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Mexico at the Venice Biennial – Here.

May 17, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

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The Venice Biennial is one of the world’s most prestigious exhibitions. For those of us who are unable to make it to Venice this year, we will look at how Mexico has used the tools of the New Media to make the exhibition accessible to everyone, everywhere.

The Event

“VENICE.- The Ministry of Culture of Mexico through the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA) presents Life in the folds, a proposal by the artist Carlos Amorales with the curatorship of Pablo León de la Barra. This project represents Mexico at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

In this edition, México commemorates the first decade of its participation with an official pavilion in Biennale Arte 2017, the most important event to promote contemporary art worldwide.

“To celebrate this special occasion, INBA has selected Carlos Amorales with his work Life in the folds, in which the artist “introduces us to a world where prints, sculpture, music, and cinema combine to give life and form to a new way of looking into reality, which materialize critical thinking and today’s problematics in contemporary art”. (Art Daily)

The Artist

“‘I have called the show in the Pavilion “La vida en los pliegues’“, a title that comes from a book of poetry by Henri Michaux. I liked this title because it represents the feeling of change that I feel. We must understand ideologies and reconsider them, call into question our way of life. We can’t stay on the path that we have traced up to now. These days everything is theatre, representation, it is almost impossible to find pragmatism and substance here nowadays…” (Interview, myartguides)

Mexico Carlos Amorales

“His research processes are complex; they are based in an ample repertoire of empirical methodologies to develop extensive projects that conjugate historical, cultural, and personal references. His practice expands to diverse media such as drawing, painting, sculpture, or collage; as well as performance, installation, animation, sound art, film, writing, among other non-traditional formats.” (Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes)

The Exhibition

Life in the folds of Amorales introduces a formal language that unfolds in a variety of media within the installation. The artist developed a series of compositions that transit from abstraction to an ilegible text, and this, to a phonetic language and to three-dimensional forms that emit music, to converge cinematographically in the story of the lynching of a migrant family.”

“The lynching is an extra-legal collective act in which the folk takes justice in their own hands. In today’s context, a lynching transcends the local specificity to manifest globally through the mediatic space. In Life in the folds, the image of the lynching turns into a metaphor of the global politic situation, where the weakening of the State has led to a society in which justice becomes popular execution. The Law, as the extra-lega justice, operate in the very roots of language, likewise they undermine the notion of truth and common good, exercised by justice. In this sense, the lynching is an archetype of irrational violence that works from other forms of language oblivious to the law, as rumor, gossip and lie.” (Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes)

The New Media

As you will see below, the exhibition website, produced by the Instituo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico is an excellent use of the tools of the New Media. First, as quoted above, it provides a comprehensive guide to the artist and the exhibition, in clear, and direct language.

Second, the site contains a Press Kit, 9 videos of the exhibition including the accompanying music, 15 images, and an overview of the Venice Biennial and Mexico’s Pavilion. While the website requires some navigation back and forth to the individual elements, the use of the New Media does make the art of the Mexican Pavilion accessible to all. As in many cases, seeing the exhibition here, without the expense, crowds, and the shortness of time, to many, is better than being there.

 Some Rights Reserved ©. Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura 2017. Paseo de la Reforma y Campo Marte S/N, Col. Polanco Chapultepec, Miguel Hidalgo, Postal Code. 11560, Mexico City.
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Love in the Words of Hemingway – New Letters from 1918, before “Ernie” became “Hemingway.”

The association of Earnest Hemingway with the concept of “Love” may not be the first that comes to mind. However, in our view, A Farewell to Arms is a tender love story. Now, letters from him written to Francis Coates, 99 years ago have recently be discovered. The story of the letters, how they came to light, and the relationship between Hemingway and Coates is fascinating in its own right, while the opportunity to observe connections between some of Hemingway’s work and his early life in Oak Park is priceless.

The Story of the Letters

A recent article by Robert K. Elder, “To Have and Have Not” in the Paris Review of May 4, 2017 recounts the story:

“On an afternoon in Boston in 2016, Betsy Fermano walked through an exhibition titled “Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars” at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. Among the artifacts—vintage photos, paintings, and handwritten stories from Hemingway—she spotted a family name in a manuscript on display: ‘Coats.'”

“Frances Elizabeth Coates was Fermano’s grandmother and Hemingway’s high-school classmate. He used a version of her name—“Liz Coates”—in his sexually charged 1923 story “Up in Michigan,” and her name resurfaces elsewhere in his work.”

Hemingway at 19, Part I

“The nineteen-year-old Hemingway remained so enamored of his former classmate that he wrote to his sister Marcelline, asking her to

“’Call up Frances Coates and tell her that your brother is at death’s door. And that will she please, no excuses, write to him. Make her repeat the address after so that she will have no alibi. Tell her that I love her or any damn thing.’The correspondence dates to a time when Hemingway was not yet famous—he had only a handful of short stories to his name.'”

