“Kundera, now 88 years old, left Communist Czechoslovakia in 1975 after he was dismissed from his teaching position and had seen his books banned. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting was published in French in 1979. Two years later it was released in Czech by a Canadian publisher – but it has never actually been published in Kundera’s homeland. It is reportedly hard even today to obtain in the Czech Republic.” That, at last, is about to change.
“Although less well known in Europe, Hamilton achieved such popularity in the United States that, when I tell people that I study Classics, most people over the age of fifty who are familiar with the subject tell me that Hamilton was their entry point.” Now that her The Grrek Way (1930) and The Roman Way (1932) are being republished, Donna Zuckerberg considers how Hamilton’s view of the ancient world has, and hasn’t, held up over the decades.
The problem isn’t just Shakespeare; it’s also Chekhov – and Arthur Miller, all three of whom dominate English-language theatre training and thus the classroom, and it’s partially why so many women majoring or doing grad work in performance get to act much less often than their male counterparts. “The coexistence of these phenomena — the paucity of plays by women in the classroom and the narrow selection of roles for women in production — begs the exploration of a connection. Are members of an artistic community less likely to put gender parity onstage if it is not presented to them offstage as artistically valuable?”
Her paintings “sometimes look as if they’ve been attacked by a 6-year-old gone berserk on a sugar high” – and indeed, “for some of her installs, she will enlist the child of a friend to add the finishing touches: a crayon scrawl on the walls, piles of silly string underfoot, assorted bits of detritus.”
“The case of Elliott Carter stands apart from the usual pattern of posthumous appraisals, not least because Carter lived to within a few weeks of his 104th birthday, and kept composing almost to the end. He may be the only composer in the history of Western music to have done so. Rather than leaving us just a handful of unusual works that slot neatly into the dotage thought inevitable before the Romantics or the transcendence Adorno heard in late Beethoven, Carter wrote dozens of pieces in a wide variety of genres. If Aaron Copland’s experience of composing (or rather not composing) in old age was like the turning off of a faucet, Elliott Carter’s was like whitewater rafting.”
“In a recent survey we carried out, 74% of people who said they were interested in volunteering would do it to have fun; 56% to spend time with like-minded people; 52% to give back to their community; and 48% to feel useful. Volunteers clearly want more out of their experience than just freebies. In fact, for an organisation like LTO, free tickets would probably lead to a financial crisis if we gave them away to all our volunteers.”
“Poor interactive shows come across like a desperate plea for attention from Generation iPad. But this doesn’t have to be the case. We’re just scratching the surface of the technological possibilities. And as for the interactivity haters there will always be shows hat expect you to sit down and shut up rather than asking if you want Hamlet to a) be or b) not be.”
“5Pointz, a former factory owned by Jerry Wolkoff, was a haven for graffiti artists from around the world and became a prominent tourist attraction. Wolkoff had given the artists permission to use the building as a canvas for “aerosol art” and the building was covered in multicolored murals and tags. But in 2013, when Wolkoff decided to demolish the building and replace it with apartments, he whitewashed the graffiti art in the dead of night. On Wednesday the jury decided that the artists’ work was legally protected under the Visual Artists Rights Act (Vara), and that meant that Wolkoff had broken the law.”
“For fans of the book and the film, it may feel self-evident that Call Me by Your Name is not a story of predation: It’s a story of first love and lust told from the perspective of a particularly mature teenager on the cusp of adulthood; the relationship is consensual; even Elio’s parents seem to approve; and, in any case, this is a fictional depiction, not an ethical endorsement. But the age gap will give pause to more people than right-wing trolls – it did to my progressive companion at an early screening – and it does the film no favors to pretend it’s not a question worth exploring.” So Slate‘s Jeffrey Bloomer explores it.
