Ganesh, Nazis, and the Elephant in the Room
Staging a story of the deity Ganesh traveling to Nazi Germany to reclaim the Sanskrit symbol of the swastika was complex enough, even without this factor: It’s told not by a Jewish or Hindu cast but through “actors perceived to have intellectual disabilities.” Back to Back Theatre’s Bruce Gladwin discusses the work and the questions it raises about exploitation, power, and cultural appropriation.
A Poetic Archaeology of Cinema: The Films of Bill Morrison
In Bill Morrison’s films, time appears as both a historical process and as an autonomous, existential force to which all matter falls prey. Whether treating the march of time as fodder for a narrative of human events or as an irreversible process of flux and decay, he utilizes traces of found footage from our cinematic past, attempting to grapple with the ambiguous concept of “time” itself.
Reconstructing King Lear’s Tragic Condition
Ever since Shakespeare penned King Lear in the early 1600s, the tragedy’s text has been endlessly challenged—so much so, writes Guthrie Theater senior dramaturg Michael Lupu, that it’s nearly impossible to find a “pure” Lear. From a 1681 version with a happy ending to Peter Brook’s famed 1962 staging, Lear has seen countless reconstructions—including She She Pop’s Lear with a twist, Testament.
2012: The Year According to Julian Bleecker
For a futurist, our request might have been unwelcome: look back. Thankfully, artist and technologist Julian Bleecker agreed, offering his top 10 moments from 2012 in a list that ranges from acts of God (Hurricane Sandy) to the completely man-made (Instagram and “computational photography” cameras) to the pop cultural and artistic (Frank Ocean, Tom Sachs, and the death of the Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch).
A Year in Close-Up: Still Dots and the Blue Velvet Project
Matt Levine & Jeremy Meckler
November 29 was a momentous day: After one year and 102 blog posts, Still Dots was complete. Since December 13, 2011, we’d been pulling one frame for every 62 seconds of screen time in Carol Reed’s The Third Man and writing a biweekly analysis of it. With more than 125,000 words behind us, we reflect on what this micro-analysis taught us—and how it might suggest a new kind of film criticism.
From One History to a Plurality of Histories
In a traditional museum, art is presented in the context of singular art history, says the Van Abbemuseum’s Steven ten Thije. But “if you start to see works themselves as contexts, then each work starts to be not just a story of itself, but to offer a perspective on the world—a different background against which things can be ordered.” Here he discusses the museum’s evolving thinking on curation.
Walker Contemporaries: Introducing the Advisory Council
We’re excited to introduce the inaugural Advisory Council for the Contemporaries, which consists of emerging leaders at Twin Cities– based companies: Melanie Full of Leonard Street and Deinard; Ben Hertz of Nolan Company; Carolyn Sleeth of Medtronic; Jon Engel of Cassidy Turley; Anne Cook of Best Buy; Matt Thell of General Mills; Eric Norman of Ameriprise Financial; Jori Miller of Minnetonka Moccasin…
25 Years on the Edge: Mark Russell on Out There’s Anniversary
The best performance work, says PS122’s founding director Mark Russell, comes from crossing and combining genres or disciplines: “Those were the cracks where the light gets in.” In conversation with the Walker’s Philip Bither, Russell reflects on punk, performance, and the legacy of the Walker’s Out There festival at the quarter-century mark.
Expanding the Book: An Interview with Badlands Unlimited
Under the motto “books in an expanded field,” Badlands Unlimited aims to challenge ideas about publishing to encompass everything from art shows curated for the Kindle and iPad to experimental typography and artist e-books. In an interview with Barcelona-based Latitudes, Badlands’ Paul Chan, Ian Cheng, and Micaela Durand discuss their work “embracing every facet of a book’s social life today.”