Dusty Wright's Culture Catch - Smart Pop Culture, Video & Audio podcasts, Written Reviews in the Arts & Entertainment http://culturecatch.com/node/feed en Buddhist Sculpture Exhibit http://culturecatch.com/node/3930 <span>Buddhist Sculpture Exhibit</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/users/kathleen-cullen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathleen Cullen</a></span> <span>March 21, 2020 - 19:02</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/871" hreflang="en">asian art</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1553" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-03/gold-boddhisatva.jpg?itok=3_qFplkL" title="gold-boddhisatva.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Standing Bodhisattva, Northern Qi Period 550-577 CE, Limestone with Gilt and Polychrome, H: 47 in.</figcaption></figure><p>Asia week gets a timely extension by appointment only at the <a href="http://www.throckmorton-nyc.com" target="_blank">Throckmorton Fine Art Gallery</a> at 145 East 57th Street, New York, NY, 10022 917-562-0188 where the <em>Transcendence From Northern Wei to Tang: Buddhist Sculpture from the Fifth-Ninth Centuries</em> will be on view through May. This show serves to provide insight into the amazing art of this period but also of the passion of gallerist Spenser Throckmorton.</p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong>How did the show originate?</p> <p><strong>Spenser Throckmorton: </strong>The answer to that question is really a story. 20 years ago, while on a visit to Hong Kong, I learned that many Buddhist sculptures had been unearthed and were being offered for sale. Ironically the sculptures were not favored at the time by Chinese collectors. This was probably due largely to the fact that the contemporary Chinese regime had an indifference towards religion. I found them extraordinary and purchased a large number of sculptures, many more than my colleagues thought prudent. I just couldn't help myself. I found them irresistible. My admiration has endured while the appreciation for the work has grown. Today Buddhist Sculptures from these periods are in many collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>You said  that your admiration has endured. Can you explain what that means?</p> <p><strong>ST:</strong> This show is my fifth exhibit of Chinese Buddhist sculpture. I have held exhibits in 2007, 2009, 2014 and 2016. Accompanying each exhibit I produced a lavishly illustrated catalog that offered essays by leading scholars of Chinese Buddhist art. For this exhibit the catalog includes an essay by Dr. Chang Qing.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>The show is clearly a passion project for you as reflected by the stunning installation. The opening of the Catalogue starts off with an essay by Dr. Qing that really is a terrific summation of the history of this art and the periods during which they were created.</p> <p>"After the spread of Buddhism to China during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 CE), the Chinese began producing Buddhist imagery based on Indian prototypes but adapted to Chinese sensibilities. Over its long history in China, devotees established the foundations for Buddhism and its artistic expression during the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589). Buddhism and its art reached its apogee during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). From the fifth to the ninth century, Buddhist art was a primary influence on many artists, resulting in a more individualistic artistic expression after the tenth century. Most of the extant works of Chinese Buddhist art have been discovered in northern China. During the five hundred years from the fifth to the ninth century, Pingcheng, Chang'an and Luoyang held pivotal positions in the areas of Chinese politics, culture and religion. The three cities had served as either the capital of a unified empire or of a regional kingdom for a long time. Therefore, Buddhist iconography from these three areas played key roles in the development of Chinese and Buddhist art in other parts of China. In addition, many important Chinese artists produced new artistic styles, based on those transmitted from India and Central Asia. Their work, in turn, served as models influencing other regional artists to think beyond the art they produced in the three-capital region. Still, Pingcheng, Chang'an and Luoyang were central in the development of Chinese Buddhist iconography during the fifth to the ninth century."</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1553" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-03/standing-buddha.jpg?itok=ClmZf4iU" title="standing-buddha.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Standing Buddha, Northern Qi Period / Sui Period 550-618 CE, Limestone, 41 inches</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>Additionally the essay reveals the impact and legacy the sculptures had in China both during and after that period. Has the interest i this type of work changed in China?</p> <p><strong>ST: </strong>Ironically the Chinese government, after having long been indifferent to Buddhist imagery, prohibited in 2009 the export of early Chinese Buddha sculpture. All of the pieces in the show left China well before the ban. We owe a debt of gratitude to the unknown Buddhist monks who had the devotion, foresight and courage to bury the works to prevent their mindless destruction.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>That is yet another fascinating aspect of the show. Accompanying the sculptures is a special exhibition of photographic images from photographer and Fulbright Scholar Don Farber. Farber works to document Buddhist life internationally. Like the monks, Farber is working to ensure these Buddha images endure time. - Kathleen Cullen &amp; Michelangelo De Risi</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3930&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="Fd89L5OGLZGHCyJ48Yy4k1tvcIHeU758a61kncBktyQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 21 Mar 2020 23:02:41 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 3930 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3930#comments Observations By A Gamer http://culturecatch.com/node/3929 <span>Observations By A Gamer</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/user/6872" lang="" about="/user/6872" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Luca Petracca</a></span> <span>March 12, 2020 - 20:05</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/film" hreflang="en">Film Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/870" hreflang="en">video games</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p> </p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WLu7e8RZoYc?