This opera seems like a very interesting and eye-opening thing to watch. Check it out! Hopefully someone can go see it.
Join the Discussion!
This opera seems like a very interesting and eye-opening thing to watch. Check it out! Hopefully someone can go see it.
Hey my fellow art enthusiast,
If you are tired of the traditional setting of museums, here is something new that will cause you to reexamine the institutional nature of current museums.
This unique 60 square feet museum called Museum (yes, the name of the museum is Museum) located in an ex-elevator shaft that fits only three people at a time is focused on the sentimentality we have towards objects and their own unique stories. Museum shed light on the significance of framing objects when it comes to art.
One star of Museum is the shoe that was thrown at George W. Bus in 2008! Although the founder’s response to how they obtained the item was “We are not allowed to publicly disclose how we came into possession of the shoe,”
Museum’s name is a mockery of the self-importance of other museums, a criticism on the shift of focus away from art that is happening all over.
However, Museum’s founders emphasized that Museum is not art, and I completely support the idea behind that statement. There are many items that are significant to our culture and society, but they are and should not be labeled art. However, they still have significance in their existence and there should be something that celebrates the back story of every object.
If I recall correctly, we had a discussion earlier this semester about what dictates whether or not an object is considered as art (since that is all a painting (or vase, or any other tangible creation) is, an object, before they are called art). Museum gets to the fundamental core of that discussion, sometimes it is the framing of the object and the history of certain objects that makes it art or even the irrelevance of setting and back story that constitute what makes an item art (a relevant movie is the Red Violin, which I strongly recommend).
In this consumerist society of ours, objects an easily be replaced, however, one thing that money can’t buy is the sentimentality that we attach to frivolous objects. Museum focuses exactly on that, the significant role objects play in our lives.
However, Museum is open only on weekends, and because of the founder’s busy schedule with other projects, it is often not open. So for those of you interested in paying a visit, here is their site-
and here is a New York Times article on the museum-
On Thursday, November 21st, we’ll discuss:
N.B. ALL students must post comments on the Sibley piece; you can reply to this post for that purpose.
You never know what might be lurking in your apartment…I heard that these paintings were confiscated by the Nazis!!!
Here’s a summary of the article (NYTimes):
“A 1969 triptych by Francis Bacon sold Tuesday night at Christie’s for $142.4 million, described as the highest price ever paid for an artwork at auction.
Seven bidders vied for the painting – “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” – that depicts Bacon’s friend and rival, Lucian Freud, sitting on a wooden chair against an orange background. It ended up selling for $142,405,000.”
Here’s a link to the NYC showroom where the artwork was sold, in case any of you have a few million to throw around: http://www.christies.com/locations/salerooms/new-york/
If your reaction is like mine, you’re probably thinking that paying so much for this/an artwork is a) an almost-comical waste of money, and b) undermines the artwork by placing a focus on its “value” or “cost” and distracting from its message.
What I’m wondering is, what could be the justification for paying so much for this artwork (if you think that works of art should even be bought in the first place)?
Imagine yourself in the position of the buyer. What are you thinking?
Irrelevantly, the both the painter and the subject of the artwork share names with famous historical figures (Francis Bacon and Freud).
Also, Francis with an “i,” not an “e.” Thanks, Professor.
This is the article by Christoper Hitchens that I was talking about: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2007/01/hitchens200701. It is the same title.
It was published in The Vanity Fair magazine on January,2007. Some female comedians came together and responded to the article with another article on the same magazine called “Who Says Women Aren’t Funny?” This is that article: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/04/funnygirls200804.
After that, Christopher Hitchens responded back with a video titled, “Why Women Still Aren’t Funny.” This is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7izJggqCoA.
Tell me what you think?
On Tuesday, November 19th, we’ll discuss
N.B. ALL students must post comments on the Nochlin piece; you can reply to this post for that purpose.
