“Mexico has been criticized for failing to register the theft of stolen cultural antiquities and for a lack of coordination among authorities responsible for preserving the items. Many church paintings are replicas of the two- and three-hundred year old paintings that have been stolen. According to official figures last year, 90 percent of stolen cultural objects, including archaeological pieces, liturgical objects and religious art, are never recovered.”
“There are many studies that have shown that there is a strong genetic component to curiosity,” he notes. “It is also the case that some people are more curious than others, in the same way that some people have talent for music and others don’t or some people are smarter than others … But all people are curious, with the possible exception of people who are very deeply depressed or have certain kinds of brain damage.” Humans exhibit two basic types of curiosity that show up in different parts of the brain during functional MRI scans.
“Looking for years for land art that utilizes the environment as complexly as artists have long done with their subjects through paint (even using paint as a subject), I’ve come up largely disappointed. Land artworks are typically aesthetic interventions forced onto the environment by artists with little to no deep understanding (geologic, ecologic, botanic, etc.) of the materials they are using. Instead, artists who make these works favor aesthetic, surface-level intervention, which documents well for exhibition and (hopefully) sale later, upon return to an art-world setting, be it via a gallery or a coffee table book. Where is the communion with the land’s complexity?”
“Over the … four decades of his career, Dara became one of the most famous Italian basses on the opera stage by portraying a small cluster of touchstone roles that highlighted his natural gifts for comedy, rapid-fire patter and innate bel canto technique.”
Yes. Theatre is, to put it bluntly, special (and science backs that up). “There is something about theatre in particular that transforms the way we consider humanity. After surviving millennia, it remains one of the most popular and desirable modes of storytelling. Beyond entertainment, there is something we gain at the neural level by engaging with theatre.”
Actually, after adjusting for inflation, last weekend was even worse than that one. How is that possible? Blame a hurricane – and boxing.
Oh, Seattle. “The shaft of the flesh-colored dildo atop Vladimir Lenin’s head pointed upward at a slight angle, giving the Russian revolutionary the appearance of a grumpy, hyper-sexualized unicorn.”
Matthew Halls, halfway through a four-year contract that saw him take the Oregon Bach Festival in the direction of historically informed performance, says he doesn’t know why he was fired, and the University of Oregon’s press release is not useful (“We look forward to a wider range of programmatic choices, community events, and cross-departmental relationships with UO faculty, staff, and students,” for instance). “Halls said he was not well versed in the specifics of his contract, which was to have expired in 2020. ‘I can’t begin to communicate the personal sadness I’m feeling,’ he said.”
That’s right, it’s not just a metaphor. “Library fauna such as bookworms, bedbugs and microbats have long been the subject of study. But a little-known subfield concentrates on the human biology of libraries.”
Solnit, who has written many things, including the extremely viral “Men Explain Things to Me,” says the time is ripe. “When I started [Solnit is 56], the essay was belles-lettres, decorative. Essays by women, particularly, tended to be treated as memoir even when they were not. Now they’re seen as powerful and compelling again. “
Messaien’s “Catalogue of Birds” is “an absurd undertaking for a pianist. Its sprawling score demands that performers master three hours of complex music: the painstakingly transcribed sounds of European birds.” But Kigawa is performing it today in Greenwich Village. How?
Young British choreographer Ruth Brill: “It’s made me more want to strive and achieve, and if I can help redress that balance by doing what I want to do, then brilliant.”
You’d know a Yaël Farber production at 100 paces. The air sweetly smoked and full of noises. The lighting crepuscular but sharded with moonlight. The movement deliberate, registering the actors’ full body weight. And … read more
AJBlog: Performance MonkeyPublished 2017-08-27
Weekend Extra: Art Farmer And Sweden
The most recent visit to Sweden stays with me more than three weeks after my return. In great part, that is because music I heard at the Ystad Sweden Jazz Festival refuses … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2017-08-26
Are You Certain?
John Heginbotham and Maira Kalman premiere a collaboration at Jacob’s Pillow. John Heginbotham and Maira Kalman’s The Principles of Uncertainty, Maira Kalman at left. Boxed (L to R): Courtney Lopes, Amber Star Merkens, Weaver Rhodes, … read more
AJBlog: Dancebeat Published 2017-08-26
The Literary Richard Thompson
FEW living musicians fascinate me as much as Richard Thompson, the London-reared, Los Angeles-dwelling, Fairport Convention-founding guitarist and songwriter whose recording career just hit the 50 year mark. I’ve been listening to Richard’s work … read more
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2017-08-25
Bryan Ferry, Art, and Roxy Music
EVEN a decade after their heyday, when I first heard them in the mid-’80s, there was nothing like Roxy Music. The sleek, almost alien sound, with its world-weary vocals, European touches, and deep, if … read more
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2017-08-25
This place has a great IMDb page: “Since doubling as the exterior of a Moscow airport in 2004’s The Bourne Supremacy, the distinctive orange-tiled walls and pillars of the Messedamm underpass have been seen in Joe Wright’s Hanna in 2011, 2015’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, last year’s Captain America: Civil War and Charlize Theron spy thriller Atomic Blonde, released earlier this month.”