Gavin Menzies’ new book claiming that Chinese discovered America 70 years before Columbus landed is getting lots of press. But does the research hold up? “Sadly, many observers concur that accuracy matters little to publishing houses, especially when fudged facts are almost guaranteed to generate controversy, and therefore sales. ‘The publishing industry’s gullibility is boundless and its devotion to the bottom line endless, so if they can maintain their fealty to P.T. Barnum and put one over on the public, they’ll do so without losing a wink’s worth of sleep’.”
Only four of the organizations on Worth’s list reside west of Chicago, and the list of 24 is heavily populated with New York area institutions. “Did Worth’s conclusions reflect an East Coast-centric view of the arts world?”
Lighting for one of every eight shows that have opened on Broadway in the past two years has been the work of one man – Brian MacDevitt. Why is he so special?
Founded in 1969, the Baghdad School for Music and Fine Arts has had a struggle. Once its students were the country’s middle class. Now, only a few handfuls of young girls attend ballet classes. “Dancing these days has become a kind of escape from the grim realities of everyday life. In our situation ballet is a luxury … The girls dream of a better life and a better Iraq.”
This week, London’s Guardian newspaper asked five artists to produce cover art for the paper’s features section. To illustrate a story on the nastiness of reality TV, Turner Prize winner Gillian Wearing produced a graffiti-like three words which would be considered rude in most newspapers. Here’s the cover…
“While a handful of callers were supportive, the vast majority complained about the cover, which was designed to accompany a feature about the increasing nastiness of TV entertainment. Although the cover was designed to provoke debate about the coarseness of TV and of modern language, several readers took issue with the notion the cover design constituted art.”
The heir to a Nazi arms supplier has canceled plans to build a museum in Zurich to display his large art collection after protests there. Instead, it will be shown in Berlin next year. “The 2,500-piece collection was assembled by Friedrich-Christian Flick, a grandson of an industrial baron who helped arm Nazi Germany’s war machine. The collection includes works by contemporary artists such as Bruce Nauman, On Kawara and Nam June Paik. It is to go on display in 2004 for seven years in a downtown Berlin exhibition space.”
“Literature has always been a poisoned chalice for filmmakers. It’s irresistible because it offers great stories and characters, but it often makes geographic demands that translate into huge budgets. Worse, it covers psychological and intellectual territory that nobody has ever really figured out how to translate into movies.” This is especially tough in a country like Canada. Though Canadian writers have scored big internationally in recent years, getting movies made of their work is especially difficult.
If last year was the year of the revival on Broadway, this year three shows have shaken up the cynic’s view of how business is conducted. “Chances are being taken, rules are being broken and — as a result — attention is being paid.”
A new exhibition in New York shows artists who have purposely sampled and copied other artists’ work. “All of the pieces either have run afoul of copyright owners in the past or could be expected to in the future.” It makes the point that current copyright laws are overly restrictive of artists who use other artists work in their own.