator Aaron Ott talks about the works that have gone up, their reception by the public, and the lessons he’s learned.
Maria Alyokhina – one of the three artist-activists who was arrested and jailed for singing “Mother of God, cast Putin out!” in a Moscow cathedral in 2012 – was leaving for her scheduled appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe when Russian border guards at the airport told her she was barred from leaving the country. So she drove to Lithuania and flew from there.
“In fiscal year 2016, the Mass. Cultural Council invested $4.5 million in 400 nonprofits that generated more than $1.2 billion for the state’s economy.” Matt Wilson, executive director of advocacy organization MASSCreative, lays out examples of the difference that state seed funding of arts and culture makes, especially in towns that aren’t as prosperous as Boston is.
Okay, the shows at the Moulin Rouge, the Lido, and the Crazy Horse do include more than just the high-kick dance that dates back to 1889. Even so, writes Laura Cappelle, for all the resources and skill applied to these clubs’ shows (especially the Moulin Rouge’s), “the genre that was once the toast of Paris lost touch with the times in the last decades of the 20th century.”