Arts in New York City: Baruch College, Fall 2008, Professor Roslyn Bernstein
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“Les Ecailles de la Memoire”

The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s new production Les Ecailles de la Memoire, or “The Scales of Memory,” elucidates the complicated issues of memory, love, culture among the people of the African Diaspora. It is an intercontinental production involving the Compagnie Jant-Bi from Senegal and Brooklyn’s Urban Bush Women. The mixture of dance style, language, and shared history give Les Ecailles de la Memoire its flavor; however, the desperation to develop a narrative and characters takes away from the magnificent performance. [Read more →]

December 16, 2008   Comments Off on “Les Ecailles de la Memoire”

Sam Freedman: “Who He Is”

Author, New York Times columnist, and dedicated son Mr. Sam Freedman appeared at Baruch College last week for a talk back about his historical biography Who She Was. The book is a factual rendering of his mother’s life: raw, unpretentious, and heartbreaking. [Read more →]

December 16, 2008   Comments Off on Sam Freedman: “Who He Is”

Rennaisance Italy: Art for Love and a Love for Art

Love, betrothal, and childbirth were extremely important in renaissance Italy. For men, the taking of a wife was most often an affair predetermined by familial obligation or societal convenience. For woman, marriage was a coming of age (at a very young age,) and one’s inauguration as a caretaker and child bearer. This ritualistic matrimony, often void of sexual attraction, was inculcated by the Catholic Church and considered to be the most important event in a woman’s life. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new exhibit Art and Love in Renaissance Italy is a paradox in a sense; the historic marriage of man and woman, loveless and obligatory in nature, was the topic of some of the most handsome works of art in history. [Read more →]

December 16, 2008   Comments Off on Rennaisance Italy: Art for Love and a Love for Art

The Slush

The dawn of a new millennium, the advent of sophisticated technology, and my family’s coincidental relocation to Seattle, WA were all possible factors that contributed to my mother’s pivotal change in careers. I remember as a child I would awaken to the sound of her tinkering with a computer, and I would fume over my expulsion from her study. She had to go back to school for computer science, and by the time I was ten she was working for large corporations. In my mind she had always occupied a place on the rising tides of technology, and I rarely asked about her enigmatic history as a book editor for Knopf and Pantheon. I have come to realize, however, that her time spent at Knopf shaped the woman I know as my mother. She was just a Midwesterner straight out of New York University, naïve to the inexorable madness of the city, yet she was always loyal to her own moral probity. This is my effort to articulate her story. [Read more →]

December 13, 2008   Comments Off on The Slush

Eastern Cherub

My collage project entitled “Eastern Cherub” focuses on religious ideology from different cultures. [Read more →]

December 4, 2008   4 Comments

Poems like Prayers for “The Warriors”

Businesswoman turned poet, Frances Richey read from her second poetry compilation, “The Warrior” at the Macaulay center last week. Through boxy glasses Richey recited her poems, which concern her son’s deployment to Iraq. Tremendously poignant and obviously very personal, Richey’s poems deal with the bond between mother and son, the “letting go” of a loved one, and the realization that we all lead independent lives. Sound familiar? We all have probably experienced such introspection while reminiscing over dusty old photographs usually tucked away deep in the upstairs closet. In truth, Richey’s poems lack the innovative nuances that make contemporary poetry interesting and compelling. [Read more →]

December 2, 2008   1 Comment

Teenage Angst, New & Improved

Matt Sax’s one-man hip-hop musical made its way to Time Square’s own Duke theatre, bringing with it all the torments of a suburban childhood. “Clay” recounts a teenager’s struggle to cope with his parent’s tumultuous divorce and his mother’s eventual suicide. The Westchester youth eventually finds solace in – where else? – the mean backstreets of Brooklyn. He delineates his life story in quaintly rhymed verse, and the production is set up in a way that the audience witnesses Clay’s great debut just as the curtains are about to close. Although Matt Sax is undeniably talented, “Clay” falls short of living up to its new Broadway home. [Read more →]

December 2, 2008   Comments Off on Teenage Angst, New & Improved

ICP: Susan Meiselas

The Susan Meiselas exhibit at the International Center for Photography is eye opening. Not only is Meiselas a master of visual composition, but she also uses her photographs to document the strife all around the world, in Nicaragua, in Kurdistan, and even in America. In all three of her sets she examines the notion of nationalism under oppressive regimes, while also looking closer at the individual’s identity. [Read more →]

December 2, 2008   Comments Off on ICP: Susan Meiselas

Ohne Titel

My street photography project is centered on a cultural encounter I personally experienced when I moved from Manhattan to Bushwick, Brooklyn. Bushwick has a particular duality about it; there is a rugged, industrial ambience as well as a palpable artistic presence. This conflict within the neighborhood, the constant juxtaposition of art and industry, inspired me to shoot there. [Read more →]

November 18, 2008   10 Comments

Much Obliged, Jeff Mermelstein

Street photographer Jeff Mermelstein arrived at Baruch College last Thursday to generously share with us several collections of his work. His main objective, he explained, is to photograph the world’s gritty under-netting – that which makes America American. He has found the prime examples of this realism in the streets of New York City.

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November 18, 2008   Comments Off on Much Obliged, Jeff Mermelstein