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Video games are arguably the West's fastest growing pastime over the last 30 years, from the humble beginnings of <i>Pong</i> and <i>Pacman</i>, to the early days of hyper violent sickeningly beautiful carnage with <i>Mortal Kombat</i> and <i>Doom</i>. All the while Nintendo appealed to the family audience seeing massive success with <em>Mario</em> and <em>Zelda</em> games. Then in the early 2000s games like <i>Halo</i>, <i>Call of Duty</i>, and <i>Grand Theft Auto</i> dominated the markets and still do to this day.</p> <p>The video game industry has been growing nonstop since it started in the 1970s and based on the evidence it has no signs of slowing down. Kids and adults in all aspects of Western culture can't get enough of video games. We're always searching for the next game to latch onto and play until our eyes burn out. I should know because in 2019 I spent roughly 1000 hours playing video games on my PS4 alone.</p> <p>In total I own 4 video game consoles -- a PS4, Nintendo Switch, Apple laptop, and iPhone. Each piece of hardware offers me a different gaming experience. My iPhone keeps me company on train rides and loathsome family get togethers. My laptop "focuses" my brain on strategic games in the middle of classes while I pretend to take notes. My PS4 allows for the larger-than-life epics I so desperately crave. Epic gun fights and mighty heroes conquering evil in bloody duels so graphic my sweet grandma would recoil at the sight. My Nintendo Switch fulfills the more family friendly games I remember from my childhood days of playing on my Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS. Games like <i>Pokémon</i>, <i>Super Smash Bros</i>, and <i>Zelda. </i>All of which are supposedly "kids" games yet <em>Pokémon</em> is a dog fighting simulator. <em>Smash Bros.</em> pits Luigi against Peach to see who can send the other flying into the stratosphere first. And Zelda tasks Link with murdering goblin tribes attempting to survive the harsh landscapes of Hyrule. While those are all relatively accurate depictions of the games, they still are over the top. Still amongst all games, none appeal to me more than looter shooters.</p> <p>A "looter shooter" is a game in which you shoot things and then loot their corpses. Sounds simple and violent enough for any 13-year-old boy to get behind. However, there's a much deeper level than that. In most looter shooters, the goal is to acquire the best items in the game. You start off as powerful heroes and grow stronger as the game progresses. Usually through leveling and ability upgrades. As your level grows, so do the enemies. With each new power you gain the bad guys seem to grow twice as strong. To someone new to these games, this may seem daunting. Have no fear because the stronger the villains the better the loot. And the better the loot the closer you are to winning the game. Although it seems you can never truly win.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6kqe2ICmTxc?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Looter shooters are designed so that the next item you desire is always just out of reach. The feeling that you’re so close to getting it but then the boss doesn’t drop it. In these games bosses and enemies have dedicated "loot pools." A "loot pool" is all the items that have the potential to drop from said enemy. Each item is then given a percentage to drop from that specific enemy. For example, there’s a dragon who can drop a sword, a bow, a halberd, a helmet, and a magic staff. The sword has a 50% chance, the bow 20%, the halberd 15%, the helmet 12%, and the magic staff 3%. Usually, the rarer the item the stronger. Side note, looter shooters are so addictive they get a math hating moron to excitedly figure out percent’s in his head for 3 minutes. Now back to the main topic. Let’s say you’ve fought this dragon 10 times and each time it takes you 15 minutes because he’s such a deadly beast. Most players will have gotten the sword, bow, halberd, and helmet by now. In fact, you’ve probably got each of them twice and the sword 9 times. What do you do with all this loot? You pick it up and toss it in storage. And that’s where our problem truly begins.</p> <p>Looter shooter players are constantly desiring more storage for their endless supply of stuff. Just like their real-life counterparts. Over my short 21 years I've had so much useless shit that selling half of it on eBay and buying a storage locker still isn't enough. My childhood bedroom is packed full of shit I haven't touched in 4 years. Old toys and books that I'll never play with or read again. Holding onto them thinking someday my kids will get the same enjoyment I did. Clothes I never wear but refuse to get rid of because it'd make me feel guilty for just tossing away money. Looter shooters capitalize on these feelings so expertly. Players will spend hours "farming" bosses for loot. "Farming" is when a player performs a repetitive action to gain experience, in game currency, or items. I've spent upwards of 200 hours farming in my lifetime and for what? To repeatedly be let down when the dragon doesn't drop that stupid fucking magic staff which I need to be considered "cool" in the context of this game. I've wasted so much time when I could've learned a new language or become a better guitar player. Oh, but the gameplay, it's so smooth and satisfying I just want more.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/d9Gu1PspA3Y?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>These games know how to make combat feel exciting even though you've experienced nearly all it has to offer about halfway through. Your actions carry a weight and you see it play out in front of your eyes. Equipping the sword and hacking off ghoul limbs. Then switching to your bow and sneaking around a snowy fortress dropping clueless guards one by one. Finally, you get the magic staff and you charge headfirst into the enemy barracks. With two clicks of a button everyone in the room is burnt to dust. But you can't get enough from one use. You travel to fortresses all over the map leaving a trail of death everywhere you go. You can let out all that frustration from farming on the soldiers and monsters who dare oppose you. Looter shooters know how to make junk feel useful.