“Art is something that’s elevating and challenges the existing order, whereas culture is precisely the opposite. Culture, or the culture industry, uses art in a conservative way, which is to say it uses art to uphold the existing order. So the culture industry peddles an ideology that supports the prevailing power structure — in the case of America, that ideology was consumerism.”
“A few years ago, as a lover of jazz and an admirer of musicians, I decided to take up the piano. In relative terms, it was all a bit late. I didn’t expect much. I merely nursed the hope that one day, for a few fleeting seconds, I would be proficient enough to play a quiet sombre tune on a grand piano in a top-floor penthouse overlooking central Manhattan. As occurs in the best films. That aim seemed modest enough, But then I was told about the exams. You should do exams, came the advice, it focuses the mind. And suddenly the playing wasn’t the thing, it was the exams.”
Kenneth Turan on watching The Post and All The President’s Men: “Experiencing that as an adult, and as a critic, has been more complex, even unnerving, and different every time. My range of reactions have also given me insights into what films do and how they do it that I may not have gotten absent that personal connection.”
“Performing solo and with others, Z’ev improvised surrounded by homemade percussion instruments. He delved into attacks and resonances, propulsion and meditation. He worked with found objects and later with digital processing. He was intrigued by the properties of materials and by the paths linking sounds, images, the body, nature and spirituality. In a globe-spanning career, he collaborated with musicians, dancers, poets, performance artists and visual artists. His discography includes more than 70 albums as well as multimedia work.”
The American Playwriting Foundation’s $45,000 Relentless Award, funded by a libel settlement from The National Enquirer for a false story about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death and given for an unproduced script judged blind, was won by Gracie Gardner for a play whose title — well, we’re too squeamish to print it, too. (Cool fact: all eight semifinalists were written by women.)
For a start, unlike the battles over the “NEA Four” and Chris Ofili’s painting The Holy Virgin Mary (the one that incorporated elephant dung), the censoring impulse this time is coming from the left at least as much as the right (as with Dana Schutz’s painting of the murdered Emmett Till). However, argues Isaac Kaplan, the key difference between then and now isn’t the political identification of those objecting to the art – it’s how much actual power they have.
Unlike the Mayans, the Incas never developed a system of writing: they recorded information in intricately knotted and colored sets of string called khipu or quipu. No one in the modern age has been able to figure out how to read them, because there’s no equivalent of the Rosetta Stone. Then, three years ago, then-19-year-old Manny Medrano made a key discovery.
“Theater artists who really want to make a difference might be advised to break free from the constant stream of infuriating updates belching from their phones. It’s not that the stage should turn a blind eye to the latest outrages. Indeed, for too long American drama seemed blithely detached from the economic conditions radically transforming our national life. Yet playwrights have more pressing business than keeping up with the news crawl.”