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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Glamorous Exile

Vain, Solzhenitsyn was less vain than most dissidents. He had no political deference, but a metaphysical humility had been beaten into him by what he had undergone. Exile was not a “new beginning” for him. He undertook it with dread, and a somewhat unrealistic idea of how tight a link he could maintain to the culture of the old country. – National Review
Tags: Art, People, Solzhenitsyn, 01.10.19, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Glamorous Exile

Boogie Fever: The Dance Plagues Of Medieval Europe

A widespread belief of the 15th century held that the bite of a tarantula could only be treated by wild, mad dancing; groups of people would be possessed by a compulsion to dance, and towns would pay musicians to play for the sufferers. (Hence the dance called the tarantella.) “In fact, mass epidemics of dancing have afflicted various parts of Europe since the seventh century, breaking out particularly in times of famine, disease, and political unrest.” — JSTOR Daily
Tags: Art, Europe, Dance, 01.10.19

The Renoir Family Had Daddy Issues

“The filmmaker Jean Renoir made a career of dismantling the beliefs of his absentee father, the painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Jean satirized the aristocracy and upended his father’s saccharine scenes of leisure.” — The Paris Review
Tags: Art, People, Jean Renoir, 01.10.19, Pierre Auguste Renoir Jean

How Did The Catholic Church Go From Being A Major Patron Of The Arts To… Meh

For centuries, the Catholic Church was one of the world’s most important collectors and patrons of art, but in recent decades, the Vatican’s holiday nativity scene has often been one of its most high-profile artistic contributions. This shift didn’t happen overnight—or even in a generation—but across centuries, and it is inseparable from the evolution of modern European nations, the secularization of public life, and the rise of the art market. – Artsy
Tags: Art, Vatican, Catholic Church, Issues, 01.10.19

Critics Talk About The Pleasures And Pains Of Extremely Bad Reviews

“Who are Extremely Bad Reviews written for? What do they hope to accomplish? Are they spiteful acts of vengeance, or more principled demands for justice? Are outright slams more prevalent now, or more effective now, or both, or neither? The answers change with the medium, and the target, and the reviewer in question.” — The Ringer
Tags: Art, Issues, 01.10.19

How Do You Cast Kids Who Are Supposed To Be Musical Prodigies?

The “School of Rock” features very talented students who can really play their instruments and sing. So just where do you find the talent that can carry the show?
Tags: Art, Theatre, 01.10.19

Diversity? Fine. But How Are We Defining It?

Historically, diversity is something America fights, or accepts begrudgingly with remorse and reservations, or fights anew when it challenges economic dominance. In a country born of the original sin of slavery — to keep labor cheap; to ensure high profits for the richest one percent (sound familiar?) — this shouldn’t be surprising. What is surprising is how we keep being surprised. – Clyde Fitch Report
Tags: Art, America, Issues, 01.10.19

Quit Using ‘Relatable’ As A Criterion To Judge (Women’s) Writing

“The point of this is—women own the things that happen to them, even if these things happened between them and much more powerful or well-known men. Writing about these things does not make women narcissists.” – LitHub
Tags: Art, Words, 01.10.19

The Taste-Maker Industrial Complex

It used to be that a handful of glossy magazines and fashion houses determined what’s cool. No longer. And perhaps that explains how “streetwear” has taken over and become big business.
Tags: Art, Visual, 01.10.19

This TV Movie About Brexit Has Been Just About As Contentious As Brexit Itself

“If James Graham has learned one thing from writing his latest political drama, it is this: ‘Brexit sends reasonable people mad,’ he said. ‘You are stepping into an arena where normal rules don’t apply.'” — The New York Times
Tags: Art, Media, James Graham, 01.10.19

Staff At NY’s The New Museum Want To Unionize. The Museum Isn’t Happy

In recent days, staff say, the New Museum has procured the services of Kentucky-based Adams Nash Haskell & Sheridan, a firm that specializes in defeating unions, boasting on its website, “When We Take Action, You Take Control” and promising employers a “union-free future.”
Tags: Art, Kentucky, Ny, Visual, New Museum, 01.10.19, Adams Nash Haskell Sheridan

Edo De Waart Named San Diego Symphony’s First-Ever Principal Guest Conductor

The Dutch conductor, who is currently music director of the New Zealand Symphony and has held the same post with the symphony orchestras of Antwerp, San Francisco, Milwaukee, and Netherlands Radio, will conduct three to four weekly programs each season, beginning in 2019-2020. — Times of San Diego
Tags: Art, Music, New Zealand, 01.10.19, Edo De Waart Named San Diego Symphony, Antwerp San Francisco Milwaukee, Netherlands Radio

Alastair Macaulay Takes Issue With Dance Magazine Over 180-Degree Leg Lifts Story