</p> <p>The players are the biggest reason for these games' success. Youtubers and streamers that design "builds" for characters and weapons. A build is a specific skill set up of a character that maximizes the damage potential of weapons in the game. Players will spend just as many hours working on the builds as they did farming the weapons. Testing out each skill and its effect on combat and survivability. Streaming their tests on Twitch for some reason. Attempting to make funny comments while running around in game for 5 hours. They upload their findings to YouTube for all the lazier gamers to use. Now the process is almost complete. You have the items you want and the perfect build to complement the items. What’s next? Well, that's pretty much it. The game is essentially over. You can use your build to farm for more items. Or you can wait around until the next expansion pack drops in 3 months. Then you can finally use the build killing an array of new enemies. Only to find out that new items have dropped along with skill changes made by the developers. Now the build you spent two weeks attaining is rendered useless. But the desire to return to that level of power brings players back again and again.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/M9FGaan35s0?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>I've played countless looter shooters in my day; <i>Borderlands, Destiny, The Division, etc</i>. But those are just games classified as such. There's a plethora of other games that utilize ideas of looter shooters while being a different game altogether. The <i>Fallout</i> games are a perfect example. Those games focus more on story and character building so it feels like the items you acquire will have an effect on outcome of the story. Instead of hours spent farming you walk aimlessly bringing life back to a desolate wasteland. Both types of games heavily exploit a player's desire for more shit. You want more, more, more until your storage is full. Then you complain that the developers didn't give you enough storage options even though you have 200 spaces in your storage. That's 200 individual items. Most of the time a player will have multiple copies of the same item with slight variations. This magic staff shoots a fireball, but this one shoots lightning bolts. They have the same name and identical stats but that slight difference will cause players to have more than one.</p> <p>Many items also share the same feature so players will fill up their storage but only have 125 unique weapons, which is still too many. Think of it like having 5 striped shirts all with identical stripe layouts. Instead of going for different sized stripes or vertical instead of horizontal stripes, players are opting for different colors of the same shirt. Something I still am all too guilty of. Thankfully I've learned to part ways with a lot of my shit. Now I'm learning to not acquire all this shit in the first place and instead pick my items wisely and with purpose. </p> <p><em>Mr. Petracca is a graduating senior at Ithaca College. He's a gamer, writer, actor, and comedian from New York City.</em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3929&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="Zw36FXgr9D-7rF3RZcyfVTmdS8URsNhVigDsbZxlsFg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 13 Mar 2020 00:05:34 +0000 Luca Petracca 3929 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3929#comments Video of the Week: "Daze" http://culturecatch.com/node/3928 <span>Video of the Week: &quot;Daze&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>March 10, 2020 - 15:14</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/869" hreflang="en">techno</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_uUhsZHmwtE?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>The Orb -- electronica mastermind Alex Paterson and current collaborator Michael Rendall -- are back! And with a very clever video featuring a very cute, trippy dog (Jack Russell)! The infectious song "Daze" (Missing &amp; Messed Up Mix) is from their forthcoming album <em>Abolition of the Royal Familia</em> out on the 27th March 2020. Get on your dancing paws and pre-order it here: <a dir="auto" href="https://www.youtube.com/redirect?v=_uUhsZHmwtE&amp;redir_token=U7am5vLztHqf-M-B4xSnaLCq7At8MTU4Mzk0MjIzN0AxNTgzODU1ODM3&amp;event=video_description&amp;q=https%3A%2F%2FOrb.lnk.to%2FAOTRF" rel="nofollow" spellcheck="false" target="_blank">https://Orb.lnk.to/AOTRF</a>. </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3928&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="OXqGhbnxmmwkYlVE_yQ4nPhdZBregmcKaBg7BinpPhk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 10 Mar 2020 19:14:04 +0000 Dusty Wright 3928 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3928#comments Inner Sanctuary http://culturecatch.com/node/3927 <span>Inner Sanctuary</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/users/kathleen-cullen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathleen Cullen</a></span> <span>March 1, 2020 - 21:41</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/203" hreflang="en">painter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1003" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-03/karpovas_it_flies_artsy.jpg?itok=VTbb5eyI" title="karpovas_it_flies_artsy.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>“As It Flies Away,” 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 72 inches, Photo credit: Fyodor Shiryaev</figcaption></figure><p><em>Between The No-Longer As Still-To-Come</em>: Darina Karpov</p> <p>Pierogi Gallery, NY</p> <p>Darina Karpov's artistic journey began in a communal apartment in St. Petersburg to being awarded an MFA at Yale University. Infused with color and shape we asked about her influences and direction in conjunction with her new show at the Pierogi Gallery, 155 Suffolk Street, New York, NY, 10002  <a href="mailto:info@pierogi2000.com">info@pierogi2000.com</a>. Pierogi will also be participating in the Armory Show from March 4th-8th at Booth 719 at Pier 94. Karpov describes how her beginnings fostered her artistic sensibility.