Studs Terkel dies
Chicago writer Studs Terkel died today at his home in Chicago. He was 96.
Studs Terkel ©Nancy Crampton
All Rights Reserved
Chicago writer Studs Terkel died today at his home in Chicago. He was 96.
Studs Terkel ©Nancy Crampton
All Rights Reserved
Amputate tradition, torture the past, terrorize the present. The impulse to destroy was part of what made early Modern art the guerrilla movement it was.
Cubism sentenced illusionistic art to the Death by a Thousand Cuts. Dada unleashed an anti-aesthetic Reign of Terror: Beauty? Off with its head. Decay? Let’s have more. Surrealism, a slippery business, let the killer instinct run amok. Tossing manifestos, dreams and libidos like bombs, it aimed to bring Western civilization to its knees and keep André Breton in the news.
So in 1927, when Joan Miró said, “I want to assassinate painting,” he wasn’t saying anything new. What was new was the way he carried out his cutthroat task. That process is the subject of “Joan Miró: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927-1937,” an absorbing, invigorating and — Miró would be mortified — beautiful show at the Museum of Modern Art.
The exhibition illustrates, step by step, exactly how Miró stalked and attacked painting — zapped its conventions, messed up its history, spoiled its market value — through 12 distinct groups of experimental works produced over a decade. If, in the end, painting survived, that’s neither here nor there. The story’s the thing. Crisp, clear and chronological, the show reads like a combination of espionage yarn and psychological thriller set out in a dozen page-turning chapters.
In 1927 Miró was 34. He was a successful artist and an early devotee of Surrealism, working in a polished, fantastical-realist mode. But he had a restless temperament and lived in provoking times. The high-flying 1920s were winding down, the political climate was growing tense. Surrealism, he discovered, had limitations. He was ready for a radical change in art, but he realized that he would have to create it himself. He decided it would take the form of a crime. Painting would have to go. He would deliver the blow.
Go to about a minute in for the music, and check the Playing For Change website for more information on this great charity building music and art schools around the world.
David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, Dorchester Hotel, 1972 Black and white, limited edition archival photographic print, signed and numbered 24/50. 20x24in. $1500-2000.
High-end auction houses aren’t very punk rock, but Christie’s is about to put some classic punk era memorabilia on the block. They announced the auction, which takes place November 24th, yesterday–and it will include more than 120 punk treasures from legends like the Ramones, the Velvet Underground, Patti Smith, Blondie, David Bowie and more.
Christie’s pop-culture chief Simeon Lipman told the AP: “We understand that tastes change, tastes mature. Ten years ago, punk memorabilia probably wouldn’t be something we’d be auctioning here. But now, people of a certain age have a certain ability to splurge on this material.”
Too bad they didn’t do this a few years ago, maybe they could have auctioned off CBGB. Now, put on your best John Varvatos suit and get ready to drive another nail into the coffin.
Internet-Enable your Houseplant
There’s a school of thought that says that plants, like higher animals, have thoughts and feelings. They have an inner voice, and can tell you their life-stories, if only you could speak “plant.” It’s not a difficult language to learn, actually – there are only a few words to contend with, since all they seem to care about is how much water they’re getting. There are no masculine or feminine nouns. Plus, there are no verb tenses, because plants have no concept of linear time.
The original breakthrough was made just a few months ago when the chief scientist at CERN, attempting to converse with a patch of catnip translated through their Milliard Gargantubrain computer, was able to discern “I CAN HAZ TWITTER?” The scientist didn’t quite understand that gibberish, but his granddaughter did, and the Plant Twitter Kit was born.
Once the kit is assembled, connect it to the Internet through the built-in ethernet jack, jam the leads into the plant’s soil, and subscribe to the plant’s twitter feed. It will tell you when it needs watering, or scold you if you’ve overwatered it, and report its status in between. The DIY Plant Twitter Kit comes unassembled, so you’ll have to break out the soldering iron and get to work. Don’t worry, it’s not that difficult to put together, and the satisfaction you get from building your own translation circuit.
Photo: Jacques Brinon/Associated Press
By JEN CHANEY
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008
You know that friend who loves to make loud, sarcastic comments while watching terrible films? Congratulations. You just found his holiday gift.
And that present would be “Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition,” the DVD box set ($62.98) that contains four 90-minute installments of the B-movie-trashing cult TV series. The show — about a guy stranded in space and forced to watch some of the worst motion pictures of all time with a pair of sarcastic, remarkably pop culture savvy robots — ran for eleven years, first on a Minneapolis cable channel, then on the Comedy Channel (which eventually became Comedy Central) and the Sci-Fi Channel. Its appeal was not quite mainstream; after all, only a person with a certain constitution can sit through a stinker like “Werewolf,” even when the “Mystery Science” crew lobs comments like, “That jacket makes him look like a werewaiter.”
