Does Cancel Culture Even Exist? (A History)

“So much has been written about cancel culture in the past year that weariness sets in just reading the words. What it is, what to call it and whether it even exists are all in dispute. The term is shambolically applied to incidents both online and off that range from vigilante justice to hostile debate to stalking, intimidation and harassment.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Ideas, 12.03.20

Supreme court hears arguments in landmark cases over art stolen by Nazis during Holocaust

Disputes will test the limits of the jurisdiction of US courts as judges weigh whether property stolen from Jews can be recoveredThe US supreme court is wrestling with the vexed question of whether art and other property stolen by the Nazis from Jews in Germany and Hungary can be recovered or recouped through the US courts.On Monday, the nine justices heard oral arguments in two cases. Continue reading...
Tags: Art, Germany, Nazis, Religion, US, World news, US news, Hungary, Holocaust, Second world war, Heritage, US supreme court, Law (US

How The Shutdown Virtual World Has Leveled Creativity

“What has happened, then, during this time without physical training spaces for artists? In the long months that have passed since isolation began, we have had to overcome the creative blocks related to the lack of spaces—theatres, practice rooms, street stages—and have been engaging in discussions about the new challenges, such as the control of our bodies produced by the confinement and public health policies, the rethinking of the staging of our works, and the reformulation of creative proje...
Tags: Art, Theatre, 12.02.20

Examining The Politics Of Cultural Appropriation

“Permission to use another group’s cultural expressions isn’t something that it’s possible to receive, because ethnicities, gender identities, and other such groups don’t have representatives authorized to grant it. When novelists, for example, write outside their own experience, publishing houses now routinely enlist “sensitivity readers” to make sure they say nothing that will offend—but once the books are published, novelists are on their own. There’s nothing they can do to rebut the accusat...
Tags: Art, Ideas, Fall 2020

The Pandemic and the Arts: A “Climate of Fear” and “Radical Upheaval”

The pandemic is a diagnostic – and discloses a self-critical, self-confrontational United States that feels newly inchoate. Compared to nations abroad, we are not even secure in asserting that culture matters. – Joseph Horowitz
Tags: Art, United States, Ajblogs, 12.07.20

The Cost Of Singlemindedly Pursuing The New

The pursuit of novelty for its own sake doesn’t just fuel income inequality or threaten the environment (though it does contribute to those): it takes resources and attention from what really matters, which is maintenance and repair. These more modest activities are undervalued in just about every way. – Los Angeles Review of Books
Tags: Art, Ideas, 11.26.20

Met Opera To Lock Out Workers

After talks with the powerful union that represents the Met’s roughly 300 stagehands, Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, failed to yield an agreement this weekend, the Met announced that it planned to lock out the union’s workers. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Met, 12.07.20

NY Philharmonic Musicians Agree To Pay Cuts

Under the new contract, the musicians will see 25 percent cuts to their base pay through August 2023. Pay will then gradually increase until the contract ends in September 2024, though at that point the players will still be paid less than they were before the coronavirus pandemic struck. The cuts will amount to more than $20 million in musicians’ wages over the course of the contract. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, 12.07.20

Why tiny homes are booming during the pandemic

While some Americans see appeal in adopting a more efficient and affordable way of living during a time of economic uncertainty, others see tiny homes as an opportunity for an office or investment property.
Tags: Design, Lifestyle, Remote Work, Analysis, Radio, Tiny Houses, Remote Working, Tiny Homes, Energy Efficient Home, Affordable Homes, Home Offices, Select, Investment Properties, Small Business Owners, Coronavirus, COVID-19

He Ran La Scala, Then The Paris Opera. Now He’s Moved To Italy’s Oldest Opera House

“The future will be very different, and I am convinced that it will no longer be possible for a theater to be passive, waiting for the public, even with a great program. So in the future I see two aspects that are not contradictory but actually complementary.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Paris, Italy, 12.04.20, Oldest Opera House

The Organist Who Bought A Nova Scotia Church So He Could Practice

“In my childhood, it was quite difficult to go practice in some churches in Europe because we always have to [get] dressed up to go to the church, ask for the key from the priest or the minister, or we have to argue with some old Catholic nuns who were responsible for the church. They always said, ‘Oh you play the organ so loud, we can’t live here’. So now I’m alone and I can play as loud as I like…. Sometimes I play in pyjamas, of course.” – CBC
Tags: Art, Europe, Music, Catholic, 12.04.20