Frances Berenson’s “Understanding Art and Understanding Person” starts with the question that “whether it is possible to understand the art of other
culture.” The following is a translation of a poem by Bengali poet Shamsur Rahman. As suggested by the title, it is on freedom. Let’s see if we can dissect, understand and appreciate it. Consider these question: 1. Why did the poet choose to describe his idea of freedom in this way? 2. What is your definition of freedom and how is it similar to the poet’s? (If you need anymore info on the poet, follow this wikipedia(That’s the best I was able to find on the net) link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamsur_Rahman. The poem also refers to some other important and famous bengali poets. Look them up in the net if you need to.
This is the poem:
Rabi Thakur’s timeless poetry and everlasting lyrics.
Kazi Nazrul, his willowy mane swaying,
rapturous with the joy of creation, a great man.
the radiant gathering at Shahid Minar on the
immortalized February 21.
the flag-draped, slogan-serenaded boisterous
the farmer’s beam amidst his fields.
the lightsome swim of a village lass in a pond in
the sinewy muscle on a young laborer’s sun-bronzed,
the gleam in a freedom-fighter’s eyes, scanning the
horizon draped in darkness.
the crisply-worded, spirited speech of a bright, young
learner in the shade of a banyan tree.
the tumult of chats in tea-shops, parks and fields.
the roaring swoop of kal-boishakhi across the horizon.
the heart of river Meghna, shoreless in Sraban.
the soft stretch of father’s chivalrous prayer-mat.
the ripples on mother’s bright sari spread out on the
the hue of henna on sister’s gentle hands.
the colorful poster, tremulous as starlight in the
hands of a friend.
the homemaker’s raven hair, luxurious and undone,
untamed and wild in the wind.
the colorful jacket on a lad.
the playful sunlight bouncing off a young girl’s supple
The home amidst a flower garden; the warble of
The twittering leaves of antediluvian banyan trees.
My notebook of poetry, to pen poems as I please.
Translated by Syed M. Islam. Copyrighted, 2004.
Earlier last week, 5 Pointz was brought up and I would like to further discuss this issue just because I think it’s interesting. For those who don’t know what 5 Pointz is, here’s a link to some pictures and details about 5 Pointz and the related controversy at the time: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/10/11/photos-new-york-s5pointzgraffitimecca.html
Personally, I’ve grown up seeing 5 Pointz evolve. Anytime I were to travel to the city, my means of transportation was the 7 train. If you are ever on the 7, you can see that as it emerges from the tunnel into Queens, on your left will be 5 Pointz. If it’s a bright day, the building seems set on a canvas with Manhattan its backdrop. It’s a beautiful and mind blowing sight. I feel that it defines New York City for its creativity and art.
Firstly, would 5 Pointz support the idea that anything anywhere has the potential to be considered art? (Referring back to our essays.)
Do you consider 5 Pointz a cultural and historical part of New York City? Do you think the Walkoffs are being reasonable in wanting to sell the building?
Comment and Share your thoughts! I know there have been updates on the issue, so someone can share that too.
On Thursday, November 7th, we’ll discuss Frances Berenson, “Understanding Art and Understanding Persons” and Peter Schjeldahl, “Shapes of Things.”
N.B. ALL students must post comments on the Berenson reading; you can reply to this post for that purpose.
Please review carefully, very carefully, the following revised schedule of classes, events, reading and writing assignments, and due dates for papers. I will hold you responsible for following it to the letter! Also, please remember to submit $25 to me NO LATER THAN November 21st!
Seminar 1: Revised Schedule of classes and assignments
Tuesday, November 5th Discussion of Walter Benjamin: “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”
Thursday, November 7th Discussion of Frances Berenson, “Understanding Art and Understanding Persons” and Peter Schjeldahl, “Shapes of Things”
N.B. ALL students must post comments on the Berenson reading.
Tuesday, November 12th Discussion of John Berger, Ways of Seeing, pages 1-81. The piece by Berger, “The basis of all painting and sculpture is drawing” I did not distribute, so do not worry about it.
Thursday, November 14th 11:00 a.m. Lehman Brass Quintet Concert in the Recital Hall of the Music Building, 3rd floor
12:30 p.m. Jose Roldan solo performance of his “Forgive Me Father for I Have Sinned” in the Lovinger Theatre
Tuesday, November 19th Discussion of John Berger, Ways of Seeing, pages 83-155. and Linda Nochlin, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” also Gould, pages 137-155.