Just after the new movie’s British release, Sony UK tweeted a promo making the film look like a heterosexual teen romance. (After a proper roasting on social media, it was deleted.) “The tweet served as a reminder of an awkwardness that lingers in mainstream spaces. In trying to position the film as a romance intended for a wide audience, Sony believed that fooling straight viewers was the way to go.” And this was hardly the first time.
“Bringing [Hamilton] to Puerto Rico is a dream that I’ve had since we first opened at The Public Theater in 2015,” said Miranda in a statement. “When I last visited the island, a few weeks before Hurricane Maria, I had made a commitment to not only bring the show to Puerto Rico, but also return again to the title role. In the aftermath of Maria we decided to expedite the announcement of the project to send a bold message that Puerto Rico will recover and be back in business, stronger than ever.”
“A Globe investigation has uncovered a culture of blatant sexual harassment at Berklee with at least three male professors… allowed to quietly leave since 2008, after students reported being assaulted, groped, or pressured into sex with their teachers, according to court documents and interviews with more than a dozen people. Administrators at the renowned music school tolerated lecherous behavior, former Berklee students and employees said, and often silenced the accusers through financial settlements with gag orders attached.”
Rip Rapson, president of the Kresge Foundation: I choose “to view this moment as an inflection point, not a new stasis. It is a call to reassessment … recalibration … recommitment. The nonprofit and philanthropic sectors have spent decades trying to create and assemble the building blocks of opportunity and justice. That architecture is woefully incomplete to be sure. But it is an architecture at once complex, dynamic, and resilient. Our charge is to continue fitting together those building blocks in a coherent, inclusive, impactful way.”
“What started as a technique class – focused on turnout of the legs, placement of the arms, straightness of the back – became a larger kind of learning experience, when Ms. Copeland, 35, was joined for an after-class discussion by a trailblazing African-American dancer of another generation, the 86-year-old Carmen de Lavallade. The two spoke about breaking down barriers for black ballet dancers and honoring those who had done so before them.”
In light of Spacey’s ongoing abuse scandal, Sony decided that it couldn’t promote Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World – a biopic about the kidnapping of J. Paul Getty III and the refusal of his billionaire grandfather to pay ransom for him – with Spacey in the role of the senior Getty. (Still less could they promote the film for Oscars, and it had been expected to be a contender.) So they’re re-shooting all of Spacey’s scenes with the actor Scott originally wanted for the role anyway – Christopher Plummer.
Just a couple weeks after the jam company gave $1.1 million to the Akron (Ohio) Art Museum, the company’s executive chairman and his wife have pledged the second largest donation in the Cleveland Orchestra’s history. That executive, Richard Smucker, is the new chairman of the ensemble’s board of directors.
“The Grammy Music Education Coalition has launched a fund-raising initiative aimed at benefiting music programs in the school districts of Philadelphia, New York City, and Nashville. … GMEC hopes to raise $5 million over three years for Philadelphia, with that money going toward both the district as well as programs run by partner education and outreach organizations.”
Trusty Rusty: Powell to Retire from Longtime Gig at National Gallery
It’s entirely in keeping with Rusty Powell‘s self-effacing nature that the National Gallery’s homepage today is all about the art, with no hint of its big news: The museum’s longest-serving director, who assumed that post … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-11-08
Camerata Pacifica and Chamber Music in SoCal
Recently I’ve enjoyed a performance by the chamber group Camerata Pacifica and several conversations with its founder, Adrian Spence. I disagree with the cheeky Ulsterman on some points – I am in some ways … read more
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2017-11-08
Macron Magic: My Storify of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Aborted Livestream of Opening Ceremonies
I wasn’t invited to the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s opening ceremonies today (no surprise), but I did get an emailed invitation to watch them livestreamed on the museum’s Facebook page. Below is my tweeted account of … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrl Published 2017-11-08
RTÉ, the national broadcaster, has let 20 positions in its two ensembles – the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra – remain vacant, and sources say one in five posts will be unfilled by next summer. Critic Michael Dervan is one of many observers wondering if the RTÉ is trying to merge its orchestras without admitting to it.