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Tuesday, March 7


Cross-Cultural Translation After 'It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp' won best song at the Oscars, it rocketed in popularity. "Why this song? Why now? When 'white' culture borrows from 'black' culture, it doesn't necessarily borrow what it thinks it's borrowing. The real meaning of the song, its reference to pimps, its role within a movie documenting the often pathetic efforts at stardom of a pimp who also makes music, isn't particularly relevant. When a piece of cultural stuff makes the transition into the mainstream, it often does so on terms entirely different from what it originally meant." Washington Post 03/07/06
Posted: 03/07/2006 8:31 am

High And Low English? "It often seems that the English language is heading off in two separate directions. On the one hand there are the wild abbreviated inventions of texting, all the different pidgin languages that are born on the street corner when an ethnic language bangs into English and the technospeak of modernity. All these separate strands of invention are blurring together to create a new English with a hybrid vigour." The Guardian (UK) 03/06/06
Posted: 03/06/2006 10:52 pm

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Visual Arts

Art Thieves Hit Rio Again For the second time in ten days, art thieves have scored a major heist in Rio. "Two armed men burst into the Rio City Museum and took gold and silver relics from Brazil's empire era said to be of 'incalculable historic value'. The 11 stolen items include an ivory sabre and a pearl and silver foil." BBC 03/07/06
Posted: 03/07/2006 7:20 am

Rewriting Art History There's a new "revised version of 'Janson's History of Art,' a doorstopper first published in 1962 that has been a classroom hit ever since Horst Woldemar Janson wrote it while working at New York University. For a generation of baby boomers, it defined what was what and who was who in art. But in recent years it has lost its perch as the best-selling art survey and has been criticized for becoming a scholarly chestnut. So its publisher recruited six scholars from around the country and told them to rewrite as much as they wanted, to cast a critical eye on every reproduction, chapter heading and sacred cow." The New York Times 03/07/06
Posted: 03/06/2006 11:02 pm

Black And White - End Of An Era When Kodak announced last June that it would no longer manufacture black-and-white printing papers, the decision did more than terminate 117 years of production. By severing a vital supply line long taken for granted, the company reminded photographers of their humbling dependence on equipment and materials—and how quickly both they and the equipment and materials can go out of date. ARTnews 03/06
Posted: 03/06/2006 7:34 pm

Guild Formed To Combat Russian Art Forgery To combat the rising incidence of art forgery, Russian scholars are forming a new guild to act as an authority. "The Guild's main goal is to establish rules and standards for authenticating art works. It plans to license art experts, act as a lobby for the art market in Russia and provide information and legal assistance for collectors." Bloomberg.com 03/06/06
Posted: 03/06/2006 7:31 pm

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ENO Takes A Chance On New Leadership Edward Gardner is the "high-risk" choice to be music director of the troubled English National Opera. "The selection process, though swift, was admirably consultativen and transparent. The American Andrew Litton, much liked by the orchestra, was vetoed by the singing staff who felt he gave them insufficient support. Yakov Kreizberg, the Russian-born American, was top of the search list but he could not find room in a busy international schedule for the seven months a year that ENO required. Mark Wigglesworth, a British conductor who had commendably refused to work with Doran, was forced to make a choice between troubled ENO and the comfortable Monnaie in Brussels, where his appointment is expected shortly." La Scena Musicale 03/07/06
Posted: 03/07/2006 9:28 am

The Mozart Requiem, Brazilian Edition An unknown version of Mozart's unfinished Requiem has been hidden in the archives of a former Brazilian cathedral. A new recording of the Requiem on the specialist K617 French label has been released, "in a version written 30 years after Mozart's death by an Austrian-born composer, Johann Sigismund Neukomm. It has lain forgotten in a Rio de Janeiro vault for nearly 200 years." The Scotsman 03/06/06
Posted: 03/06/2006 7:43 pm

Louisville Orchestra Rejects Musicians' Proposal "The Louisville Orchestra has rejected a proposal by its musicians to cut six weeks from the upcoming season, a move musicians say will save $400,000 in that contract year. But management believes that the cost savings would be closer to $200,000 because of the loss of potential revenue during those weeks and that the musicians' one-year proposal isn't sufficient to address the orchestra's longer-term needs." LouisvilleCourier-Journal 03/06/06
Posted: 03/06/2006 7:27 pm

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Arts Issues

The Kimmel's World-Class, Stunning, Beautiful And Unique Settlement Philadelphia's Kimmel Center and architect Rafael Vinoly have reached an out-of-court settlement on Kimmel complaints about the building. It must have been some settlement. The joint statement says: "the Kimmel Center recognizes that the Viñoly-designed and delivered Kimmel Center is a stunning, state-of-the-art concert hall that attracts world-class artists. It is one of the most beautiful and unique buildings of its kind in the world, a world-class performing arts center, a wonderful civic space, and an economic engine for the entire area. As one of the best facilities of its kind anywhere, it has achieved its goal of becoming a cultural center for all tastes." Philadelphia Inquirer 03/07/06
Posted: 03/07/2006 9:16 am

Almost As Many Searches As People Computer users conducting a record number of internet searches in January. "Nielsen//NetRatings reports an all-time high search total of 5.7 billion searches in January, up from 4 million in January 2005. Meanwhile, comScore Networks says Americans made 5.48 billion searches in January, up from 4.95 billion a year earlier." Chicago Tribune 03/07/06
Posted: 03/07/2006 9:08 am