N.B. ALL students must post comments on the Nochlin piece.
Thursday, November 21st Discussion of Frank Sibley, “Aesthetic concepts” and discussion of Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) and 5 Pointz
N.B. ALL students must post comments on the Sibley piece
Tuesday, November 26th NO CLASS MEETING
Wednesday, November 27th As this is a Friday schedule we will use the opportunity to attend the Magritte exhibit at MOMA in the afternoon
Tuesday, December 3rd Discussion of The Nutcracker versions by Hoffman and Dumas. Please bring the Penguin Books 2007 version translated by Joachim Neugroschel to class with you.
Tuesday December 3rd N.B. Second writing assignment due. (Absolutely no late papers!)
Thursday, December 5th No Class Meeting. Meet for The Nutcracker performance by the New York City Ballet at 7:00 p.m., David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center
Sunday, December 8th Snapshot Event at Macaulay, 67th Street
Tuesday, December 10th Review of The Nutcracker performance
Response Logs Due
William Kentridge video “Anything is Possible”
Thursday, December 12th Summing Up & Final Paper Due
(ABSOLUTELY NO LATE PAPERS!)
To accompany your Sleeping Beauty readings and marionette performance, here are some illustrations produced by the renowned illustrator Gustave Doré for the 1867 edition of Charles Perrault’s fairy tales:
All images by Gustave Doré [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Quick question (open to anyone who knows the answer):
Does the performance log that’s due at the end of the semester have to be handwritten/in a journal-type setting, or are these formal reports of each performance we attend? Help! Thanks! :)
(I just don’t want to end up adding extra fluff in my opinions of certain performances)
Think about the opera as an adaptation of the story — Shostakovich not only translated from text to music to the stage, but also shifted the political context from the czarist bureaucracy to the early Communist period. What does that help you see?
We’d like you to do something a little different for this reading, which we’ll discuss in class on Thursday, 10/31. Instead of posting questions online, post your comments and reactions before class – say, by Tuesday 10/29 – and read what your peers have written.
Then, come in to class with questions on which you’d like our discussion to focus.
You can find the reading, titled “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” in the packet with Kramer’s “Classical Music and its Values.”
As you know, you’ll soon (Thurs 10/24) be attending a performance of the New York Philharmonic, including a setting of Musorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Before you head there, here are a few resources related to that piece, to help you frame the experience:
1) For program notes to accompany a performance of Pictures at an Exhibition, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC put together a brief history. Among other things, they explain that the “pictures” were part of a show in memoriam of the artist Victor Hartmann, a friend of the composer, who died young. View the notes here: http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/
2) Many of the images themselves have been lost, but notes were taken at the time as to what they looked like. Later historians have tried to collect what we do know and pair it with the images we still have from Hartmann. Here’s one such collection: http://korschmin.com/portfolio-view/viktor-hartmann-pictures-at-an-exhibition/. Click on the individual photos to enlarge them.
Next Tuesday, October 22nd, Seminar 1 meets at its regular time but in the Lehman Art Gallery. Please be sure to be on time as we will be getting a tour of the “Morphology of the Print” exhibit.
On Wednesday, October 23rd, we will attend the theatre performance at 3:30 in Lehman’s Studio Theatre. You must arrive a few minutes before 3:30 to get decent seats, but more important, they’ll give your ticket to someone waiting if you’re not there at the latest 10 minutes before showtime. If you have a conflict for the Wednesday show, which runs without intermission for approximately 1 hour 45 minutes let me know on Tuesday. You can then attend an alternate performance as the show runs from Thursday through Sunday. But check the times: Thursday & Friday at 7:30 p.m. I’m not sure for Saturday and Sunday.
On Thursday, October 24th our class is supposed to meet in the Costume Shop, at our regular time, but I am attempting to change the date to the following Tuesday, October 29th. I will let you know on Tuesday. If we change our Costume Shop visit, we will move the Walter Benjamin reading to October 31st.
