How Do You “Covertly” Install A 20-Foot Statue?

“Guerrilla artist Banksy has covertly cemented a 20-foot (6-metre) satirical statue protesting at the British legal system into a central London square. Banksy, best-known for sneaking his work into the Tate, has depicted the figure of justice as a prostitute with leather boots and a thong… The location, an ancient green just outside the City of London, was chosen because it was the site of Banksy’s last arrest.”

Message From America: Don’t Come Here

The American border police have been making it more and more difficult for foreign journalists, authors and musicians to enter the US. “American businesses have “lost $30.7 billion in the last two years because of visa delays and denials for their foreign partners and employees, according to a survey sponsored by eight business organizations.”

Miami Herald Fires Critic Octavio Roca

The Miami Herald fired dance and music critic Octavio Roca for copying some passages he wrote for a newspaper where he previously worked. “When confronted, he sought to justify his recycling by likening himself to a college professor who delivers the same lecture to different students. And he argued that, because he was repeating his own words, he hadn’t committed plagiarism, which is the theft of another’s work.” But Herald editors, standing reason on its head, dismiss Roca for commiting what… stealing opinions from himself?

An UnSATisfying Test

Just What does the infamous SAT test measure? “Just before the SAT undergoes another of its periodic transformations — a new version of the exam, referred to as the ‘New SAT,’ will be unveiled next spring and will include, for the first time, a writing portion — a study published in the June issue of the journal Psychological Science claims to prove that the current SAT is, in the end, an IQ test.”

The Amazing Tillie, The Wonder-Dog/Artist

“The 5-year-old Jack Russell is an artist who has had her paintings exhibited in New York, Los Angeles and Europe. She recently opened a gallery and store in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, the borough’s epicenter of all things artsy and hip. Her intense, instinctive scratch marks — in red, blue, yellow and black — have drawn comparisons to abstract artists Jackson Pollock and Cy Twombly.”

SF Opera – System Failure In America

Why did Pamenla Rosenberg withdraw from running San Francisco Opera? “What Rosenberg overlooked when she returned to the US after years working in two of Germany’s most avant-garde opera houses was that a European-style artistic policy depends on European-style consistency of funding – some thing the US opera community can never provide.”

Minimalism (Finally) Gets Its Due

“For years, minimalism shows were rare events. In just the last year or two, however, they’ve hit the big time, big-time… The current flood of minimalism exhibitions indicates a new desire to come to grips with the movement as a whole and to rethink some of the narrow polemics that have built up around it. Instead of being part of the live, ferocious debates of contemporary art, with people choosing sides for and against, minimalism is now the subject of measured, art-historical contemplation. Which means it has truly arrived — next stop, official, unquestioned Old Master status.”

Political Art, Or Mindless Activism Disguised As Culture?

George W. Bush may be a divisive leader to many, but there is no question that he has managed to unite one group like few U.S. politicians in history: artists, from painters to actors to musicians, are coming together in record numbers, all with the common goal of ridding the world of this American president. But when does political art become so strident that it ceases to be good art? “Many inside and outside the arts question whether such overt political expression — created expressly to effect change — crosses the line of art and simply becomes a colorful op-ed piece. It’s important for the art to stand on its own merits… regardless of the message within it.”

Shakespeare on the Mississippi

The sleepy little river town of Winona, Minnesota is not a place where you would expect to find a major theater festival, but the founders of the new Great River Shakespeare Festival are banking on the allure of small-town America and its own no-frills approach to the Bard to draw a crowd ad build a lasting theatrical tradition. “It will take years of artistic nurturing, civic investment and theatrical brilliance to accomplish such goals. This first season is filled with education panels, discussions, music concerts — a regular Chatauqua — to energize the local population and lure the curious from around the region.”