Russian Church Leader Deems Contemporary Art “Filth and Stupidity”


The leader of Russia’s Orthodox church, Patriarch Kirill I, has some rather, uh, unorthodox views about the state of contemporary art. As reported by the Moscow Times (via RIA Novosti), Kirill’s remarks at an Orthodox festival on Wednesday included a scathing critique of the contemporary arts, which he believes “show some horrors, some nonsense, idiocy.” Kirill apparently doesn’t want to be challenged by culture, and only acknowledges artistic merits in relationship to beauty, dismissing less aesthetically pleasing works as “filth and stupidity under the guise of art.” ... Read More »

With so much “stuff” out there in the world, can we still tell what is art and what isn’t?


From U2’s forcedly ubiquitous new album to “rediscovered” paintings from centuries ago, we are surrounded by things that lose and gain artistic status according to their context. It must have seemed like a great idea at the time – Apple and U2 deciding to team up and give every iPhone and iPad user a free copy of the band’s new album Songs of Innocence along with their update of the operating system. The response from users was not so gracious though, with ... Read More »

David Bowie Exhibition Details How An Artist Became An Icon


There’s never been an artist quite like David Bowie, so it’s only fitting that a major exhibition chronicling the legend’s work is as diverse, expansive and exciting as his career over the past half century. “David Bowie Is,” opening Tuesday at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, contains more than 300 artifacts selected from an incredible 75,000 items Bowie had archived over the years. With a location-based headset, viewers can hear corresponding interviews, commentary and — of course — ... Read More »

Memory and Regret: Jenny Holzer’s “Dust Paintings”


Is an exhibition ever too beautiful for its own good? Jenny Holzer’s new show at Cheim & Read, Dust Paintings, is ravishing. But the sensuality of these text-based abstractions, done in oil on linen in mostly muted colors, runs counter to their content, which is derived from declassified government reports of brutalization and death during the Afghan War. At what point does the exquisiteness of the paint undermine the barbarity of the subject? This question didn’t arise at Holzer’s previous solo ... Read More »

Lessons learned as CSO’s art raffle fails to spark with audience

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From the outset, the plan appeared to have everything a well-heeled music lover could want – an exclusive fund-raiser, a good cause and a serious piece of art thrown into the mix. But when it came to the crunch, it turned out wealthy Canberrans weren’t as willing to part with their money as the Canberra Symphony Orchestra had hoped. Not even when it came with the chance to own an exquisite Auguste Rodin sculpture worth more than $165,000. When the ... Read More »

ISIS Cuts Art, Music, and History Education in Iraq


The school year began September 9 in Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-occupied Mosul, Iraq, where extremists have eliminated art, music, history, literature, and classes about Christianity from the curriculum, reports CBS. So far, families in the second-largest city in Iraq have responded by keeping their children home. Homeschooling has become a popular option. “What’s important to us now is that the children continue receiving knowledge correctly, even if they lose a whole academic year and an official certification,” a ... Read More »

Yves Klein: The man who invented a colour

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The Frenchman was an artist, showman and inventor – who created a hue that had never existed before. How did he achieve this? Alastair Sooke reports. One summer’s day in 1947, three young men were sitting on a beach in Nice in the south of France. To pass the time, they decided to play a game and divide up the world between them. One chose the animal kingdom, another the province of plants. The third man opted for the mineral ... Read More »

Theatre review: Master Class a masterful tribute to Maria Callas

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THEATRE Master Class ★★★★★ Terrence McNally fortyfivedownstairs Until August 28. The fiery Maria Callas – La Divina to her fans – was the ultimate diva as artist. She had a voice that will live forever, and a legend amplified by the essentially tragic arc of her life. Moving from the privations of wartime Greece (Callas performed Fidelio for the Nazis) to the heights of La Scala, Callas devoted herself ferociously to her art. The press made hay with her unforgiving temperament, her ... Read More »

Master Class | Left Bauer Productions

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Initially, I confused Maria Callas with Diamanda Galas. The latter, I thought, would be a great subject for a play. When I realised my mistake I was a little disappointed because although Maria Callas did indeed lead an eventful life and was obviously worthy of celebrating in the form of a play, I don’t really like opera. And after reading the press release properly, Master Class was going to contain some singing. Oh Dear. I wasn’t sure about this. I mean, opera, ... Read More »

David Bowie exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago debuts Sennheiser technology


CHICAGO, IL.- The David Bowie Is exhibition makes its US debut at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago on September 23, 2014, and brings new Sennheiser technology that enables visitors to have a unique, multi-faceted journey of David Bowie’s sound and style. In this partnership, the MCA and the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London – who curated the exhibition – have leveraged Sennheiser’s audio expertise so that visitors experience guidePORT technology streaming one-of-a-kind interviews, commentary, and recordings as ... Read More »

Opera Australia reveals lavish 2015 season

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The very grandest of grand opera, Verdi’s Don Carlos, is the top attraction in Opera Australia’s 2015 Melbourne season, announced on Monday. The pinnacle of the art form at its most massive in the late 19th century, Don Carlos features a top-drawer cast in a lavish multimillion-dollar new production. Set in 16th century Spain, it tells of the doomed love of Carlos and Elisabeth of Valois, who is married instead to his father, Philip II of Spain, for political reasons. The remarkable scene between Philip ... Read More »

Mercedes does Callas in a masterclass

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When does an actor ever stop performing? Even off-stage, Maria Mercedes is an instinctive storyteller. Leaning forward, eyes alight, hoop earrings swinging, she’ll set the scene. Places hold meaning and memory for her. She’ll tell you about the spot down the road in the inner north where her father once had a milk bar. Or the time she demanded her cats accompany her on a national tour of the musical Chicago. “I had it in my contract … so in Paddington, ... Read More »

Megan Washington: Why I live in mortal dread of public speaking

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Published on 8 Aug 2014 Megan Washington is one of Australia’s premier singer/songwriters. And, since childhood, she has had a stutter. In this bold and personal talk, she reveals how she copes with this speech impediment—from avoiding the letter combination “st” to tricking her brain by changing her words at the last minute to, yes, singing the things she has to say rather than speaking them. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the ... Read More »

Peter Sculthorpe, composer of Kakadu and Earth Cry, dies, aged 85

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AUSTRALIAN music’s elder statesman, composer Peter Sculthorpe, has died in Sydney. He was 85. Best known as a composer of orchestral and chamber works, Sculthorpe had a long career that started from his earliest compositions at age nine. From the 1960s he was a pioneer of music that sought an authentic expression of Australia, its landscape and people. He introduced indigenous motifs into his compositions and wrote music for didgeridoo and orchestra. Among his compositions are the orchestral pieces Earth Cry, ... Read More »

Pussy Riot pair sue Russia over imprisonment


Two members of the feminist group, Pussy Riot, are suing the Russian government over their imprisonment for a protest in a Moscow cathedral. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova say their prosecutions amounted to torture. They have filed a case at the European Court of Human Rights against Russia, seeking compensation. The pair are demanding 120,000 euros (£95,000) each in damages, plus 10,000 euros (£8,000) court costs. Tolokonnikov’s father, Andrey, said the pair should have asked for greater compensation. “What can ... Read More »

Cauldron controversy: why the Olympic settlement is a milestone for designers


Bright idea … fireworks above the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images The settlement between Atopia and Locog is one of the few legal wranglings over intellectual property to become public – and shows just how hard it is to prove an idea is one of a kind News that the Olympic organising committee, Locog, has settled with design team Atopia comes after a year of top-secret meetings. It followed theGuardian’s ... Read More »