National Art News

Culture’s Dying, Or It’s Already Dead (And It Always Has Been)

Arts Journal - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 1:13am

“This sentiment has a name: declinism. And it has a history, a scholarly one that amounts to much more than the perennial grousing of adults about kids these days. The notion of studying how things go to hell is almost exactly as old as the modern practice of historiography.” Laura Miller casts a gimlet eye on declinism from Gibbon to Spengler to Vargas Llosa – and points out the one way in which “culture” may indeed be dead (for now).

Categories: National Art News

Destroyed Buddhas Of Bamiyan Are Reborn As 3D Projections

Arts Journal - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 1:11am

“With the clearance of both [Afghanistan’s] government and UNESCO, the temporary revival was the most recent consideration of how to honor the memory of the statues destroyed by the Taliban in 2001, while respecting the gaping void left by their demolition.”

Categories: National Art News

Graffiti Artists Sue Developer Of New York Street-Art Mecca For Whitewashing Their Murals

Arts Journal - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 1:10am

“Nine artists are suing Jerry Wolkoff, the owner of the 5Pointz site in Long Island City, Queens, for destroying their murals when his company G&M Realty had the building whitewashed in November 2013.”

Categories: National Art News

Is Heckling Ever Good For Stand-Up Comedy? Or The Comedian?

Arts Journal - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 1:08am

“Probably the closest thing you can compare it to is the fighting in ice hockey. Think about it: an activity somehow both integral and non-essential that many in the audience consider more entertaining than those parts of the performance that require actual talent. But here’s the difference between fighting in hockey and heckling in stand-up comedy, and it’s an essential one: the former is all about the players, while the latter is all about the fans trying to be the players.”

Categories: National Art News

Distraction – And Why We Drive Ourselves To It

Arts Journal - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 1:06am

“Ever since the Enlightenment, Western societies have been obsessed with autonomy, and in the past few hundred years we have put autonomy at the center of our lives, economically, politically, and technologically … Unfortunately, we’ve taken things too far: we’re now addicted to liberation, and we regard any situation – a movie, a conversation, a one-block walk down a city street – as a kind of prison. Distraction is a way of asserting control; it’s autonomy run amok.”

Categories: National Art News

The Hardest Things About Making An Amy Winehouse Documentary

Arts Journal - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 1:05am

“[Director Asif Kapadia] maintains that the documentary is a faithful depiction of the events that led to Winehouse’s death in 2011 at her home in London, and that his only agenda was to tell the truth. We spoke with him recently about the biggest challenges he faced in getting the film to theaters.”

Categories: National Art News

A Museum Of Death (Two Of Them, Actually)

Arts Journal - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 1:04am

“Imagine cases of letters from Jeffrey Dahmer, funerary garments that clothe a corpse for casket viewing, ornate Tibetan kapala skulls, crime scene photographs, an autopsy video, and oddball items like underwear Aileen Wuornos wore on death row.” (Not to mention Dr. Kevorkian’s Thanatron.)

Categories: National Art News

When James Joyce Met Sylvia Beach

Arts Journal - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 1:02am

An encounter that changed literature for good.

Categories: National Art News

Here Are Some *Other* Novels That Unfold Over A Single Day

Arts Journal - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 12:55am

“In honor of Bloomsday – our annual and reverent celebration of James Joyce’s account of just another day in Dublin – we asked the staff at Kramerbooks in Washington, DC, to suggest some other fine books that take place over the course of a day.”

Categories: National Art News

Top Posts From AJBlogs 06.16.15

Arts Journal - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 10:10pm

They Just Don’t Wanna?
AJBlog: Engaging Matters Published 2015-06-16

Neoliberal Economics vs. Democracy
AJBlog: CultureCrash Published 2015-06-16

The Broad Museum Answers Back
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2015-06-16


Categories: National Art News

Magazine Covers Are Thriving In The Digital Age

Arts Journal - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 12:38pm

“In the ethereal world of digital media, printed magazines continue to offer something concrete, a tangible representation of a collaboration between editors, artists, designers and writers. And nothing embodies this collaboration like the magazine cover, which remains one of the modern age’s most widely consumed pieces of public art.”

