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Wednesday, September 7



Our Links to Arts and Hurricane Katrina We've compiled a page of aggregated links to hurricane arts-related stories and resources... ArtsJournal
Posted: 09/09/2005 10:08 am

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Visual Arts

Speculation In Cleveland "Trustees of the Cleveland Museum of Art have been mum on the search for a new director. But that hasn't stopped one current and one former candidate from talking. Charles Venable, the museum's deputy director for collections and programs, acknowledged publicly last week that he's one of a small number of candidates under consideration. Meanwhile, Michael Shapiro, director of the High Museum in Atlanta, said he withdrew, as he put it, 'before an offer was finalized.'" The museum would like to have a new director in place by the time ground is broken for its massive expansion and renovation on October 1, but isn't setting any firm deadlines for the process. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 09/06/05
Posted: 09/07/2005 7:00 am

No Help Coming In Effort To Keep Titian In UK A major painting by Titian is being put up for sale, and the National Gallery, which last year prevented Raphael's Madonna of the Pinks from being purchased by a foreign bidder with an emergency infusion of cash from the government, hoped to do the same with the Titian. But the Heritage Lottery Fund, which grudgingly ponied up for the Raphael, calls the acquisition of art a "low priority." Adding to the intrigue is the consenseus opinion of art experts that the Titian is a more significant work than the Raphael. The Guardian (UK) 09/06/05
Posted: 09/06/2005 9:30 pm

Bristol's Arnolfini Reopens "The burgeoning reputation of Bristol as a buzzing centre for cutting-edge contemporary culture took another leap forward when the doors of Arnolfini, its modern arts centre reopened yesterday. After a two-year refurbishment, the warren of corridors and rather cramped galleries at the converted 19th-century tea warehouse have gone, replaced by wide open, inviting white spaces. The re-birth of Arnolfini is also a further boost for the city's waterside area, which has undergone a transformation in recent years into a major tourist destination." The Guardian (UK) 09/07/05
Posted: 09/06/2005 9:28 pm

d'Offay In Talks To Sell His Collection "Scotland's gallery bosses are in talks to buy one of the world's most spectacular collections of modern art. Art chiefs are hoping to clinch famous works by leading figures such as Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst in a deal with London-based collector Anthony d'Offay. His £100m collection features more than 700 works that he has gathered during a 40-year career. Officials at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh and Glasgow City Council have been in joint talks with the art dealer in a bid to agree a deal. And a new gallery to rival London's Tate Modern could be built in Edinburgh to house the collection." The Scotsman 09/04/05
Posted: 09/06/2005 9:05 pm

  • Officials Warn Against Press Scrutiny Scotland's First Minister is personally involved in the d'Offay negotiations, but Scottish officials have warned that the media attention is jeopardizing a potential deal. The collector has made it known that he would like his art holdings to be housed in Scotland, but there are numerous logistical hurdles to be overcome, not the least of which is a lack of appropriate space in either Glasgow or Edinburgh to house the massive collection. The Scotsman 09/06/05
    Posted: 09/06/2005 9:02 pm

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Beethoven In Chains Beethoven's lone opera, Fidelio, is a dark tale of imprisonment and devotion, but it probably never seemed as starkly brutal as in a production going on this week in Philadelphia. The Philly Fringe festival has taken Fidelio on location, summoning audiences to the long-shuttered Eastern State Penitentiary, long known as one of America's more brutal prisons. But does realism really improve opera? "The genre, by nature, is grand, while prisons, by definition, are constricted. Not an easy fit... In effect, Eastern State Penitentiary left little room for audience imagination. Like most art, opera is irrational. Explain it too realistically and you're left not with an experience, but a mere explanation - and maybe good intermission chatter." Philadelphia Inquirer 09/07/05
Posted: 09/07/2005 5:22 am

Why The LPO May Be Doomed All members of the now-homeless Louisiana Philharmonic survived the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, but many have lost everything they had, and the future of the orchestra itself hangs in the balance. Adding to the uncertainty surrounding the LPO's future is the fact that the ensemble is run by its musicians, who will have to seek employment in other cities while New Orleans is being rebuilt. Those who land jobs elsewhere may not be available to return to the LPO even if it does survive. One of the orchestra's violists tells Violinist.com that "I would love to go back to a properly rebuilt city and the orchestra the way it was, but I just canít see how that will happen." Violinist.com 09/03/05
Posted: 09/06/2005 9:16 pm

Levine Skipping BSO Auditions Auditioning for the Boston Symphony can be the most grueling five minutes of a musician's career, not to mention the most expensive (orchestras don't pay for your plane ticket or hotel room.) One slip-up, one mental lapse, and all your preparation can be for nought as you're dismissed from behind a screen with a cursory "Thank you." Not only that, the BSO's music director, who ought to be the final authority on all hiring decisions, has taken to not showing up for auditions, which has many of the orchestra's musicians upset, and candidates wondering whom they're supposed to be trying to impress. Boston Globe 09/04/05
Posted: 09/06/2005 8:47 pm

