Is there really much relationship between boxing and philosophy? Well… “The deeper you get into the fights, the more you may discover about things that would seem at first blush to have nothing to do with boxing. Lessons in spacing and leverage, or in holding part of oneself in reserve even when hotly engaged, are lessons not only in how one boxer reckons with another but also in how one person reckons with another. The fights teach many such lessons — about virtues and limits of craft, about the need to impart meaning to hard facts by enfolding them in stories and spectacle, about getting hurt and getting old, about distance and intimacy, and especially about education itself: Boxing conducts an endless workshop in the teaching and learning of knowledge with consequences.”
It’s easy to see the allure of books such as the Da Vinci Code. But it is fiction, and “the problem with this ad hoc iconography is that readers of The Da Vinci Code may come to believe that by accepting the conventionally flimsy premises of a thriller plot, they have learned something about Leonardo and his art…”
The proposed Taiwan Guggenheim Museum is still a go, say Taiwanese officials, even though funding for the project has been bogged down for some time…
Dallas’ Meyerson Hall has a terrific organ. But after some initial concerts after the instrument was first installed, it’s had little use. “Organ fans here and beyond are frustrated that it’s used so little. Similar stories are cropping up in other cities with glitzy new concert-hall organs; $2 million instruments are becoming expensive décor accessories.”
“The Venice Biennale Foundation has announced that Maria de Corral and Rosa Martinez will co-direct the 2005 international art exhibition that opens next June, and that Robert Storr will organise the 2007 edition. The Biennale board seems to be concerned that the exhibition has become too sprawling and, in process, has lost its shape. They want to rejuvenate it and integrate it more fully into the overall Biennial programme (which includes architecture, cinema, and performing arts) and to achieve that they want the exhibition to have greater focus.”
What will the sale of the small classical music station WCAL to Minnesota Public Radio mean? “WCAL is no ordinary radio station, even among its classical genre peers. With WCAL in the house you can wake up to the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet one day and duo harpists the next. Hosts explain and present bassoon concertos and string quartets, early music and contemporary, lute solos and choral works (whole pieces, not just snippets!) — and feature performers as varied as the Estonian National Male Choir and Yo-Yo Ma. This freshness comes from a commitment to taking programming risks, and they have the talent to pull it off.”
Theatre critic Richard Ouzounian wonders why, when “all of our playhouses — in Toronto, Stratford and Niagara — have lots of empty seats, waiting to be filled” that tapings for Canadian Idol pack a theatre every Wednesday and Thursday night. The answers are instructive…
The new Alien Versus Predator movie is about as critic-proof as it gets; sci-fi fans have been anticipating the movie for a long time. So why did the movie studio not allow critics to see the movie before it opened today? This tactic is usually only used when a film is so bad, the critical word will sink it… Instead, banning the critics ensured AVP would be the subject of stories around America with critics speculating on how bad it must be.
Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet has narrowed its search for a new artistic director to six. Fifty candidates applied to replace Kent Stowell and Francia Russell.
A proposed 60-story tower in Philadelphia that will require big zoning variances to make it work, has city planning officials pleading helplessness in compelling a better project. So what power do city officials actually have to make a more liveable city, asks Inga Saffron.