</p> <p>"The communal apartments were not communes, but just shared living quarters. Most people lived as roommates -- several families per one apartment, sharing a bathroom and a kitchen. Each family had at least one room which served as a living/dining room during the day and was converted to a bedroom at night. My family was considered privileged as we 'inherited' (apartments were assigned by the government as there was no private property) the more spacious apartment than most from my great grandparents who were prominent scientists -- geologists, leading researchers at the St Petersburg Mining University. We shared with just one unrelated family, but there was also our extended family (cousins, aunts, great aunts, etc. living there. The apartment was large -- 6 bedrooms situated in the main historic square of the city overlooking the Mayor's Palace and St. Isaac's Cathedral. </p> <p>The contrast between the luxuriousness of the location and the derelict state of the apartment -- with no running hot water, leaking ceilings and cracked walls, albeit the grandeur of czarist era moldings, and detailing, is what I think really stuck with me aesthetically and comes through in my work."</p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen:</strong> In your bio we learn that you father was a geologist and you grew up in St. Petersburg in a small apt with loads of other people living there (commune style). Your mother also worked but since there was no money for a babysitter she dropped you off at the Hermitage museum. How did these life experiences impact you're work and how you saw the world? </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="582" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-03/karpovunspooling_2_artsy.jpg?itok=JAy9EKRx" title="karpovunspooling_2_artsy.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>“Unspooling II,” 2020, Ink, watercolor, graphite on paper, 26 x 55 inches Photo credit: Fyodor Shiryaev</figcaption></figure><p><strong>Darina Karpov:</strong> My father was an engineer, and my mother studied economics but ended up working as a teaching assistant at the school we went to. Once in a while when she ran errands she dropped us off at the Hermitage Museum as it was a really safe place. Traditionally the guards at the museums were pensioners, very severe old ladies, who took any opportunity to discipline my sister and I. It was a great escape to wander the grand opulent rooms of the Winter Palace and see the collections -- as a small child I especially loved the peacock room with giant mechanical peacock clock that was set in motion at the same hour every day. There were also small marble tables inlaid with semi precious stone mosaics arranged into flowers, landscapes and mythological themes. Later as a teenager I preferred to look at the northern renaissance Dutch and Flemish art. </p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>It has been said  your work is an abstract reaction to the Russia she grew up in? In the culture of the dilapidated apartment there were no boundaries and things and people flowed into each other.  In such an inward landscape or memory of growing up in Russia- what is the social narrative?</p> <p><strong>DK: </strong>I wouldn't say there were no boundaries, however there was definitely very little privacy and private space was not very respected. There was no place to hide, so I had to develop a strong sense of inner sanctuary -- a magic place. I shared a small room with my very socially active older sister. People constantly came and went, especially because we were located right on the main square. </p> <p>In my work I want to express the density and complexity and interconnectedness of relationships through time, that's why there's so much movement. I am not trying to simply represent the space I felt as a childhood memory, it's also how I always see and feel the space -- it's embodied through time. I did an <a href="https://bombmagazine.org/articles/darina-karpov/" target="_blank">interview for <em>Bomb</em> magazine</a> a few years ago where I talk about the space and movement in my work in more detail.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="869" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-03/karpovtygertygerdtl_artsy.jpg?itok=7HrQNiPa" title="karpovtygertygerdtl_artsy.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>“Tiger Tyger,” (Detail) 2019, Glaze and underglaze on porcelain, 9 x 8 x 8 inches, Photo credit: Fyodor Shiryaev</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>How are the childhood memories reflected in the ceramic orbs?  Is there an influence of the all-over opulent patterning of the Faberge eggs?</p> <p><strong>DK: </strong>I studied Russian miniature tempera techniques and looked at Russian folk art, especially through the lense of Russia Folk revival movement  -- World of Art (Mir Iskusstva) movement from the turn of the 20th century. I don't specifically look at Faberge eggs, but Faberge aesthetic arose in the turn of the 20th century, and I believe was also influenced by the Russian folk miniature tradition which might explain the connection.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>You did a series of drawings called "Magic Days," which were a mix of abstraction and figuration. </p> <p><strong>DK: </strong>I described it best for the press release and it applies for the "Magic Days" series as well.</p> <p>Certain objects and situations recur as if in a dream or a memory from childhood or early adolescence. These include objects strewn over the dilapidated communal apartment I grew up, scenes from abandoned, industrial parks and yards of the apartment buildings where we gathered as teenagers, Electronic equipment that my father worked with as an engineer. Many characters reappear from old sketches, culled from various sources. Even though much of my work is essentially abstract, I'm constantly drawn toward story telling, culling from cultural myths and cosmological structures which are open ended and circular. </p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>Ultimately there is a "transitional state" referred to in the press release from the drawing into clay sculpture. Are the ceramics an outlier to what she is doing on canvas.  </p> <p><strong>DK: </strong>In the last few years, I began to branch into three dimensional work, sculpting and creating reliefs in porcelain. The process emerged organically from my drawing practice. Cutting through, layering and collaging my drawings naturally led me to work in relief, eventually to build and carve porcelain clay. The need to create three dimensional objects also arose from giving birth, as if I had given birth to a new form of drawing. Working in porcelain, I work on an intimate scale, hand building the abstract, semi-figurative objects. I then carve, creating various relief patterns on the surface while the pieces are leather hard. Once they are bisque fired, I apply underglaze to cover the surface in the intricate patterns and figurations. The initial form and relief of the earlier stages echoes the drawing -- creating a dialogue and interplay between various modes of mark making.