We tend not to associate aging with creative bursts. Historically, critics saw advancements by elderly artists as peculiar… Many older artists, however, sense the significance in their new creations, even if the public reacts with hostility.
“Accelerating scientific invention does not make human beings any more good-natured or reasonable but simply increases their capacity to achieve their goals. In practice, this means the groups that are most powerful will increase their hold over the rest. Schemes for improving the human animal by technological means will not alter these facts. What counts as improvement will be decided by existing human beings, with the most powerful among them having the biggest say. The result is more likely to be enlarged versions of human vanity and cruelty than a higher version of the species.”
The edgy artist, who became world famous for staring down people in her blockbuster 2010 MOMA show, The Artist is Present, touted her multi-million dollar Marina Abramovic Institute for the Preservation of Performance Art as a place for artists to conduct grand experiments. The Yugoslav-born Abramovic also said it would “change the local economy” in Hudson, NY, in much the same way the Sundance Film Festival transformed Park City, Utah, and the Guggenheim Museum changed the Spanish city of Bilbao.
Six months ago, critic Siobhan Burke raised the issue in The New York Times. Now, in Britain’s The Observer, Luke Jennings writes, “In the last few seasons the Royal Ballet stage has seen record numbers of female characters brutalised and killed. … Consider this body-count alongside the number of recent abstract works in which women are split, splayed and otherwise manhandled, and certain embedded attitudes reveal themselves. None of these works, in which female characters are defined by their passivity and victimhood, was created by a woman.”
Impressionist, modern and contemporary art with an estimated value of least $1.6 billion will be offered at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips. The value of these consignments, which include works by Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol, Fernand Leger and Franz Kline, as well as, incongruously, a Ferrari racecar, represents an increase of more than 46 percent over the equivalent auctions last November.
The point, for the school for 16-19-year-olds that will teach film production alongside the British national curriculum? Increasing diversity in film. “We want to ensure we get an absolutely diverse set of students from diverse backgrounds into the industry. We don’t have a quick fix, but we want to help them realise the opportunities in the hope their voices will multiply.”
There was a time before all of this: “We are simply accustomed now to experiencing music in this deeply personal, albeit solitary, way. We disappear into headphones, stream a song via smartphone from the intangible, infinite web, creating a sonic landscape that mirrors our mood. We walk around the grocery store in Beyoncé-land.”
Manohla Dargis, as she discusses the Louis CK movie I Love You, Daddy that will now not be released: “Soon after Harvey Weinstein was first outed as a sexual predator, I created a document titled ‘Creeps’ in which I tried to list every man who had sexually harassed or assaulted me. It’s a companion to the running inventory that I keep in my head of the male filmmakers, in Hollywood and out, whose work degrades or disdains women.”
Basically, she knew it all, at least everything in New York. “From hardscrabble nights writing snippets for a Hearst newspaper in the 1950s to golden afternoons at Le Cirque with Sinatra or Hepburn and tête-à-tête dinners with Madonna to gather material for columns that ran six days a week, Ms. Smith captivated millions with her tattletale chitchat and, over time, ascended to fame and wealth that rivaled those of the celebrities she covered.”
The National Museum of African American History has a department – the Community Curation Program – that preserves the images Black and African American families have passed down for decades. “Walter Forsberg, a media archivist with the museum, said even the everyday items offer a glance into black culture of the time that often was left out of movies, TV and other media.”
Robert Fairchild, the recently departed New York City Ballet principal dancer who starred in An American in Paris and will now co-star in a City Center Encores! production of Brigadoon, says, “The two disciplines, ballet and singing, they’re really at odds with one another, because they come from such different parts in your body. It’s exciting, but it’s definitely a challenge to both sing and dance at the top of your game.”
Dustin Hoffman, who was accused of sexually harassing a 17-year-old production assistant on the TV set of Death of a Salesman, was even a presenter.
Berkshire Museum’s Deaccession Debacle: Reactions of the Protagonists & Antagonists
In their initial responses to last night’s Massachusetts Appeals Court preliminary injunction, neither the Berkshire Museum nor Sotheby’s has explicitly vowed to continue what could be a self-defeating legal fight in the museum’s misguided attempt … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrlPublished 2017-11-11
News Flash: Massachusetts Appeals Court Delays Berkshire Museum Sales
Score one for Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. The Massachusetts Appeals Court tonight granted the preliminary injunction that she had sought to delay the controversial sales at Sotheby’s of works from the Berkshire Museum’s collection. The … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrlPublished 2017-11-10
Working Together in Love and in Hate
David Dorfman Dance at BAM Harvey Theater, November 8-11. David Dorfman Dance in Dorfman’s Aroundtown. (L to R): Aya Wilson, Jasmine Hearn, Nik Owens, Jordan Demetrius Lloyd. Simon Thomas-Train, and Kendra Portier. Photo: Julieta Cervantes … read more
AJBlog: DancebeatPublished 2017-11-10
News Flash: Massachusetts Attorney General Files Appeals Court Motion to Enjoin Monday’s Berkshire Museum Sales
Now it gets really interesting. The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has just filed a motion for an injunction pending its appeal of the Superior Court decision to allow Berkshire Museum’s art sales this Monday at … read more
AJBlog: CultureGrrlPublished 2017-11-10
Soft power and the arts (1/3)
This week saw the release of two major studies in the UK on culture and soft power: Soft Power Today from the British Council and the University of Edinburgh, and The Art of Soft Power … read more
AJBlog: For What it’s WorthPublished 2017-11-10
The drop-off is dramatic, sudden, and likely soon going to be even steeper: “In 2016, Chinese investment in the U.S. entertainment industry hit $4.78 billion.This year, investments have shrunk to $489 million as of Sept. 30, according to the research firm Rhodium Group. Beijing has tightened control on money leaving the country, fearing that the outflow of capital could weaken its economy.”
The Wardian case toppled China’s tea monopoly, spread invasive plants everywhere, created the rubber plantations in Sri Lanka … and much more. And this was all because Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, an East London doctor and amateur horticulturist, “sealed a moth chrysalis and some mold in a glass jar.”
Her Wonder Woman was so successful last summer that the studio has changed its entire marketing plan to focus around her character. But: “Following multiple sexual misconduct and harassment allegations against producer Brett Ratner, Gadot has reportedly said that she will not return to the franchise if Ratner will continue to profit off of it. Ratner’s RatPac-Dune Entertainment had a co-financing deal with Warner Bros., one the studio elected not to renew after 2018 in light of the allegations.”
Ward, author of Savage the Bones, The Men We Reaped and the new Sing, Unburied, Sing, says that she and George Saunders (author of the Booker-winning Lincoln in the Bardo) may both be writing about the spirit world right now for similar reasons: “Many people in power are attempting to rewrite the past and the present to fit their narrative. Writing about spirits is a way to counteract some of that, because the people of the past are allowed to be present in the moment and tell their own (true) stories, and often, there is a reckoning between the living and the dead.”