And last, remember that we have the performance at the NY Philharmonic on Thursday, October 24th at 7:30.
Here’s the poem I read in class today, by Wallace Stevens; I brought it up in the context of John Cage’s “4:33” — the idea of an empty frame as a work of art. The text of the poem is copied here from http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/3778.
Wallace Stevens, “Anecdote of the Jar” from Collected Poems. Copyright 1923, 1951, 1954 by Wallace Stevens. Reprinted with the permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
Source: Poetry (October 1919).
Gogol’s Nose: Considerations
1.You have read Gogol’s Overcoat and his Nose. Both stories are about loss. How do they differ? Tragic and comic?
2.Gogol’s admirers called him a “realist” because of his social criticism. Is the Nose a realistic piece? Is there criticism of society?
3.Dostoevsky said of himself and other nineteenth-century writers, “we all came out of Gogol’s Overcoat.” He had in mind, it seems, the psychological realism of the great Russian novelists. Can you see the roots of this realism in the Overcoat or the Nose?
4.How does Gogol portray the bureaucracy and bureaucrats of Nicholas I’s Russia in each story?
5.Shostakovich changed the setting of the Nose from the Russia of Nicholas I to the Russia of Stalin. How are these two settings comparable? By modernizing the setting, was Shostakovich perhaps preserving something essential in Gogol’s story?
6.One critic (Simon Volkov) has concluded that Shostakovich turns Gogol’s hero (who is presented rather dispassionately) into a tragic figure and gives him a “heartbreaking, passionate aria.” Kovalev in the opera is tortured by the establishment, punished and turned into a pariah. Does this change the impact of Gogol’s original?
7.Look up (Google) this site on the artist William Kentridge (who created this production of the opera) and check out the essay “Serious Play.”
http://www.art21.org/anythingispossible/resources/essays/serious-play/. See the commentary on Shostakovich and the Russia of his time.
8.There is a copy on this site of the libretto for the opera which the Russian writer Zamyatin helped write (author of the dystopian “We” – progenitor of Brave New World and 1984). Is there an element of the anti-utopian in this opera?
9.Look up Russian constructivism and modernism. How does Shostakovich fit in this early Soviet cultural milieu?
10.Considering the stories of the operas you know, does the plot of the Nose seem like opera material? What should you expect at the Met?
11.For your amusement check out Russian animators’ attempts to retell the story of The Nose “Animated Gogol.”
Week Seven continues with these texts, all of which you should now have:
Because this is a heavy reading week, you get to decide whether to respond to these texts or those for Tuesday, which are in another post. Technically speaking, I believe groups 2 and 4 are responsible for kicking off the conversation this week by posting questions (in either place) — but if you have ideas or thoughts that you’re ready to post, don’t let the technicalities stop you!
See you in one place or the other,
Coming up on Tuesday, October 8th, a discussion of “Fall for Dance” and Gould pp. 137-157 will be informed by your questions and comments on the following pieces:
Because this is a heavy reading week, you get to decide whether to respond to these texts or those for Thursday, which will be in another post. Technically speaking, I believe groups 2 and 4 are responsible for kicking off the conversation by posting questions (in either place) this week — but if you have ideas or thoughts that you’re ready to post, don’t let the technicalities stop you!
See you in one place or the other,
For those who missed it, there was a review of Shostakovich’s The Nose — the opera we’re going to see — in the New York Times on Monday, written by James R. Oestreich.
From the lede:
William Kentridge’s 2010 staging of Shostakovich’s first opera, “The Nose,” was one of the Metropolitan Opera’s most acclaimed productions of recent seasons, and for a critic just catching up with it when it was revived on Saturday afternoon, it was easy to see why. With unflagging energy and unfettered imagination, it powerfully seconds both the irreverent zaniness of the Gogol story on which the opera is based and the teeming exuberance of Shostakovich’s music.
You can read the full piece here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/02/arts/music/in-the-nose-shostakovich-puts-music-to-gogols-tale.html?smid=pl-share
Take this fun little quiz to find out!