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1500" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-03/karpovmagicdays_dsc03854_artsy.jpg?itok=TDZo7LHL" title="karpovmagicdays_dsc03854_artsy.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1149" /></article><figcaption>“Magic Days,” 2019, Glaze and underglaze on porcelain, 11 x 7 x 7 inches</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>What are the different themes that you have developed over the years and what new influences inspired you?</p> <p><strong>DK:</strong> Movement, arrested motion, density, spatial structures in the state of formation are the recurrent overarching themes that stem from my process. Organic structures found in nature or referencing the interiority of the body, The work is always rooted in abstraction and the narrative vignettes weave in and out of it as lines of recognized lyrics in a song.</p> <p>I've been looking at a lot more Soviet-era story books, manga and anime, graphic novels, but also as I mentioned, the World of Art movement, and Silver Age women artists Olga Rozanova, Natalia Goncharova, Alexandra Exeter, Sonia Delaunay.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3927&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="sk_H3lrTu_WqqAM6t-CT3ixPll1Fz6MXm8nmHRKj0og"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 02 Mar 2020 02:41:44 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 3927 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3927#comments Stanley! http://culturecatch.com/node/3926 <span>Stanley!</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/mark-weston" lang="" about="/users/mark-weston" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mark Weston</a></span> <span>February 29, 2020 - 22:09</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/film" hreflang="en">Film Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/774" hreflang="en">dramatic comedy</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/D2zdFwgUYBg?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Sometimes one gets away from you. When <i>Stan and Ollie</i> was first was released I knew I wanted to see it, but for some reason didn't. Maybe it was my impression that the reviews were lackluster.  And, in reading back through them, they feel that way.  In the Times, Jason Zinoman (who for my money often misses the mark), was assigned to review, though he rarely if ever reviews films.  For some reason they have designated him their "comedy" critic, and I guess that's why they threw this film his way. It's not that his review is a pan, it's that he writes about it with utter disinterest and any praise is grudging. His review is disdainful.</p> <p>I was flying back from Europe recently and looking for a film or two to while away the hours when I came across Stan and Ollie. It is wonderful, from start to finish, wonderful. That it gained no traction in awards season, that both Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly weren't nominated, that the film was not a Best Picture nominee (in an era where it seems that anything released in a movie theater garners a Best Picture nod), is a terrible shame.  </p> <p>When I say that this is a gentle comedy about two gentle comedians I mean it as the highest praise.  Here we get a glimpse into the chemistry and grace that made Laurel and Hardy the most beloved and revered comedic duo in the world.  More than that we get a beautiful rendering of a relationship and friendship between two men who are bound together, who love each other and how complicated that can be.  </p> <p>But what really sets this film several cuts above virtually any of the over-hyped juggernauts of 2019 (I do not include <em>Parasite</em> or <em>Pain &amp; Glory</em> in the foregoing) are the brilliantly and deceptively off-hand performances of Coogan and Reilly. Virtually any other actor would have flirted with if not succumbed to caricature. That these performances succeed so completely -- that they embody Stan and Ollie from the inside and on the outside without a shred of "acting" -- is almost a virtual impossibility and even now, reflecting back on these performances, I am in awe of what Coogan and Reilly achieved. And they just make it look so easy.</p> <p>The result is that we get to see Stan and Ollie doing their most famous comedy routines with perfect timing and effortless charm. I found myself laughing out loud on the airplane -- the comedy was so fresh and true. And we get to see the strains on their personal friendship, portrayed without histrionics or  melodrama. I found myself crying on the plane -- the emotional moments were so poignant and subtle.</p> <p>Load this one up, folks, and watch it. I fear for too many of us, this is one that got away.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3926&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="soeL-NzmDVdaJpQggo_5wN4C_-xP-W6Gaw0KcUPmd3Q"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 01 Mar 2020 03:09:05 +0000 Mark Weston 3926 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3926#comments Seattle Opera's Yardbird Saved by Solid Talent http://culturecatch.com/node/3925 <span>Seattle Opera&#039;s Yardbird Saved by Solid Talent</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/lorithom" lang="" about="/users/lorithom" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Lori Thom</a></span> <span>February 25, 2020 - 21:58</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/theater" hreflang="en">Theater Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/868" hreflang="en">regional theater</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1xvZfGe14w8?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><i>Charlie Parker's Yardbird</i></p> <p>Seattle Opera</p> <p>On February 22, 2020, the Seattle Opera debuted <i>Charlie Parker's Yardbird</i>. While I have been an avid theater fan since a pre-teen, I am surprised to realize that this was the first full opera I have ever seen. I feel I must disclose this because it so heavily informs my opinion. But if this art form is to survive, it needs to continue finding new audiences. From that angle, I am the target audience of this original piece created in 2015 for the Opera Philadelphia by Swiss composer Daniel Schnyder and American Librettist Bridgette A. Wimberly.</p> <p>The storyline plays with time, jumping between moments in the life of Charlie Parker, King of the Saxophone. The stories of those moments are told through the eyes of the prominent women in his life. The feminine lens these stories are told through highlights Parker's failures and sickness rather than celebrates his music. Characters are flat and one-dimensional, given little chance for development in this structure of vignettes.