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Arts Issues

Fiddling As Rome Burns? Exactly. Critic Mark Morford spent the days during and after Hurricane Katrina at the infamous Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert, filing reports that struck some of his readers as lacking in gravitas, given the events unfolding on the Gulf Coast. But as Morford points out, the world does not stop when a tragedy occurs, and leaving aside the fact that the Burning Man participants passed the hat and raised thousands for the relief effort, "in the wake of any national disaster or mounting death toll, it is exactly those things that celebrate life that we turn to offer salve and balm and resurrection of spirit. In other words, in the aftermath of hurricanes and national tragedies and in the face of the most ham-fisted and heartless and freedom-stabbing administration in recent American history, we need this sort of 'trifling' Burning Man fluff more than ever, to act as spark, as beacon, as counterbalance." San Francisco Chronicle 09/07/05
Posted: 09/07/2005 7:05 am

Facing The Music In Pittsburgh It's trial by fire time for 25 arts and culture organizations in Pittsburgh, as the city's Allegheny Regional Asset District prepares to distribute some $78 million in funds. Rather than simply considering grant applications, the RAD board grills representatives of applying groups at a series of public meetings, then renders its decisions based on the board's impressions of the stability of the applicants. This year, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, which recently dropped its live orchestra and is struggling to stay afloat, is on the hot seat, with the RAD board worrying that PBT is "draining its endowment to balance its budget." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 09/07/05
Posted: 09/07/2005 6:55 am

Is Sydney Driving Away Its Artists? Sydney, Australia, is a world-class city in every sense of the word, but now comes evidence that one of those senses may be hurting another. "With the cost of living soaring like some interminable aria, Sydney risks losing its artistic core. Is Sydney becoming a town that discards culture in favour of superficiality and materialism?" The answer is, of course, far more complicated than the question, but there does seem to be a measurable danger to the city's cultural life. Sydney Morning Herald 09/07/05
Posted: 09/06/2005 10:01 pm

Which Works Of Art Would You Want To Survive A War? The UK is signing on to a half-century old provision from the Hague convention's rules of war which allows for the protection of cultural treasures from marauding armies. British politicians had always dismissed the guidelines, which call for labeling specific works of great cultural or artistic significance with a blue shield, but reconsidered after the 2003 looting of Baghdad's museum in the wake of the American invasion. Now the government is launching a consultation process to determine the works of art that should be selected for the special treatment. The Guardian (UK) 09/07/05
Posted: 09/06/2005 9:23 pm

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Canada's Minister Of Hot Potatoes Minister of Canadian Heritage might not sound like the most high-pressure government job, but don't tell that to the woman currently holding that title. The CBC lockout falls under her purview, for one thing, and she is openly disdainful of the bickering that led to the work stoppage, insisting that the CBC's problems are "not a question of money... [but of] governance." Then there's the dustup over satellite radio, which Canadians broadcasters desperately want to launch, but which some worry will spell the end of Canada's historic controls on commercial broadcasting which have allowed the country's own artists to thrive without being swamped by the American media machine. On that issue, Heritage Minister Liza Frulla admits she still isn't sure which way she'll turn. The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/07/05
Posted: 09/07/2005 6:33 am

Barenboim In Hot Water Again "Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Daniel Barenboim has defended his decision to deny an interview to an Israel Army Radio reporter, saying she was insensitive to have worn a military uniform at a literary function attended by Palestinians. The incident took place Thursday at the Jerusalem launch of a book on music Barenboim wrote with the late Edward Said." Barenboim, an Israeli citizen, has regularly raised the hackles of some of his countrymen with his statements of support for Palestinian causes. Chicago Sun-Times (AP) 09/07/05
Posted: 09/07/2005 5:15 am

Folk Rock's Closet Opera Fan Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has become a darling of the indie-rock scene over the past few years, renowned for his poetic lyrics and the "plaintive vibrato" of his voice. But Wainwright's musical tastes might surprise most of his fans: he's a major opera buff, a serious fanatic "who can trace the seamless structure of the banquet scene from Verdi's Macbeth and discuss the subtleties of Gluck's lesser-known Armide." And don't think Rufus's obsession with the music of Europe's cultural elite sat well with his '60s-era folksinger parents, either... The New York Times 09/07/05
Posted: 09/06/2005 9:50 pm

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Carping Before The Shows Even Open The new Broadway season is almost upon us, so how are New York's infamous theatre critics viewing the crop of hot new shows about to descend on the Big Apple? Well, as you might expect, they're hot for Chita Rivera, tired of Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane, and just generally bitchy as all get-out... New York Post 09/07/05
Posted: 09/07/2005 6:46 am

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The Ultimate Outsider Offers A Glimpse Inside With the possible exception of Harper Lee, America may not have a more reclusive living author than S.E. Hinton, whose novel, The Outsiders, brought gangs, violence, and disaffected youth into the front of the country's consciousness in 1967. Intrepid readers could discern from various sources that the author is a woman, that she was only 17 when The Outsiders was published, and that she lives in Tulsa, but little more than that. Now, for the first time, Susan Eloise Hinton is breaking her decades-long public silence to participate in the rollout of a new recut version of Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation of the book. The New York Times 09/07/05
Posted: 09/07/2005 6:00 am

