Alert: Painted Portraits Are Not Photographs

Just in case you were inclined to think they were, which … apparently, people are. And by “people,” we’re talking about scientists. But there’s an issue: “Changing ideas about accuracy relate to an even deeper problem with these supposedly scientific approaches: The researchers are unaware that both portraiture and the ideas portraits express have a history.” – Hyperallergic
Tags: Art, Visual, 12.11.20

Reviving The Work Of A Once Highly Praised Writer

Who, of course, happens to be a woman, Gertrude Trevalyan. Her re-publisher: “I read it and I thought, ‘This is incredible.’ … If she was a bloke, she’d still be in print today, without question. All of Aldous Huxley’s books are still in print – some of them are amazing, some aren’t that great. He was doing interesting social commentary, and also experimental stuff. She was doing the same sort of thing and no one’s heard of her.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Words, Aldous Huxley, 12.10.20, Gertrude Trevalyan

After A Suitable Boy Was In Development For 25 Years, Mira Nair Brings It To The Small Screen

The director says she didn’t direct it as a series, though: “I actually treated it as long-form cinema. It’s about rhythm for me. It’s about trying to find that thread that takes us through. And of course, music for me … is really the oxygen that drives my cinema.” – NPR
Tags: Art, Media, Mira Nair, 12.12.20

Making The Most Of The Sounds Of Home

Bella Chen takes ambient sounds from around the world – the world where musicians can’t travel at the moment – and turns them into inspiration for improvised, online performances. – BBC
Tags: Art, Music, 12.12.20, Bella Chen

LA’s Museum Of Latin American Art Defends Its Big Deaccession Auction

The museum had 59 works from its permanent collection on the auction block, but it says that was in pursuit of a larger goal. The museum’s chief curator claimed “the sale was not a response to economic hardship but part of a long-term initiative to diversify the collection, making it stronger, more relevant and balanced.” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Visual, 12.11.20, LA 's Museum Of Latin American Art

Designing The Ideal Library

You know, for when we can be together in person again. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Words, 12.11.20

Black Booksellers Question Tattered Cover’s Self-Anointing Media Coverage

Having a Black venture capitalist in your ownership group isn’t exactly the win Tattered Cover’s PR claimed. Danielle Mullen of Semicolon Bookstore in Chicago: “It’s hurtful to Black booksellers who have been doing the hard work—and then they take the same credit without real Black representation. It’s disappointing and almost unbelievable. Especially with the history they have around the BLM protests and why they lost so many customers. It’s ridiculous. … It’s like if Jeff Bezos partnered with...
Tags: Amazon, Art, Chicago, Words, Jeff Bezos, BLM, Black, 12.11.20, Danielle Mullen

The Loss Of Print, The Rise Of Fan Culture, And What’s Happened To Reviews

This is, on the surface, about a game. But it’s about so much more, including “scores” in reviews, the authority of “major” sites, gatekeeping, industry PR, and loud voices screaming on YouTube. – Kotaku
Tags: Art, Youtube, Issues, 12.11.20

While 2020 Fell Off A Cliff, TV Stayed Suspended In Midair

Or so says one of Slate‘s TV critics. Read the whole series of posts if you can – you can start here and work your way back – but there’s a serious discussion to be had about TV in 2020. “For so much of this year, watching TV felt like watching these weird remnants of another world. They would resonate or fail to connect just like TV always does, but they’d be reaching out to a completely other world than the one they originally intended to reach.” – Slate
Tags: Art, Media, 12.11.20

Church As Theatre

Everything is locked down in Paris, except for Mass. “The ritualistic nature of the event, the dramatic buildup from scene to scene — even the slightly labored monologues — are all part and parcel of regular theater attendance.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, Paris, 12.10.20

A Glimpse Inside Hanukkah Related Medieval Manuscripts

Illuminated manuscripts are, well, filled with light. For instance: “A full-page rendering of a menorah surrounded by Temple implements, in color and gold.” – LitHub
Tags: Art, Temple, Visual, 12.11.20