</p> <p>I didn't know what to expect from an opera -- much less one based on an American jazz legend. But one glaringly obvious omission was what this opera celebrates -- Parker’s contributions to jazz and bebop. Perhaps a better-trained ear than my own would be able to wade through the cacophony of the score and appreciate the marriage of classical and jazz, but the result for me was tense, manic music for too much of the show, leaving me mildly anxious and uncomfortable during moments which should have been tender or touching.</p> <p>That's not to say this piece does not have triumphs. The orchestra performed deftly under conductor Kelly Kuo. I just didn't happen to want to like what was written on the page in front of them. The singers were masterful in creating melodic line with vocal character and beauty. It just didn't necessarily always fit with what the orchestra played. More often than not I felt a wild disconnect between vocals and orchestra, somewhat reminiscent of jazz musicians like John Coltrane, whose later pieces were often purposefully chaotic and disjointed, lacking in melody and structure. Perhaps this marriage of jazz and classical is simply one I do not have the musical maturity it takes to enjoy. Perhaps it means the marriage is contrived, and the two were never meant to be.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="857" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/200219_yardbird_dr1_77-x3.jpg?itok=th8xN7Ls" title="200219_yardbird_dr1_77-x3.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo by Philip Newton</figcaption></figure><p>Due credit must be given to Joshua Stewart's performance of Charlie Parker. I’m sure it was zero percent accurate, considering the mannerisms and vernacular of jazz musicians of the time, but suspending disbelief I enjoyed his performance. Stewart remained on stage for 92.5 minutes of this 93-minute intermission-less show. He made it look easy, and his vocals sustained throughout the entire show. If Stewart was ever fatigued, his voice did not betray so. A solid performer, Stewart is the anchor of this show.</p> <p>Jorell Williams plays trumpet legend Dizzy Gillespie so masterfully it seems the part that was written for him. The energy Williams brings on stage is electric. The chemistry between Stewart and Williams is magnetic and elevates Stewart's already apt performance. Their duet "Bebop's Gonna Change the World" came closest to audibly honoring Charlie Parker's contribution to the genre. Jorell brought the cool, and the music followed him. This debut performance at the Seattle Opera is no doubt the first of many.</p> <p>Established Soprano Angela Brown plays the role of Charlie's mother, Addie Parker. Her professional performance and perfected technique did not mask the richness of soul and depth of passion that resides at the core of her talent. Miss Brown’s performance makes it clear that the stage was always her destiny.  With a plethora of vocal styles to pursue, opera owes Miss Brown a debt of gratitude as she inspires the new generation opera fans and performers to keep the genre alive.</p> <p>The piece de resistance in this performance of <i>Yardbird</i> belongs to Donald Byrd and Mikhail Calliste, choreographer and principle dancer, respectively. Byrd constructs a modern dance, capturing the violence and sickness of a heroin withdrawal with staccato movements, and takes us on a journey of healing as Parker sobers up in a mental hospital. Byrd's vision is captured and performed masterfully by Calliste, whose passion and skill captivates, mesmerizes, and then releases. Byrd can be nothing less than elated at the prodigy’s performance, which alone is worth enduring the whole show. The piece's accompanying vocals by Jennifer Cross only served to lift the emotion, finally providing that feeling of losing myself to the muse. Miss Cross' exceptional vocal performance was the cause of titters from surrounding theater-goers, and a topic of conversation post-performance amongst my viewing guests.</p> <p>Upon curtain call applause was verdant for all performances, but the audience erupted upon the appearance of Mr. Mikhail Calliste, the obvious breakout star. He received the first wave of well-deserved standing ovations, which continued sporadically for the remaining cast, who performed first-rate despite the little they were given to work with.</p> <p>While <i>Yardbird</i> may fail to make the charts of history, it is a noble effort, only quelled by the constraints of expectations. If opera is to live, it must evolve. And in the evolution, risks must be taken. Not every risk will pay off, but lessons will be learned. While I hoped for a fusion of both jazz and opera out of this performance, I understand that it can't be easy to preserve the tradition of opera while reaching to incorporate the inevitable progress of society.</p> <p>In a way, the struggle to find balance is the story of jazz. And jazz is the story of America. It's the marriage of different cultures, different generations, different ideas, which come together to create something altogether original, yet familiar enough to feel safe. But much like the traditional idea of what it means to be American must yield to the progress of the new generations, I suspect this search for a new balance in opera is the birth of what will become a new art form, a sort of neo-opera, different enough to be something new, but familiar enough to still be called opera.</p> <p>While I didn't love <i>Charlie Parker's Yardbird</i>, it did not discourage me from continuing my own evolution as a theater fan. I look forward to the Seattle Opera's upcoming performance of<em> La Boheme</em>, coming this spring.     </p> <p><b>Performers to watch: Mikhail Calliste &amp; Jorell Williams</b></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3925&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="pUaVQR41sMk59yFSRFgd424wP7Bvwn8Bix-9teVxyHA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 26 Feb 2020 02:58:06 +0000 Lori Thom 3925 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3925#comments Gig of the Week: Bokanté http://culturecatch.com/node/3924 <span>Gig of the Week: Bokanté</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/webmaster" lang="" about="/users/webmaster" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Webmaster</a></span> <span>February 23, 2020 - 11:02</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/766" hreflang="en">world beat</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KZrr5v9N4o4?