Posted on

Cultural Round Up: March

For the observers of culture, here is today’s link – but you have to like the Bronte sisters…. With thanks to the always entertaining Jen_Bennett.

So March involved the flying to the US and back, which will give you a clue as to why there are museum/art reviews from New York. Due to the excess of plane movie watching, they shall be entitled to a separate post, and I’ll stick with the fundamentals here.

Books

Redemption Ark Alastair Reynolds I do love Alastair Reynolds. After first reading him only a year ago, I have become a firm convert. Proselytizer even. Redemption Ark does not disappoint. it introduces new fantastic women characters to the series and captures the dilemmas and challenges of doing the right thing, but not always in the right way. It is interesting how this book is explores means-versus-ends arguments, and captures the intricacies of people politics on both a large and small scale. These books aren’t always easy, but this series is well worth the effort.

The Temporal Void Peter Hamilton As above, this is the second book of a trilogy. Perfect plane reading – unlike Reynolds this is easy, enjoyable reading where the main challenge is trying to keep track of all the characters. I still find the story within the story the most entertaining part of this book, and I must say the last couple of chapters do pack a fairly significant emotional punch.  It also quite interesting in some of the morally ambiguous territory it wandered into, and the dilemmas the characters faced.  The fact that, having just finished, I am very keen to go out and get the next one, even if it is still in Big Size edition, is testament to how page turning this was.

Art

Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures Museum of Modern Art

This exhibition was primarily of the 4ish minute screen tests which Warhol did of friends and acquaintances. These were curated brilliantly, surrounding you on the walls, giant silent black and white faces which were still or engaged in some minor activity. There was the unmoving intensity of Susan Sontag and the slightly crazy glint in Dennis Hopper’s eye. The exhibition also showed Kiss and Sleep (which I did not watch in its entirety), as well as the descriptively named Blow Job, which again featured only a face – but it was still clear that it was aptly named. I think the screen tests worked well to capture a sense of the personalities of those being filmed, as well as being beautiful to look at. If intense.

Quilts: Masterworks from the American Folk Museum

This is a seriously awesome exhibition, leading me to think many thoughts about craft and the place of women’s art and craftsmanship. The quilts were incredibly impressive, demonstrating enormous levels of skill and artistry.  It is interesting how we have boxed “craft” and, in viewing it as a women’s domain, have reduced its status in comparison to other areas of art. The detail in the quilts was impressive and the collection that was presented was excellent as it demonstrated a wide variety of styles and fabrics. If by some miracle I got to go to New York again after May, I would definitely be heading to the Museum to see the second half of the exhibition.

 


Advertisements

2 responses to “Cultural Round Up: March

  1. Bells ⋅

    The whole put down of craft is pretty galling. There are so many ways to dismiss what has existed for a long time and had many functions. Sadly I think the word craft is part of the problem now. It conjure images of primary school stuff. It’s time to reclaim the word.

  2. Bells

    ps love the bronte cartoon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s