French Muslims Demand Voltaire Play Be Cancelled A municipal cultural center in France "organized a reading of a 265-year-old play by Voltaire, whose writings helped lay the foundations of modern Europe's commitment to secularism. The play, 'Fanaticism, or Mahomet the Prophet,' uses the founder of Islam to lampoon all forms of religious frenzy and intolerance. Islamic activists demanded the performance be cancelled. Instead, the mayor called in police reinforcements to protect the theater. A small riot broke out involving several dozen people and youths who set fire to a car and garbage cans. The dispute rumbles on, playing into a wider debate over faith and free-speech." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (WSJ) 03/06/06
Posted: 03/06/2006 7:54 pm

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A Violin 60 Years In The Making Sixty years ago a man in prison started making a violin out of a piece of maple he found. He never finished it, and for decades it sat in his closet. On the man's 87th birthday, his grandson presented him with the now-completed instrument... Boston Globe 03/07/06
Posted: 03/07/2006 8:40 am

Richard Rodney Bennett At 70 "The world of music these past 50 years has not had much in common with Mozart’s time, so Bennett – born 70 years ago this month – got passed off as a chameleon, too commercially successful for his own good. He has done everything, from percussion concertos to Pizza on the Park, fanfares to Four Weddings and a Funeral. The composer who started out admiring Elisabeth Lutyens and studying with Pierre Boulez – two icons of musical modernism – ended up playing jazz and cabaret. The bottom line is that Bennett is still busy, and audiences love to hear him perform." Financial Times 03/06/06
Posted: 03/06/2006 10:42 pm

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Producers Looking For New NY Venue For "Rachel Corrie" London's Royal Court Theatre is considering other opportunities to stage "My Name is Rachel Corrie" in New York after New York Theater Workshop canceled a planned production because of political concerns. "Royal Court's statement took issue with the workshop's assertion that the planned production of "Rachel Corrie" was not definite, saying that press releases had been finalized, previews set, budgets approved, flights booked and tickets listed for sale." The New York Times 03/07/06
Posted: 03/06/2006 11:07 pm

"Corrie" Cancellation Heretical New York Theatre Workshop was surprised when there were big protests over its decision not to present "My Name Is Rachel Corrie." It shouldn't have been. "What made it a more volatile act was that by declining for now to offend with the play, the theater violated the most sacred principles of our artistic temples. Those principles are: Thou shalt offend, thou shalt test limits, thou shalt cause controversy. If there is an artistic orthodoxy in the West, it is that good art is iconoclastic and provocative, and that any pull back from this orthodoxy is cowardly and craven. In this distended context, the New York Theater Workshop's act was heretical." The New York Times 03/06/06
Posted: 03/06/2006 9:06 am

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Tech On The Menu At London Book Fair At the London Book Fair, technology is the big theme, with Google's John Needham speaked to a packed room about his company's publishing projects... The New York Times 03/07/06
Posted: 03/07/2006 7:35 am

Author: Da Vinci Code Claims Exaggerated One of the authors suing Dan Brown, claiming Brown stole details for the Da Vinci Code plot, has admitted he exaggerated his claims. "Michael Baigent had claimed 15 points central to the plot of Brown's novel had been taken from a 1982 non-fiction book he wrote with two other authors. As the case resumed at the High Court in London, however, Mr Baigent said his language had been 'infelicitous'." BBC 03/07/06
Posted: 03/07/2006 7:17 am

Remote Author Signings - End Of The Book Tour? Margaret Atwood tries a remote pen machine at a book signinjg, but it fails to work. "Not everyone had welcomed the gadget that Ms Atwood launched yesterday, called the LongPen, which is designed to allow authors to be in one place while signing their books, in real time, in another. Critics feared it might even spell the end of the book tour, saving writers many wearying hours schlepping from town to town, but ultimately cutting them off from their readers altogether. And it might - but not until they get it working." The Guardian (UK) 03/06/06
Posted: 03/06/2006 10:47 pm

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Oscars TV Ratings Down Sunday's Oscars TV broadcast attracted only 39 million viewers, the second lowest on record. "Except for the 2003 count of 33 million viewers — when "Chicago" took the best-picture award — the Oscars hadn't dipped below 40 million viewers since 1987, Nielsen said." Yahoo! (AP) 03/06/06
Posted: 03/06/2006 7:36 pm

Crashing Credits - The Producers Who Demand Their Share A dispute about producer credits for the movie "Crash" highlights the difficulty in giving credits for producing modern movies. "Those four slighted "Crash" producers say the film's multiple producing credits are not the result of any personal vanity but instead underscore the frantic mechanics of making movies outside the studio system." Los Angeles Times 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 11:04 pm

Big Box Office Vs. The Oscar Winners The connection between box office hits and quality movies that win Oscars has never been strong. But this year there's a particularly big disconnect. "Together, these movies have taken in $228 million – by far the smallest total in recent Oscar history. By contrast, “Revenge of the Sith,” 2005's top-grossing film, has made $380 million domestically." San Diego Union-Tribune 03/05/06
Posted: 03/05/2006 10:48 pm

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Washington Ballet Contract To Clarify Dancers' Security? "The flexibility allowed to Artistic Director Septime Webre had been a key issue. Disagreements over such issues as how and when he could dismiss dancers, how he could expand his roster with the use of students from the Washington Ballet's school, and how many dancers he would be required to employ -- which the ballet viewed as stepping into areas of artistic control -- were the chief reasons the contract process took so long." Washington Post 03/07/06
Posted: 03/07/2006 8:27 am

Washington Ballet Labor Accord Washington Ballet and its dancers have reached an agreement on a new contarct... Washington Times 03/07/06
Posted: 03/06/2006 11:14 pm

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