“When associates at Causeway Bay Books in Hong Kong went missing about two years ago – and its scandalous books about mainland Chinese politicians were destroyed not long after – Woo Chih-wai thought he’d lost everything.” Reporter Vivienne Chow recounts how, partly to earn some money back, he republished a very long, very graphic erotic novel from the 1730s titles Preposterous Words.
Today, the artist as a visionary with ideas and aesthetics of her own is taken for granted. But it emerged during this vibrant period in the Netherlands, pioneered by Rembrandt van Rijn, alongside many of other features of the modern art market.
“They initially thought kids playing pranks were to blame, but later discovered it was the city’s rough sleepers who were actually stashing the books so they could return the next day to continue reading.”
“With a sense of craft and care comparable to that of the artists whose work they tend, art-service professionals play a crucial role in making sure artworks get where they need to go, in preserved condition and suited to be seen in the proper light. … ARTnews visited art services in and around New York City to see how [the work gets done].”
“The researchers used EEG to compare the electrical brain activity of 12 Jazz musicians (with improvisation training), 12 Classical musicians (without improvisation training), and 12 non-musicians while they listened to a series of chord progressions. Some of the chords followed a progression that was typical of Western music, while others had an unexpected progression.”
“Just as foreign aid ends up in the pockets of tyrannical kleptocrats rather than reaching the desperate and the starving, so does art aid go to the arts rather than to artists. This is not to suggest that the arts nomenklatura peculates with the licence that politicians enjoy. Nor that it feeds its critics to crocodiles in the time-honoured manner. What it does suggest is that the fate of artists and of art itself is in the hands of too few persons, who share kindred tastes and cultish dogma.”
The Catalan independence movement garnered plenty of media attention when Spanish federal forces cracked down on a vote. But none of this was entirely new: “Since 2012, the Assemblea Nacional de Catalunya (ANC) and other independence activists have been staging large-scale, theatrical protests to garner internal and external support. Through these organizations, repertoires of theatricalized protests have developed on Barcelona’s streets seeking to shine the spotlight on the merits of Catalan independence.”
Poverty is not a moral flaw, as anyone can see from Pygmalion, but that lie is like a vampire – it’s undead, and returning now, a century later. Perhaps it’s time to read Bernard Shaw again (and not just watch My Fair Lady).
It was a trip: “As urban centers all over America were banning smoking in public places, life for Joni Mitchell was still a noir film from the 40s, full of nicotine and screwball repartee. She kept smoking in public as long as she could, until she was eventually reduced to e-cigarettes…. She loved to be what she called a ‘pot stirrer.’ She was trouble—and she was really good at it.”
The building is a giant dome that lets some light through. When tests were carried out in Stuttgart, Germany, and on a scale mock-up in Abu Dhabi, Nouvel found that even the 5 per cent of sunlight he intended to allow through was too much. In the finished museum, “Only 1.8 per cent of light goes through all layers of the dome,” Hala Wardé says. “We reduced the light to achieve the effect and level of comfort we were seeking.”
Russian actress Lyubov Tolkalina said in an interview, “Isn’t it beautiful when a man of such great power sexually harasses you? … What does it matter how you got the part? It’s good for everyone: he feels good, they feel good, and most importantly the viewers feel good.”
“These ballet dancers are great and they’re ready and what they need is more interesting work. I feel people are playing it safe a lot. If anything, I think it’s the choreographers and the directors who need to make an effort for these dancers who have made this art form their passion, and to really be as daring or at least as relevant as some of our peers were when they were commissioning pieces a long time ago.”
“The system of values that is manhood in the American south held up as its virtues firmness, reserve, self-containment, reticence, mastery of emotion. I longed to adhere to this system, but however hard I tried, I failed. I felt too much. I was prone to sudden rushes of emotion, to enthusiasms, affections, to tears… When I sang opera, the same things that had been sources of shame were sources of value. The gestures that embarrassed me in life made sense when I was on stage.”
“In taking dance out of the theatre, Is This a Waste Land? not only takes the theatre out of dance, but most of the dance too. We’re left with a kind of social choreography, and an open expanse of questions that can – like other projects that venture outside theatre’s contained space – revitalise our experience of performance, spectatorship, sometimes even the world itself. Like seeing a familiar landscape anew.”
They mistakenly believe it improves their performance, he says. Saying actors must refocus their attention on preparing properly, Nighy argues the trend has been propagated by those who simply “don’t want to do their homework”.
Richard Overy points out where Armando Ianucci’s new The Death of Stalin gets the history wrong but allows that cinematic license could be legitimate. But the caricature, he writes, is just wrong, and not only because Stalin’s victims deserve better: “The presentation of Stalin and his cronies as a collection of foul-mouthed misfits … will certainly not help to understand the Russia of the 1950s while it mocks by implication the Russia of today, a country still shaped in some ways by the legacy of Stalin’s modernisation drives and the operation of the Stalinist state.”
A reporter visits Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons to watch the Bard Hall Players rehearse Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Every member of the cast and crew is a medical student; several have degrees and/or previous professional experience in music or theater.
“In one of their odder and more chilling moves, the Nazis occupying Lithuania once collected Yiddish and Hebrew books and documents, hoping to create a reference collection about a people they intended to annihilate. Even stranger, they appointed Jewish intellectuals and poets to select the choicest pearls for study.”
The novel Spy of the First Person, on which the playwright/actor began working just after he was diagnosed with ALS (of which he died in July) and which his daughters and his old friend Patti Smith helped him complete, is “the story of an unnamed narrator who retraces the memories of his life as he undergoes treatment for a medical condition that renders him dependent on the loved ones who are caring for him.”
“Just seven years ago, the school, founded in 1964, was $2 million in debt and temporarily closed. Today, the school has not only recovered, but is pivoting from a place that primarily provided arts education for children to a full-fledged performing arts center.”
Dandy Danforth: Framingham Approves Win-Win University Partnership to Rescue Museum & Its Collection
I recently denounced as a bad role model for the Berkshire Museum the deplorable disposals by the New-York Historical Society in 1995. Those selloffs were recently touted by Felix Salmon in a Berkshire Museum-related article as … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-10-18
Lauren Greenfield and “Generation Wealth”
Generally, I think the art world has missed the opportunity to address the Great Recession and the amping up of income inequality and the one percent that followed. But some visual artists have made … read more
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2017-10-18
Kirill Serebrennikov, chief of Moscow’s Gogol Center and best-known in the West as director of the Bolshoi’s off-again/on-again ballet Nureyev, “was placed under house arrest in August on charges of embezzling 68 million rubles ($1.1 million) in government funds in a case widely seen as political. … The judge denied Serebrennikov’s request to be released for five days to complete the filming of a movie about rock legend Viktor Tsoi and to visit the Bolshoi Theater Dec. 9-10. The director will remain under house arrest until Jan. 19 next year.”