Alvin Ailey’s Robert Battle On How Dance Will Have Changed After The Pandemic

“I can’t imagine that once we’re back doing live performance that some of the things we’ve learned about filming dance and embracing that as a thing unto itself rather than only a response to not being able to be in the theater, but to go into the art of filming dance – and I think that’s what’s wonderful about what we did with ‘Revelations’.” – NPR
Tags: Art, Dance, Alvin Ailey, Robert Battle, 12.07.20

San Francisco Pays Artists To Promote Community Health

“A partnership between the San Francisco mayor’s office, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, and the San Francisco Parks Alliance, the program launched last month. It employs 30 performing artists to encourage mask wearing and other best practices and 30 visual artists to paint murals about public health on boarded-up storefronts.” – San Francisco Chronicle
Tags: Art, San Francisco, Issues, San Francisco Parks Alliance, 12.06.20

Painter Buys $65,000 Worth Of Work Of Struggling Artists

Guy Stanley Philoche, 43, has dedicated himself to seeking out artists from around the world who are unable to make ends meet and has so far purchased more than 150 artworks for up to $500 each. His own pieces sell for up to $120,000, according to Cavalier Galleries. – CNN
Tags: Art, People, 12.06.20, Stanley Philoche

Stop Trying To Understand Contemporary Poetry

Critic Ron Charles says the key is simply to read it – perhaps out loud – and enjoy. “Gradually poets I’d once considered impenetrable filled me with awe instead of bafflement. Rather than trying to manufacture some strait-laced summary, I followed their twisting ironies and witty observations.” – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Words, Ron Charles, 12.03.20

A Dutch Investigation Finds That Its Art Restitution Panel Sides Too Often With Museums

Not only does the panel side with the already powerful institutions too much, the investigators found, but there’s little empathy for the victims of Nazis. “The findings were provocative enough that two of the panel’s seven members, including its chairman, immediately resigned.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Visual, 12.07.20

Universal Music Buys Entire Bob Dylan Catalog In Blockbuster Deal

The price was not disclosed, but is estimated at more than $300 million. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, Bob Dylan, 12.07.20

Artist Sues The City of Los Angeles For Throwing His Work Away

David Lew, aka Shark Toof, created a piece for the Chinese American Museum in 2018. “Eighty-eight empty canvas sacks were adorned with hand-applied gold leaf paint and suspended on burlap twine with wooden clothespins. It was meant to evoke the history of Chinese immigrants in the laundry business.” Maintenance workers took them down and threw them away. – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Los Angeles, Visual, Chinese American Museum, 12.07.20, David Lew aka Shark Toof

Thelma Pepper, Canada’s Photographer Of The Prairies, 100

Pepper didn’t pick up a camera until she was 60 – and then didn’t waste a day. “As an outsider coming to the Prairies, Pepper was moved by her subject’s stories of how families struggled in the early days on the farm and how women did so many small, little heartfelt things to hold their families and communities together. ‘She just wanted to give those women their due that she felt they had not received during the course of their lifetimes.'” – CBC
Tags: Art, People, 12.03.20, Thelma Pepper Canada, Prairies Pepper

The Not-So-Hidden Literary Heritage Of Harriet The Spy

An ode to Dorothy Sayers’ Harriet Vane? You bet. But also, “Harriet is a writer devoted to routine. She loves her tomato sandwiches, her egg creams, and her spy route and notebook both because they give her a lot of pleasure and because they ground her. Like a working artist, she doesn’t want to think about the mundane details. That’s what a parent—and later, a partner—is for: somebody who can deal with practical things so an artist doesn’t have to. When Harriet’s routines are disrupted, all he...
Tags: Art, Words, Harriet, 12.04.20, Dorothy Sayers Harriet Vane

Roald Dahl’s Family Apologizes For The Author’s Antisemitism

The author’s antisemitism was well known and public, including in a 1983 interview in which he claimed “There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity. … Even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason.” The apology statement is buried, but present, on the author’s site, but “no mention is made of Dahl’s antisemitic views in the author’s official biography on the site. The family’s apology was not sent to Jewish organisations.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Roald Dahl, Words, Hitler, Dahl, 12.06.20

