“If you want a culture that’s going to take on fake news, and the political lie, I say as someone who teaches literature and history, what you need is a culture of the arts and humanity. What you need is more storytelling. What you need is more discourse. What you need is more imagination. What you need is more creation in that way, and more of a sense of what it is that ties us to those words and ties us to those stories.”
Lyndsey Stonebridge, “The Moral World In Dark Times: Hannah Arendt For Now” from On Being
The Ivan Albright exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago is suffocatingly beautiful.
This Chicago painter, who worked between the Wars into the 1980s, was noticed in a military hospital when he was asked to illustrate a procedure. From that point, he worked as an artist for the military and later trained along with his identical twin at The Art Institute of Chicago. He rejected his father’s “pretty” impressionist approach in favor of decadently decaying depictions.
So much of this exhibit exists within the worlds of the living and the dead — his subjects hold madly, desperately to living while their bodies, and even environments, betray them. The monk concedes that he cannot look any more spiritual. The young mother embodies the costs of bearing children. Even Dorian Gray’s desire for control causes him to careen, as the color contrasts suggest, out of control. Continue reading “Flesh And Bones”
I didn’t watch the Oscars — I’m more interested in the awards than the ceremony — but I was moved nonetheless by Common’s and Andra Day’s performance of “Stand Up For Something” from Marshall at the 90th Annual Academy Awards, which I first read about and later watched.
This song, which was written by Lonnie Lynn and Diane Warren and nominated for an Oscar and a Grammy, challenges listeners to have the courage of their convictions, and it appears in a movie about a young Thurgood Marshall, who would later become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. For their Oscar performance, Common and Day created the spotlight design and contacted to join them on stage. Continue reading “Singing And Standing”
from On Being