That riffing not only made some colossally pathetic flicks about ten times more entertaining, it also turned “Mystery Science” into a cultural pioneer of sorts. Long before the Internet turned pop culture snark into a daily ritual, the folks at “MST 3K,” as it’s known in shorthand, had already molded it into an art form. Everyone who has ever posted a smart alecky comment on a movie blog — not to mention every picture-in-picture DVD commentary track — owes the Emmy-nominated show a serious debt.
Posted by artreview.com on 27 October 2008 at 11:30am
By Christopher Mooney
“Circulez!” shouted a wiry man with a shaved head as he fixed a piece of electrician’s tape across the entrance to the booth of Moscow’s XL Gallery, barring access. “Ce n’est pas un spectacle!” But indeed it was.
It was day two of the FIAC art fair in Paris, around 4.15 in the afternoon, and visitors to the small two-storey section at one end of the Grand Palais were witnessing a public performance rarely seen in the contemporary art world. At its centre was From the Dustbin (2007), an installation of unframed photos by Ukrainian artist Oleg Kulik. As is often the case with Kulik’s work, many of the photos depicted simulated acts of zoophilia – naked men, usually the artist, pretending to couple with sheep, dogs, and, in one photo, a guy in a monkey suit, the latter in behind the crouched-over Kulik, whose face is contorted in a feigned rictus of rectal pain or pleasure.
Those keen to draw wider inferences from its success might note that the last time AC/DC made No 1 in Britain, the country was on the brink of recession. Back In Black, the album that marked their commercial breakthrough and went on to become the second biggest-selling of all time, was released in 1980, just as inflation had reached 20% and unemployment inched towards 2 million.
When the economy recovered, AC/DC’s popularity receded.
AC/DC’s appeal in unpredictable times is straightforward. People crave something uncomplicated and dependable in a time of uncertainty, and rock music has never produced a band so uncomplicated and dependable as AC/DC.
For 35 years, they have done exactly the same thing – which in guitarist Angus Young’s case involves dressing like a naughty schoolboy – unaffected by changes in fashion or band personnel.
Not even the death of lead singer Bon Scott could stop AC/DC cranking out hard-edged, wilfully basic blues-rock, decorated with lyrics in which the phrase “rock ‘n’ roll” figures heavily, but not as heavily as sniggering innuendo about scrotums.
Western capitalism might collapse but at least Young can be relied on to perform a song about either rock and roll or testicles while wearing shorts, blazer and cap. Alas, what he can’t be relied on to do is support those who delve into the sociological implications of AC/DC’s appeal. “What we do, you’re not going to look into it with depth, y’know,” he suggested recently . “Because if you look into it with depth, you’re not going to get it.”
1973: AC/DC form in Sydney, Australia.
Economy: Start of the oil crisis, which saw the price quadruple
1980: AC/DC release breakthrough album Back In Black
Economy: Inflation in UK reaches 20% and unemployment nears 2 million
1990: AC/DC score comeback with The Razor’s Edge
Economy: Recession in UK imminent
2008: AC/DC top UK album charts
Economy: Biggest world recession in decades looms
3:30 PM, October 16, 2008
The other day, Britain’s ArtReview magazine issued its Power 100 list, a ranking of artists, dealers, collectors and assorted others who ostensibly “run the art world.” While most attention focuses on who is at the top — artist Damien Hirst, dealer Larry Gagosian and Museum of Modern Art associate director Kathy Halbreich came in at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 — way more interesting is who brings up the rear.
Number 100 on the list is Sacramento-born Thomas Kinkade, 50, self-described “Painter of Light,” whose treacle-plenty pictures of bucolic bliss have been cranked out by the hundreds over the years.
A joke from across the pond? Or a simple sign of the inescapable silliness of all such lists?
Either way, Kinkade seems to nicely bracket the Power 100.
— Christopher Knight
Photo credit: Los Angeles Times
Tony Hillerman, author of the acclaimed Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels and creator of two of the unlikeliest of literary heroes – Navajo police Officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee – died Sunday of pulmonary failure in Albuquerque. He was 83.
Hillerman’s commercial breakthrough was Skinwalkers, published in 1987 – the first time he put both characters and their divergent world views in the same book. It sold 430,000 hardcover copies, paving the way for A Thief of Time, which made several best-seller lists. In all, he wrote 18 books in the Navajo series.
Hillerman wrote more than 30 books; the memoir, Seldom Disappointed; and books on the history and natural beauty of his beloved Southwest.
Hillerman is survived by his wife, Marie, and their six children.
|Kung fu fan blows out candles with eyes|
A Chinese martial arts enthusiast says he can blow out candles with only his eyes.