Oh, An All-Streaming World Is What You Want? Think Again

It’s not going to be great, friends. “If the movie theater experience, as a cultural force, winds up withering on the vine, then it’s likely that movies as we’ve known them will also wither on the vine. Pauline Kael said it best in the ’70s, when she was writing — witheringly — about the phenomenon of TV-movies. She said that what you make for television isn’t a movie. What you make for television is a TV show.” – Variety
Tags: Art, Media, Pauline Kael, 12.06.20

We Know Who Wrote Citizen Kane

Sorry, Netflix viewers, and sorry, Gary Oldman: It wasn’t Mank. “Robert L. Carringer examined seven drafts of the screenplay in great detail and concluded that the writing Mankiewicz had done in Victorville, Calif., during the period depicted in the film ‘elaborated the plot logic and laid down the overall story contours,’ but that Welles, principally, transformed the script ‘from a solid basis for a story into an authentic plan for a masterpiece.'” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Media, Gary Oldman, Welles, Victorville Calif, Mankiewicz, 12.06.20, Mank Robert L Carringer

The Artist Trying Damn Hard To Save Other Artists

Guy Stanley Philoche figured his fellow artists shouldn’t suffer so much because of COVID-19 and the associated shutdowns. “The art world is my community and I needed to help my community. … People say New York is dead, but it’s far from that. There’s an artist somewhere writing the next greatest album. There’s a kid right now in his studio painting the next Mona Lisa. There’s probably a dancer right now choreographing the next epic ballet. People forgot about the artists in these industries.” ...
Tags: Art, New York, Visual, Guy Stanley Philoche, 12.06.20

Can The Great British Bake Off Survive Global Warming?

Nope. “The heat has become an increasingly familiar character. The camera pans over shot after shot of the searing sun. The judges explain an upcoming challenge, once again emphasizing that the heat will make it even more difficult. (Butter, the star ingredient of many baked goods, turns into liquid at 94 F [34 C], and starts to soften long before that.) To cool down during challenges, the bakers have started wearing wet rags around their necks that leave damp patches on their aprons.” – Wired ...
Tags: Art, Media, 12.05.20

A Forgotten Literary Star, And Anti-Fascist Activist, Is Finally Getting Her Due In Spain

The writer María Teresa Léon was a good buddy of Lorca, married to poet Rafael Alberti, and took part in rescuing art from the Prado as Franco bombed Madrid. Then she, and Alberti and many other anti-fascist writers, fled to live in exile in France and Italy – and her writing and her power were remembered less and less as the male writers’ fame grew. Now her memoir is being republished, with a new introduction and a new appreciation. – The Observer (UK)
Tags: Art, France, Spain, People, Italy, Franco, Madrid, Prado, Lorca, Alberti, Rafael Alberti, 12.06.20, María Teresa Léon

Behold the Steampunk Home Exercise Machines from the Victorian Age

The pandemic has resulted in a lot of people reinventing their fitness regimens, investing in pricey items like Mirror and Peloton bikes to turn homes into home gyms. Personally, we’re saving our pennies until some Etsy seller replicates the mechanical therapy systems of Dr. Gustav Zander (1835–1920). From the mid-19th century through WWI, these machines were at the forefront of gym culture. Their function is extremely similar to modern strength training equipment, but their design exudes a d...
Tags: Health, Google, Design, London, Etsy, College, New York City, Physics, New York Times, Philadelphia, Stockholm, Facebook Twitter, Walt Whitman, Franz Kafka, Peloton, Zander

In The Upper Levels Of Irish Government, Talks Continue About Reopening Theatres

Cinemas have reopened, but not theatres. Why? “Sources close to Minister for Arts and Culture Catherine Martin pointed to a ‘complex environment for indoor live performances.'” – Irish Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, Catherine Martin, 12.04.20

You Know You Want Jonas Kauffman Singing Silent Night

And other “classical” Christmas and holiday and winter music, all that a holiday festivity fan’s heart could desire. Just know: “If you’re more a Winterreise than a Winter Wonderland type, this one’s not for you.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Music, 12.05.20, Jonas Kauffman

We All Know The Crown Is Fiction, So Why Is The British Government So Concerned?

As the author points out tartly, “The presence of actors is a strong clue” that the Netflix series isn’t a documentary. And yet there is a source for this discomfort: “The real source of unease with The Crown comes from the dissonance between the high naturalism of the program’s costumes, staging, and set design and the liberties taken with its plotlines. The current discussion would not be happening if the show were not so rigorously faithful to the historical record in every department excep...
Tags: Art, Ideas, 12.05.20

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