The newly-retired dance critic of The New York Times wrote an actual letter to the editor saying that, while he quite liked Emma Sandall’s article this week about the history of high leg lifts in ballet, there were a few historical assertions in it that he takes issue with. — Dance Magazine
Tags: Art, Dance, The New York Times, Alastair Macaulay, Emma Sandall, 01.10.19

Incoming Director Of DC’s National Gallery Is Bringing Quite A Lot To The Job

Kaywin Feldman is coming to Washington from the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where attendance more than doubled during her ten-year directorship. As Peggy McGlone reports, Feldman did that with an engaging and persuasive personality, a belief in data-driven marketing, and a commitment to serving multiple communities. — The Washington Post
Tags: Art, Washington, Dc, Minneapolis Institute Of Art, Visual, Feldman, Kaywin Feldman, Peggy McGlone, 01.10.19

Upright Citizens Brigade To Close One Of Its Theaters

“[UCB], facing substantial financial pressures, announced on Wednesday that it would be closing its East Village location in Manhattan, a month after laying off several staff members. That will leave the comedy theater with three venues: Its struggling flagship in Hell’s Kitchen, which opened last year, and two locations in Los Angeles.” — The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, Los Angeles, Manhattan, UCB, 01.10.19

Sergei Polunin Gets Himself In Trouble Again, This Time With Homophobic Instagram Post

“Though Polunin has long had a reputation for behaving inappropriately, in the last month his posts have been somewhat unhinged. … A troubling tirade about gender and sexuality remains on his feed, … though it’s hard to discern his point through his manic language.” In reaction, some Paris Opera Ballet dancers are objecting to his upcoming guest appearance in the company’s Swan Lake. — Dance Magazine
Tags: Art, Dance, Paris, Swan Lake, Sergei Polunin, Polunin, 01.10.19, Time With Homophobic Instagram Post

Royal Shakespeare Co., Punchdrunk, Philharmonia Orchestra At Work On New Immersive Virtual Reality Project

“The RSC-led performance project is a collaboration of 15 organisations, including Epic Games, the creator of online video game Fortnite. Other collaborators include theatre company Punchdrunk, the Philharmonia Orchestra and Manchester International Festival. … Public body Innovate UK is awarding the funding as part of its Audiences of the Future programme.” — The Stage
Tags: Art, UK, Issues, 01.10.19, Punchdrunk the Philharmonia Orchestra

That Caravaggio That Turned Up In An Attic? French Gov’t Decides It’s Not Authentic And Can Be Sold

“The painting, found in April 2014 in the attic of a house near Toulouse, southern France, was thought to be another version of the famed [Judith Beheading Holofernes] by the maverick 16th-century Italian artist.” The French ministry of culture promptly put an export ban on it and reserved the right to buy it for a national museum — an option the government has now allowed to expire amid continuing questions about the Caravaggio attribution. — The Art Newspaper
Tags: Art, France, Toulouse, Visual, Caravaggio, 01.10.19

Close Cousins to Sculpture? Stephen Buckley’s Work Needs All Three Dimensions

It is sometimes necessary to specify a third dimension – bulk or thickness – when describing a Buckley painting. The other giveaway that tells you a painting is by Buckley is its rough edges – not in any sense unfinished – but tough, butch surfaces. — Paul Levy
Tags: Art, Ajblogs, Buckley, Stephen Buckley, 01.10.19

Extraordinary Popular Delusions, Chicago free improv all-stars

Keyboardist and synthesizer specialist Jim Baker has led the collective quartet Extraordinary Popular Delusions playing every Monday night in obscure Chicago venues for the past 13 years. — Howard Mandel
Tags: Art, Chicago, Ajblogs, Jim Baker, 01.10.19

When The First Lesbian Novel Was Banned, Its Author Got Support From All Over The Globe

Following a particularly nasty campaign from certain book critics, Radclyffe Hall’s 1928 novel The Well of Loneliness was blocked from publication and circulation in the UK as “obscene libel.” But thousands of letters poured in to Hall from supporters; one such read, “No one could finish your book, Miss Hall, without donning a sword and shield forever in the cause of inverts.” — The Guardian
Tags: Art, UK, Words, Globe, 01.10.19

Female Film Composers Are Even More Underrepresented Than Female Directors And Screenwriters

“A 2018 study … revealed that for the top 100 fictional films at the box office every year from 2007 to 2017, only 16 female composers were hired, compared with more than 1,200 men.” And yet, says composer Laura Karpman, a governor of the Motion Picture Academy, “The numbers are bleak, but the landscape isn’t. People are reaching out in a way that I’ve never seen it my whole career.” Reporter Tim Greiving meets a few of the women trying to break this particular glass ceiling. — The New York Time...
Tags: Art, Music, Media, Laura Karpman, 01.10.19, Tim Greiving

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