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Grammy-nominated, world-music supergroup Bokanté are coming to Joe's Pub next Sunday, March 1st. Check out their <a href="https://open.spotify.com/album/4jy0qfVL2jNJOXFHsVf7WF?si=_nuM08gLQsOCFY2BTcO4FQ" target="_blank"><em>Strange Circles</em></a> (2017) and <em>What Heat</em> (2018) albums on <a href="https://open.spotify.com/album/2ks7K8DI5MjJWfm3W56qjm?si=cbuyVk_VQOyxrjF-4GcOdQ" target="_blank">Spotify</a> to get a taste of how wonderfully infectious and moving this music is. The band was formed by musician/composer <b>Michael League</b>, he of Grammy–winning, Texan–bred, New York–based instrumental jazz collective, Snarky Puppy. His new project collects epic players from five countries and four continents, different genders, races and generations "working in harmony, celebrating individuality." A band giving a voice to those that don't have voices, sharing their passion for life and justice through music. Vocalist Malika Tirolien sings in both French and Guadeloupean Creole, the language of her childhood home. Bokanté means "exchange." Make no mistake, this is world beat music for the masses.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3924&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="orNMTBCgHWqUYR41mJBpHav0lxgzg0ODkGvYiwA51Fo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 23 Feb 2020 16:02:28 +0000 Webmaster 3924 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3924#comments Song of the Week: "Runaway" http://culturecatch.com/node/3923 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Runaway&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>February 22, 2020 - 08:43</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/139" hreflang="en">singer-songwriter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uhQhfelnC5M?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Happened upon this singer/songwriter via a PR friend and was immediately drawn into his easy delivery and heartfelt lyrics, so much so that I started exploring his fantastic catalog of work. He's lived in NYC, Austin, and now Nashville. And he's absorbed the best of each city. He reminds me of early Jackson Browne. <a href="https://open.spotify.com/track/7q2Gop07LK0mswNlgeo4jS?si=M1qBKxfsSZuXINgWZ8SPEg" target="_blank">"Runaway"</a> is an easy slice of love balladry that will warm your soul. A refreshing song about commitment.</p> <blockquote> <p>"I refuse to runaway / I'm going to stay."</p> </blockquote> <p>If you don't know <a href="http://www.anthonydacosta.com/about" target="_blank"><strong>Anthony da Costa</strong></a> you may want to take some time out of your busy social media schedule and do so today.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3923&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="d8UMuuKk9i3jJxU5y8phlEhdlyqk8x85dgNdsXQ5sog"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 22 Feb 2020 13:43:12 +0000 Dusty Wright 3923 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3923#comments Muralism http://culturecatch.com/node/3922 <span>Muralism</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/kathleen-cullen" lang="" about="/users/kathleen-cullen" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kathleen Cullen</a></span> <span>February 13, 2020 - 21:55</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/art" hreflang="en">Art Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/867" hreflang="en">murals</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1560" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/mural_-_79369a.jpg?itok=aE0t_Xb6" title="mural_-_79369a.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>government palace mural by Diego Rivera, photo credit Pacific &amp; Atlantic Photos Inc.</figcaption></figure><p><em>Muralism: Identity and Revolution</em></p> <p>The Throckmorton Gallery, 145 East 57th Street.</p> <p>The new show at the Throckmorton Fine Art Gallery, <em>Muralism: Identity and Revolution</em>, serves as a important companion piece to the upcoming <em>Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925-1945</em> at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The show actually documents this artistic period through photographs of both the art work and the artists. In fact the Whitney actually will be featuring photographs from the Gallerist Spencer Throckmorton's collection. We wanted to interview the gallerist to highlight both the show and the artistic period.</p> <p><strong>Kathleen Cullen: </strong>People are familiar with the mural work of Diego Rivera but may not know his work was part of a larger movement. Can you explain what started this movement and the subject matter?</p> <p><strong>Spenser Throckmorton: </strong>At the end of the Mexican Revolution, which historians place as happening between 1917 and 1920 there was a resurgence of Mexican art. Artists sought to reimagine the Mexican identity and focus the subject of the work on the poor, the Indian, the peasant, and the worker. This was a movement away from academic tradition which was viewed as elitist. The goal was to bring art closet to those Mexicans long marginalized. Murals were the most celebrated of the art forms and were painted all over Mexico in public sites including churches, palaces, government buildings, schools and museums.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>Who were the important artists? What themes did their work share?</p> <p><strong>ST: </strong>In addition to Diego Rivera, other artists include David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco. The themes were a celebration of the lives of everyday people, the work they did and the lives they lived.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1248" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/mural-28293_1.jpg?itok=YFd4ZE0A" title="untitled-Diego Rivera by Hector Garcia" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>untitled, Diego Rivera by Hector Garcia</figcaption></figure><p><strong>KC: </strong>What role did this movement play in the culture at the time?</p> <p><strong>ST: </strong>The murals depicted a true break from the past in that the subjects featured were non-European heroes including Aztec warriors fighting the Spanish, peasants fighting for the revolution and modern day laborers building Mexico City.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>Can you describe the work in the current show and what influenced you to do this show at this time?