Categories: National Art News

Why Are So Many Libraries Bad At Keeping Track Of What They Have?

Arts Journal - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 11:41am

“Across the country, in city art collections and special collections of public libraries, one-of-a-kind items are routinely misfiled, misplaced, lost or stolen. And sometimes, routine mistakes and slipshod documentation grow into a much more intractable problem, with large portions of public collections being managed by institutions who have no idea what’s in them and no full inventory of their holdings.”

Categories: National Art News

This Is How To Create A (Really Good) Opera Festival In Your Backyard

Arts Journal - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 10:56am

“Martin Graham is quietly spoken and not easily fazed, but he has a countryman’s beady eye for detail and disdain of needless extravagance. He knows every inch of the barn theatre and proudly strokes the fine joinery executed by his old friend George from the village. Framed pictures on the walls show blown-up pages taken from Percy Scholes’s The Oxford Companion to Music, a great source of instruction and inspiration when Graham was a lad.”

Categories: National Art News

Cold Truth? Most People No Longer Care About The Fine Arts

Arts Journal - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 10:27am

“What happened? How is it that, in only a generation or two, educated Americans went from at least pretending to know and care about the fine arts to paying no attention at all?”

Categories: National Art News

Preservationists Worry About Plans To Open A Theme Park Around Ancient Chinese Caves

Arts Journal - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 9:05am

“Officials in Gansu Province, which includes Dunhuang, and a company in Beijing have drawn up plans for a theme park connecting the caves with a separate area of sand dunes that already exists as a tourist playground (think dune buggies and camel rides). The connecting strip of desert would be filled with faux temples, folk villages and souvenir stands.”

Categories: National Art News

Opera Grand Rapids Reinvents Itself

Arts Journal - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 8:49am

Opera Grand Rapids has changed its mission, said executive director Anne Berquist. “It’s a different approach, but it gives a new, fresh look at what opera should be in the 21st century. We’re still going to produce fully staged opera. That’s what we are. But we need to do other things to build our audience.”

Categories: National Art News

A New $6 Million “Sleeping Beauty”? But Why?

Arts Journal - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 8:17am

“I agree that the dancing is stamped with the spirit of the times. ABT has given us a piece of history, and there is value in that. Ballet historians are soaking this moment up. But for some of us, it’s like seeing lithographs of dainty ballerinas come to life. In this Sleeping Beauty I missed dancing that extends into space; I missed the directness that Balanchine has given us. Dance evolves for a reason. It adjusts to how cultures and bodies change.”

Categories: National Art News

Bizarre Arrest For Attempted Murder Results In Dispute Between String Quartet And Concert Venue

Arts Journal - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 7:43am

“An extraordinary row has erupted between one of Europe’s most respected string quartets and London’s premier chamber music venue over the cancellation of a forthcoming concert. It has left the relationship between two major names in classical music in tatters.”

Categories: National Art News

Los Angeles Website Asks Theatres To Buy Reviews. A Good Idea?

Arts Journal - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 7:36am

“Bitter Lemons founder Colin Mitchell says he’s responding to the dwindling number of reviews by professional critics amid upheaval in the media industry. Many traditional outlets have retrenched in the face of falling advertising revenues they’d relied on to fund coverage, including arts reviews. He’s asking theater companies themselves to help fill the void.”

Categories: National Art News

Dances With Robots

Arts Journal - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 6:53am

Seven such humanoid robots, of the model NAO, are the stars of “ROBOT,” a dance-theater work by the Spanish-born choreographer Blanca Li that had its American debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House on Tuesday. There are also eight human dancers, but the 90-minute production perks up when the robots arrive, and it sags whenever they’re absent.

Categories: National Art News