National Art News
With ever more material out there, how do viewers find what’s good? How do you get people to keep paying for what they watch instead of getting it from torrent sites and/or blocking ads? And what will and won’t constitute success?
“What about the things that come back year after year, with slight variations, sometimes to great acclaim and sometimes to quick cancellation? Let’s take a tour of some of the conceptual habits that seem hardest to break” – such as item one, “The Adventures Of Mr. Superabilities And Detective Ladyskeptic.”
“[Her] work, which fused dance, theater, mime, spoken word and video into small quasi-narrative worlds, … mined quotidian experiences like washing, cooking and building to yield works celebrated for their rich characterizations and dramatic momentum.”
Michael Billington’s list, though it limits itself to the western tradition, runs all the way back to Aeschylus (The Persians) and right up to last season (King Charles III). Of course, there’s lots to argue over.
Teddy Abrams: “All major arts organizations should not only have musicians on staff but there should also be a department of composition; people who are composing for the moment. In Bach’s time there was a department of composition in every church and state office; there was a constant need for new music. … Granted that might be a huge expense. But think of the effect.”
“That’s the finding of James S. Jaffe, a rare-books expert brought in to review the contents of the safe-deposit box at a bank in Ms. Lee’s hometown of Monroeville, Ala.”
“A Twitterstorm erupted in the US last month over the findings of survey of 8,000 art galleries based in the US, UK and Germany.” Magnus Resch recommended “that most artists should be paid only 30% of sales not the traditional 50/50 split of most galleries (superstar artists aside). It probably hasn’t helped that he divides artists into some all-too-pithy categories.”
RSC education director Jacqui O’Hanlon says that the app, designed for students aged 11 to 16, “would act as a ‘trail of breadcrumbs’ to the original work. The app’s rap lyrics are derived from Shakespeare’s insults, and his characters’ amorous exchanges. It challenges users to spot the difference between the Shakespeare rap and those of modern hip-hop artists.”
The Lughnasa International Friel Festival – created and directed (on a tiny budget) by Seán Doran, who also founded the Happy Days Festival focused on Beckett – is the first large-scale arts event to be shared between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
The Witches of Venice, an opera-ballet based on the children’s book by Beni Montresor, had its premiere at La Scala 20 years ago. It will finally have its U.S. premiere next summer, in a production directed and choreographed by Karole Armitage.
“You’ve got a muddy 18th century chest of drawers. Who you gonna call? The American Institute for Conservation Collections Emergency Response Team, also known as AIC-CERT. Okay, it’s not quite as catchy as Ghostbusters. But for workers at cultural institutions, the AIC-CERT is a disaster relief A-Team, solving problems ranging from a a burst pipe to a tsunami.”
“The first African-American woman to be named a principal in the 75-year history of American Ballet Theater provided a jolt to On the Town during her first week in the musical. The show, which is closing on Sunday, immediately went from a laggard to a leader: It grossed $914,434 in the week that ended Sunday, up from $395,379 the week before.”
The choreographer originally created Available Light, now seen as a Minimalist milestone in both dance and music, as a site-specific piece for Gehry’s Temporary Contemporary at Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art. This past spring at MASS MoCA, she and Gehry revised Available Light for a proscenium stage; the work was just presented in Berlin and (finally!) makes its East Coast premiere this week at the Philly Fringe Festival.
“Franzen, whose writing tends to be very careful, has a gift for putting his foot in his mouth when he speaks publicly. … But if you look at Franzen’s taste in writing, it’s clear that he isn’t quite as one-dimensional as his bad press would lead readers to believe.” Scott Timberg reviews the evidence.
“The public’s enthusiasm was apparent – maybe a little too apparent – on Monday when the Broad Museum began booking online reservations for its Sept. 20 opening and beyond. By midafternoon, the Web page for reservations to the new contemporary art museum in downtown Los Angeles carried an announcement in red type: ‘Due to overwhelming demand, our ticketing system is currently down.'”
“The woman, called Dai Dali, first learned to pole dance at a gym four years ago and is now able to pull of moves that most people half her age couldn’t accomplish.”
“The lesson is that painting the pavement blue and closing it to cars is a start, but reclaiming space alone is not sufficient to create the sort of vibrant public plaza we’d all like. That requires real stewardship. Civic culture needs cultivating and curating. Unless we do so, public space can become a public nuisance.”
“Approaching the 10-year mark in its handsome waterfront building, will the ICA (which was founded in 1936 as the Boston Museum of Modern Art) step up to the next level? Will it galvanize both artists and the public, embarrassing older, slower museums with its fleetness of foot, its largeness of vision, its willingness to provoke, surprise, and seduce? Or will it continue to strike large slabs of its potential audience as fiddly and pinched, a place of pretension, predictability, and underwhelming exhibits?”
“College is seldom about thinking or learning anymore. Everyone is running around trying to figure out what it is about. So far, they have come up with buzzwords.”