Leon Fleisher Performing at Artspeaks Tuesday

March 29, 2009 · Print This Article

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009 | 7:30 pm
Mandel Hall, University of Chicago
1131 E. 57th Street

$20 general public
$5 students

via Artspeaks

“Performing works by J.S. Bach; Post-concert Q&A session hosted by
Thomas Christensen, associate dean and master of the Collegiate Humanities Division

As the first American to win the prestigious Queen Elisabeth of Belgium competition in 1952 at the age of 24, Leon Fleisher went on to perform throughout the world with every major orchestra and conductor and released numerous touchstone recordings with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. In 1965, at just 37, Fleisher was forced to “retire” from performance when two of his fingers became immobilized due to focal dystonia. For the next 40 years, he pursued a successful career as a conductor and teacher, in addition to performing left-handed works. With new developments in the medical treatment of focal dystonia, Leon Fleisher is once again able to brilliantly play the piano with two hands. He has recently released his first two-hand recording in 40 years, aptly entitled Two Hands. Its repertoire includes the works of J.S. Bach.”

Artspeaks next and final lecture in the series will be Kara Walker on May 13.

For more information please visit Artspeaks

Postopolis! LA

March 29, 2009 · Print This Article

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This coming week the awesome people at ForYourArt and five other blogs are putting together Postopolis! LA. If you’re in LA it looks like something you should check out.

via Postopolis! LA
On the occasion of Los Angeles Art Weekend, Storefront for Art and Architecture and ForYourArt are pleased to announce Postopolis! LA, a live five-day event of near-continuous conversation about architecture, art, urbanism, landscape, and design to be held in Los Angeles from 31 March to 4 April 2009. Six bloggers, from five different cities around the world, will host a series of discussions,
interviews, slideshows, panels, talks, and presentations, fusing the informal energy and interdisciplinary approach of the architectural blogosphere with the immediacy of face-to-face interaction.

Hosted By: ArchDaily/Plataforma Arquitectura, BLDGBLOG , City of
Sound, Subtopia , Mudd Up!, We Make Money Not Art

For More info please visit Postopolis.

Shepard Fairey Backlash?

March 27, 2009 · Print This Article

barack-is-hopeAre we in the midst of a Shepard Fairey backlash? Not exactly, but there is some sort of reassessment going on. The L.A.-based political poster artist designed an iconographic image that reverberated nationally, along with other forms of viral street art that have been piquing the interest of city dwellers for years–but the question that’s being debated at the moment is whether Fairey’s output makes for good art, or even good design. This comes in the wake of Fairey’s 20 year survey exhibition at the ICA Boston, along with news that he has won the Brit Insurance Design of the Year award (chosen by a panel that included MOMA architecture and design curator Paola Antonelli).

Reviews of “Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand,” at the ICA have been middling to negative. In his review of the show this week, for example, the L.A. Times‘ Christopher Knight delivered a clear-eyed and even-handed assessment of Fairey’s ouevre:

“The 39-year-old designer … possesses a  limited pictorial vocabulary, while the grandest curatorial claims made for the nearly 250 examples in the galleries are unsupportable. But the 20-year success of “Obey Giant” can’t be denied, nor can the efficacy of its strategies in establishing “Obama Hope” in the public consciousness. If neither adds up to major art or effective counterculture politics, both are plainly worth considering.” (Read the full article here).

In a post last Tuesday on the blog New Curator, A.D. Jacobson was more critical of the institutional cynicism motivating Fairey’s survey than he was of Fairey himself:

“this entire show seemed like a set up to me, not even getting into the fact that the BPD arrested the guy on the way to the show. (Yeah, what better way to boost the rebellious cred than getting arrested. Brilliant!!) The images were of the highest production value, but even he will tell you, this ‘aint art.  Not when you’re doing avatar stencils for Joey Ramone and saying things like ‘I’m not a musician, but I’m still gonna rock it hard as nails.’”