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Montreal Film Fest Ends With A Question Mark The beleagured Montreal World Film Festival wrapped up last weekend amid speculation that it would not live to see another summer. "Funding agencies gave $1 million of [World Film's] funding to a new event after an analysis criticized the festival's operation." But founder Serge Losique insists that the show will go on in 2006, and claims that 34 countries have already signed on to provide films. Where the money will come from is another question, and one which likely will not be answered for months to come. Toronto Star 09/07/05
Posted: 09/07/2005 7:11 am

Doyle: CBC Lockout Has Become Absurd It's been nearly a month since the CBC locked out its workers, including all its on-air talent and journalists, and John Doyle says that what is currently masquerading as news on Canadian TV screens is embarrassing and pathetic. Coverage of the hurricane aftermath has been farmed out to NBC and the BBC, and advance copies of what should be a serious documentary on Quebec separatism were distributed to Anglo critics without translations of the French contained in the film. Meanwhile, some CBC radio hosts have begun to do their shows without benefit of a radio signal, launching podcasts of new shows available to the public free of charge. The Globe & Mail (Canada) 09/07/05
Posted: 09/07/2005 6:08 am

  • CBC Hosts Head Back To School The hosts of CBC Toronto's popular Metro Morning program are back on the air - just not at the CBC. Having paid a $5 volunteer fee, the radio veterans behind Toronto's most popular morning show have begun broadcasting over the University of Toronto's student station, CIUT. Some locked-out workers worry that such freelancing will only prove the CBC's point that programming can be produced on the cheap, but the Metro Morning (now known as "Toronto Unlocked") crew insists that the CIUT show was only made possible through "hundreds of volunteer hours, a television bought from a weekend yard sale and a clock radio." National Post (Canada) 09/07/05
    Posted: 09/07/2005 6:00 am

Kazaa Is Dead. Long Live... um... eDonkey? Kazaa may not survive the fallout from an Australian court decision this week, but the impact on peer-to-peer file trading networks as a whole will likely be negligible, say some experts. "Successors such as BitTorrent and eDonkey have already upstaged Kazaa with a number of technical improvements and edged it out in terms of the volume of raw data that's exchanged on their respective networks, which feature large numbers of bulky video and software application files... Awkwardly for Kazaa, the court's position on copyrights is now pretty much where a big portion of the P2P developer world sits, at least in public." Wired 09/07/05
Posted: 09/07/2005 5:49 am

  • Previously:  Kazaa Loses Big, Court Says Must Filter Content The file-sharing network loses a big one in Australian court. "Kazaa, a programme estimated to be used for four out of five internet file-swaps, will have to include copyright filters in future editions of its software and put pressure on its current users to upgrade to the new version. More than 317 million people have downloaded Kazaa - which allows users to swap music, film and other digital information over the web - and several million are believed to be using it at any one time." The Guardian (UK) 09/05/05

Giving It Away The BBC and ITV are teaming up to launch a free satellite TV service in the UK which will bring digital TV signals to Britons who have thus far not been able to receive them. The service will be a direct rival to paid satellite service BSkyB, which is owned by multinational media company News Corp. As part of the deal, ITV will unencrypt its satellite broadcasts, meaning they will be available free of charge to anyone with a receiver. BBC 09/07/05
Posted: 09/07/2005 5:39 am

An American Tragedy, Live & All Too Local Nick Spitzer's popular public radio program, American Routes, has always been heavily flavored by New Orleans, the city from whence it originates. Now the program, like everyone else in the Big Easy, is in exile, and Spitzer is using the program as an unofficial catalog of the cultural loss of one of America's great musical centers. According to Spitzer, Katrina "[may be] America's biggest cultural disaster - in the sense of the loss of New Orleans's cultural stuff, the loss of the communities there that interact and the lack of will to move as quickly as if these houses being flooded were on the coast of Kennebunkport. And even for those of us who got out, there's this grinding uncertainty of whether we'll ever get back and ever live the same again." The New York Times 09/07/05
Posted: 09/06/2005 9:45 pm

Waxing Nostalgic Long before CDs - before cassettes, 8-tracks, and even those old 78 records, for that matter - there was Thomas Edison and his wax cylinders. "From John Philip Sousa's patriotic band to the Fred Van Epps Banjo Orchestra to obscure Hawaiian hula medleys, Edison's cylinders brought recorded music to the masses and set the stage for the entire industry to develop. Along with performers, he recorded the important and interesting people of his era talking about their work, including Andrew Carnegie, the industrialist, and Thomas A. Watson, the assistant to Alexander Graham Bell." Hundreds of these earliest examples of recorded sound are still strewn about Edison's New Jersey lab, and historians are working to catalog and digitize their contents. Philadelphia Inquirer 09/06/05
Posted: 09/06/2005 8:25 pm

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