Noah Creshevsky, Composer Of ‘Hyperreal’ Work, 75

Creshevsky studied composition with some modern legends, but he “found his calling in the studio-bound world of electronic music. Using the prevailing technologies of the day — at first cutting and splicing magnetic tape, later using samplers and digital audio workstations — he made music that was dizzyingly complex in its conception and construction. But because he built his works from everyday sounds as well as voices and instruments, his compositions felt accessible, engaging and witty.” – T...
Tags: Art, People, 12.12.20, Noah Creshevsky, Creshevsky

That Time Italian Futurists Declared War On Pasta

You see, pasta wasn’t “virile” enough for these guys, the poets and artists of Italian Futurism. That’s right, “a heavy, bloated stomach does not encourage physical enthusiasm for a woman, nor favour the possibility of possessing her at any time.” – Open Culture
Tags: Art, Visual, 12.11.20

Barcelona Gives Same-Day Testing For Concertgoers A Try

More than 1000 people gathered for the experiment: Take a same-day, 15-minute antigen test, and then enjoy a concert. In this case, the concert was a free, indoor, rock and roll experiment wherein 500 people got to enjoy the music while the other 500 are serving as a control group. “The crowd reveled in the newfound freedom, dancing closely together and jostling one another for a bit of fun.” – Seattle Times (AP)
Tags: Art, Music, Barcelona, Audience, 12.12.20

The Movie Theatre Is Dead; Long Live The Movie Theatre

Sorry, multiplexes: It’s the indies that will survive. “To put it bluntly, people who just want to gobble popcorn while gaping at the latest special-effects extravaganza … will be happy enough doing so in their basements and living rooms, whereas folks who appreciate the theatrical experience as the communal, quasi-religious ceremony that it is will be back.” – Oregon ArtsWatch
Tags: Art, Media, Oregon, 12.09.20

When Corporate High Streets Collapse, Perhaps ‘Craft Beer Social Democracy’ Can Have A Turn

Urban planning is having a bit of a hard time with Covid-19 hitting Britain’s corporate-driven main streets and malls – but better spaces are possible, says critic Owen Hatherley, when small crafts get involved. “The notion of community wealth building, rather than disconnected projects, is so important.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Britain, Visual, Owen Hatherley, 12.09.20

Sure, There Are Zillions Onscreen, But Nutcracker Season Doesn’t Feel Real This Year

And that’s a problem for the future. The Nutcracker is “the production that helps make a lot of others possible. That holiday ballet can account for 20% of many companies’ ticket sales, and, in the case of a major company like Chicago’s Joffrey, about half of its annual earned revenue. Ashley Wheater, the artistic director of The Joffrey, told us the company has lost more than $12 million in earnings during the pandemic and has had to cancel newer works they had planned.” – NPR
Tags: Art, Chicago, Dance, Joffrey, Ashley Wheater, 12.12.20

Movie Musicals Like ‘The Prom’ Do A Massive Disservice To The Shows’ Stage Actors

The movie, which premiered on streaming December 11, is an ode to the power of Broadway. Its journey from stage to screen, though, “underscores the inequities underneath the surface of Hollywood’s shiny stage musical adaptations, which often leave the original cast members hanging — and render invisible the work they’ve done to make the production what it is in the process.”- Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Hollywood, Theatre, Broadway, 12.12.20

Othella Dallas, Who Kept The Flame Of Katherine Dunham’s Dance Technique Burning, 95

Dallas taught Dunham’s dance style, “a polyrhythmic style rooted in early Black dance that Dunham developed through her ethnographic research in the Caribbean in the 1930s,” well into her 90s at her studio in Basel, Switzerland. “You feel it like a religion. … It’s in our bloodline. You live with it when you teach it. You respect it. And then you give it to someone else, so they may have the honor of teaching it and seeing the genius of Dunham.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, People, Dallas, Caribbean, Dunham, Basel Switzerland, Katherine Dunham, Othella Dallas, 12.11.20

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