Wearing specially made goggles, Ling Chunjiang, 35, of Kaifeng, blows air from his eyes through a hose and can put out 12 candles in one minute.
Lin, who started to practice kung fu with his grandfather when he was eight years old, found he could blow air out of his eyes if he pinned his nose.
Another one of Lin’s stunts is to hit off the bottom of a beer bottle while keeping the rest of it intact, reports the China News Network.
“I used to have a small restaurant. In my free time I would fill the empty bottles and strike the tops for fun. Once I was surprised to find I could hit off the bottom without damaging the rest,” he said.
Today, 10:27 AM
I am living in a shared house at university with very thin walls, so all my housemates know exactly when it’s sexy-time for me and the boyfriend, which is rather off-putting for all concerned. Once, one of them burst in, drunk, knowing that it was a fairly pivotal moment, and shouted ‘THIS IS SPARTA!!!” for a “hilarious” joke. Could you recommend some sensual, yet suitably loud, music I can play to drown out sexy noises and avoid further embarrassment for all concerned?
Love and hugs, Zara
Who the hell is your flatmate? He/she sounds like a total riot. Can we take this person on tour? Please? I’ve just spoken to Russell, our guitarist, and he’s quite happy to come round and noodle about on his guitar in your room while you get down to it. A live soundtrack tailor-made for your sexploits? I may be on to something here. Kele Okereke Ltd – The Bespoke Sex Soundtrack Experience. We could set up meetings. I’d show up with a clipboard and make diagrams of the space where the activity takes place. You tell me what you and your boyfriend like to do and in what order, and then I choose someone best suited to the job from my large list of musician chums. When the urge kicks in, you page me, and half an hour later, some feckless rock dude shows up on a scooter with a Squire Strat and Peavey practice amp strapped to the back.
Librado Romero/The New York Times
Picasso’s ‘Marie-Thérèse,’ featuring work like “Nude on a Black Armchair” (1932) and other portraits of his muse Marie-Thérèse Walter, is at Acquavella Galleries.
Picasso was one of 20th-century art’s major makers and shapers. He was also one of its most prolific purveyors of kitsch. I would place a high percentage of his output in the kitsch category. That would include some of the dozen closely related paintings in the exhibition “Picasso’s ‘Marie-Thérèse’ ” at Acquavella Galleries.
The paintings at Acquavella, all done in or around 1932, have several narratives going for them; the first and most familiar, and the one people seem to love best, is called “Picasso in Love,” subtitled “Love (or Lust) as the Wellspring of Art.” The erotic muse in this case was Marie-Thérèse Walter, a French teenager whom Picasso met and sweet-talked on a Paris street in 1927, when he was 45 and married. Soon they were lovers. He found himself rejuvenated, walking on air. He painted many pictures using her as a model. Some are in the show.
The rest of the story is not so happy. In 1935 Marie-Thérèse had his child, but Picasso’s attention wandered. He found other mistresses and new wives, though he kept in affectionate touch with Ms. Walter through the years. Four years after he died, she committed suicide.
Then there’s another tale, less about love, more about art. In Paris in 1931 Picasso saw a retrospective of his rival Henri Matisse and instantly decided that he, too, had to have a retrospective, a big one in Paris, within a year. And it would not freeze him in the past but project him into the present as the vital, fertile, better-than-ever artist he considered himself to be.
In never before seen move, Medicom Toys will release a twin 400% pack featuring the electro musical duo known as Daft Punk. The group’s members are both decked out in their trademark attire with little suit details as well as the group’s name on the rear. This is set to release in March of 2009.
Woman, 89, arrested for keeping football
By Steve Kemme and Jennifer Baker
BLUE ASH – An 89-year-old woman arrested for not giving neighborhood children their football back after it landed repeatedly in her yard said today she’ll return the ball.
“That’s my only way of getting through to these children,” Edna Jester said. “I’ll give it back to them later, but not right now.”
Jester was arrested and charged with petty theft after she took the ball and refused to give it back, Blue Ash police said. Word of her arrest has touched off national news interest in the case.
When police asked Jester to return the ball to the children, she refused. They warned her twice she would be charged if she did not cooperate, Schaffer said. They tried to give her a citation, but she refused to sign for it, he said.
Left with no other choice, he said, officers placed her in the back of a cruiser, took her to the police station and booked her, he said. Schaffer said Jester told police to handcuff her but they refused.
The football, valued at $15, is being held for evidence, Schaffer said.
The potential maximum penalty for a petty theft conviction in Ohio is six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Schaffer said he suspects the mayor or presiding magistrate will take into account her age and lack of criminal record when the case comes up.
The Associated Press contributed.