</p> <p><strong>ST: </strong>I've always been interested in this work because the murals in Mexico is so commanding and memorable. The photos in the show are very rare as they were not printed in great amounts and they were not seen as the artwork but seen as something cataloguing they work. There are photos of murals that no longer exist and these photos are the only documents.</p> <p>Diego Rivera hired Tina Modotti, who supported herself taking pictures of artists' work, to photograph his murals so he could advertise his and get commissions. People may be familiar with his murals in Rockefeller Center that were so controversial they were later destroyed. In the United States Rivera also did murals for the Detroit Institute of Arts and the City Club in the San Francisco Stock Exchange. </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="1510" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/mural-56010.jpg?itok=GCsH75JK" title="mural-56010.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>mural study: untitled (hanging laundry) by Tina Modotti</figcaption></figure><p>The show features 26 pictures by Modotti as well as other photographers with a focus on both the murals and the people in and around the movement. Modotti, who was Italian, was very familiar with this group, as, in addition to being a photographer, she was an activist for the communist party. She was actually exiled from Mexico in 1930 only to return in 1939 to live there under a pseudonym.</p> <p><strong>KC: </strong>What do you hope viewers will take away from the show?</p> <p><strong>ST: </strong>We hope to not only highlight this period and the work, but the show helps to both preserve and document this time in Mexico's and the art world's history. It’s also a way we connect this work to a new audience.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3922&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="O8HgWBt7Z7ls3g4tjJppUqZyVm3uRLzkr8KZvBKmOWs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 14 Feb 2020 02:55:23 +0000 Kathleen Cullen 3922 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3922#comments On The Road To Somewhere http://culturecatch.com/node/3921 <span>On The Road To Somewhere</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>February 12, 2020 - 10:47</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/theater" hreflang="en">Theater Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/852" hreflang="en">Broadway musical</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="695" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-02/american-utopia-byrne.jpg?itok=lz6xuf6X" title="american-utopia-byrne.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo Credit: d. Bindi</figcaption></figure><p><em>David Byrne's American Utopia</em></p> <p>Hudson Theatre, NY</p> <p>According to David Byrne during the encore we are all on a "road to nowhere" even if that message is delivered from the stage of the fabulously intimate and historic Hudson Theatre on West 44th Street in Times Square. This is not a musical, it is a full blown pop concert. It started as a tour for his 2018 solo album <em>American Utopia</em>. Many of the same musicians who graced the stage of that tour have migrated and morphed his vision onto a Broadway stage. And while it may be performed with grand theatrical gestures and choreographed movements, it is still an extraordinary theatrical performance, albeit one with intricate movements and 12 wireless musicians weaving in and out and around each other with each song. While there are songs from that aforementioned album there are plenty of crowd-pleasing songs from Talking Heads and his solo work, too. Those  songs were met by clapping and yelling and standing ovations after each number -- "Slippery People," "Once In A Lifetime," "Burning Down The House," "This Must Be The Place," to name but a few.</p> <p>Although this run is winding down and finally ending on February 16th, it was truly a "once in a lifetime" musical experience. Clearly it was as exciting and exhilarating as my first live encounter with Mr. Byrne's Talking Heads 40 years ago -- in full bloom and rock majesty -- played at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Oct. 31st (Halloween) 1980. (The Psychedelic Furs opened for them!) Mr. Byrne has carefully curated a celebration of his catalog while framing his favorite music with his new musical comrades. </p> <p>I have always been drawn to Mr. Byrne's existentially poetic and cerebral music from the moment I head the Talking Heads' debut album <em>77</em>. They were always a cut above the rest of their contemporary rock peers. Always with one foot into the future. So one should not be surprised at how forward thinking this thoughtful and artistic statement might be presented on the Great White Way.</p> <p>Some of the "tai chi" soft and flowing movements have been seen on stage before both in filmmaker Jonathan Demme's iconic <em>Stop Making Sense </em>rock concert doc and Byrne's dance/music collaboration with choreographer/dancer Twyla Tharp for <em>The Catherine Wheel</em>. Regardless, the movement during the various songs was never indulgent nor redundant unless purposely redundant to make a point. With his crack 11- piece band providing all the live/wireless instrumentation, this is music performed without incident in the age of bluetooth technology. In fact, Mr. Byrne even made a point of their "music" when he introduced every cast member and their place of origin before they shared their instrument's sound with the audience. It was a very clever sequence that put to rest that they were performing to tracks!</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ga97sIZlr1c?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>There was also a wonderful story about the song "Everybody's Coming to My House" that was recorded by a group of teenagers from Detroit -- Detroit School of Arts featuring the Vocal Jazz Ensemble -- who completely remade the song into a more positive and uplifting version of his brooding exploration of loneliness. The version above is so far removed from his staging that both need to be seen to fully appreciate their converse relationship. </p> <p>If Byrne continues to tour this pop art masterpiece, do not miss it. He will not stop making sense.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3921&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="PVz6UJ-WA5UJQaW2ltH-cixAqsovl573nDGtgadb5TM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 12 Feb 2020 15:47:43 +0000 Dusty Wright 3921 at http://culturecatch.com http://culturecatch.com/node/3921#comments