It’s not only Shepard Fairey-as-artist who’s being dissed, it’s Shepard Fairey the designer. In an article for the London Times ot Poster of the Year. Or Ad Campaign of the Year. And the prize’s self-defined role is to reward the most “innovative and forward thinking” design. This poster is neither innovative or forward thinking, certainly not compared with last-year’s winner, the bargain-basement laptop in reach of the world’s poor, designed by Yves Béhar” (read the full article here).

What I find most interesting is how all the Fairey take-downs seem to mirror Obama’s own “coming down to earth” transition in national press coverage of late, and I’m not just talking about Fox News. Even so-called liberal media outlets like MSNBC have their pundits training a colder, harder eye on the President, as his budget proposals, his stated commitment to health care and his nods to arts funding come under fire, often from both sides of the political spectrum. It seems that buoyant moment when a single iconic image and the word Hope could move a nation is over. In the worlds of art and politics alike, now it’s time for deeper scrutiny, (hopefully) more intelligent debate, reassessment and repositioning.

Cue Soul II Soul: “back to life… back to reality.”


What We’re Doing This Weekend: 3.27 – 3.29

March 26, 2009 · Print This Article

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FRIDAY

Green Lantern
Without You I am Nothing: Cultural Democracy from Providence and Chicago
03.27.09 – 04.25.09
1511 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Second Floor

“Without You I am Nothing: Cultural Democracy from Providence and Chicago is an exhibition of works on paper that are not intended for public consumption but to create small venues for public participation.”
Kavi Gupta
Vaguely Paperly
Mar 27 – May 9, 2009
835 W. Washington Blvd.
“Vaguely Paperly,” a group exhibition curated by Chris Johanson brings together a diverse group of artists who create works on paper utilizing varying mediums and techniques. The artists in this exhibition approach paper as a painting surface as well as a sculptural medium and address issues of re-use, repetition, memory, and personal politics.”

Rhonna Hoffman
Spencer Finch
Light,Time, Chemistry
3/27/2009 – 5/2/2009
“photographic device composed of mirrors and duct vents that extends out through the gallery window and allows a view of the sky from indoors.”
Roots & Culture
1034 N MILWAUKEE
CHICAGO, IL 60622
March 27th- May 2nd: “I Don’t Believe You” new work by Jamisen Ogg and Oli Watt
with Lauren Anderson in the Noble St. Gallery
SATURDAY

Golden Age
THE BOX GAME
1744 W 18th Street
Chicago, IL 60608
Saturday March 28, 7-10PM
“Artists Lukas Geronimas and David Horvitz have created a touring game-cum-performance entitled The Box Game, in which YOU decide ‘What’s in the Box?”

New York City Gold Coast
Elizabeth Weiss
March 28th
55 W. Chestnut St. APT. 2205, Chicago, IL 60610
“New York City Gold Coast presents a solo exhibition of new works from young artist Elizabeth Weiss. you can’t just change your mind, a series of paintings, drawings, and sculptures hopes to explore questions of cognition and understanding with playful, casual, formal relationships. Opening reception March 28th 6pm-9pm. you can’t just change your mind, you can’t just change your mind, you can’t just change your mind.”
*image: Angelina Gualdoni, Blush, at Kavi Gupta this Friday

Let the Right One In

March 25, 2009 · Print This Article

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About a month ago I was able to catch a showing of the Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In after much nagging from my film buff sister. Adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist’s 2004 best selling novel Låt den rätte komma in, the film centers on the relationship that forms between Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant) and the undead Eli(Lina Leandersson).

Oskar a 12-year old who spends his days being bullied at school and his nights imagining revenge. He meets Eli another outcast who has recently moved next door to Oskar. Set in the suburbs of Stockholm in the mid 80’s, the frozen landscape becomes the perfect setting for the sudden rash of murders. The film is remarkably beautiful but also is playful with its use of vampire folklore. Finally we see in a film what happens when a vampire enters a room uninvited. Hands down the best contemporary vampire film I have seen.

*Note: I rewatched the film this weekend after I picked up a copy at Target. I thought I had seen some subtle changes in the conversations but didn’t think much of it. The consumerist yesterday posted an article about the dumbing down of the subtitles. Hopefully they will release a copy with the original subtitles soon.