Hemingway at 19, Part II

In Coates’s unpublished memories of the young Hemingway, she wrote that the teenage Hemingway as

“A great, awkward boy falling over his long feet … in life, a disturbing person with very dark hair, very red lips. Very white teeth, very fair skin under which the blood seemed to race, emerging frequently in an all-enveloping blush. What a help his beard, later was to be, protecting and covering this sensitivity. The whole of his face fell apart when he laughed”.In another part of Coat’s writing she describes Hemingway’s personality (“The inferiority complex remained to the end and with it came the braggadocio and the need to become somebody to himself … a quick and deadly jealousy of his own prestige and a constant … and consuming need for applause”).

“Write About What You Know”

“Frances Elizabeth Coates was Hemingway’s high-school classmate. He used a version of her name—“Liz Coates”—in his sexually charged 1923 story “Up in Michigan,” and her name resurfaces elsewhere in his work.” Francis , however, married someone else.

“Two decades later, Hemingway may have aired some of his bitterness in To Have and Have Not. Reading the novel, Frances recognized broad caricatures of herself and John, a Northwestern graduate and successful railroad executive—especially when Hemingway tells of a young man sworn into an elite, Ivy League secret society:

‘The fiancé is a Skull and Bones man, voted most likely to succeed, voted most popular, who still thinks more of others than of himself and would be too good for anyone except a lovely girl like Frances. He is probably a little too good for Frances too, but it will be years before Frances realizes this, perhaps; and she may never realize it, with luck. The type of man who is tapped for Bones is rarely also tapped for bed; but with a lovely girl like Frances intention counts as much as performance.'”

” In [a letter dated] January of 1927, when Hemingway’s first son, John, was three, and—unbeknownst to Coates—his marriage to his first wife, Hadley, had broken down.

‘I just finished The Sun Also Rises and you are before me so vividly that I must tell you how much I enjoyed the book,” she writes, calling the novel “heartbreaking.” She continues: “The years are making you a strange person—I should so love to see you—I haven’t seen Marce for over a year—but someone said you were returning. I have a ravishingly beautiful daughter to match your son—and I’d so like meeting your nice Hadley … Jack joins me and wanting to see you both.'”

ooh! Am glad I married John”

“‘On the front of an envelope containing her photos with Hemingway, Coates wrote: “Ernie Pictures / And 25 years later ooh! Am I glad I married John.’”

 

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Love in the Words of Hemingway – Before “Ernest” became “Hemingway.”

May 10, 2017. New Post goes Up Every Wednesday by Jack Dziamba.

The association of Earnest Hemingway’s name with the concept of “Love” may not be the first that comes to mind. However, in our view, A Farewell to Arms is a tender love story. Now,  letters from him written to Francis Coates, 99 years ago have recently be discovered. The story of the letters, how they came to light, and the relationship between Hemingway and Coates is fascinating in its own right, while the opportunity to observe connections between some of Hemingway’s work and his early life in Oak Park is priceless.

The Story of the Letters

A recent article by Robert K. Elder, “To Have and Have Not” in the Paris Review of May 4, 2017 recounts the story:

“On an afternoon in Boston in 2016, Betsy Fermano walked through an exhibition titled “Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars” at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. Among the artifacts—vintage photos, paintings, and handwritten stories from Hemingway—she spotted a family name in a manuscript on display: ‘Coats.'”
“Frances Elizabeth Coates was Fermano’s grandmother and Hemingway’s high-school classmate. He used a version of her name—“Liz Coates”—in his sexually charged 1923 story “Up in Michigan,” and her name resurfaces elsewhere in his work.”
“That’s because Hemingway was infatuated with her. The two briefly dated, though almost no one, until now, knew of their history. For Fermano, sixty-seven, a retired development executive, it wasn’t a surprise: she has ninety-nine-year-old letters from Hemingway that no one outside the family knows about.”

Hemingway at 19, Part I

“The nineteen-year-old Hemingway remained so enamored of his former classmate that he wrote to his sister Marcelline, asking her to
“Call up Frances Coates and tell her that your brother is at death’s door. And that will she please, no excuses, write to him. Make her repeat the address after so that she will have no alibi. Tell her that I love her or any damn thing.’
The correspondence dates to a time when Hemingway was not yet famous—he had only a handful of short stories to his name.'”

Hemingway at 19, Part II

In Coates’s unpublished memories of the young Hemingway, she wrote that the teenage Hemingway as

“A great, awkward boy falling over his long feet … in life, a disturbing person with very dark hair, very red lips. Very white teeth, very fair skin under which the blood seemed to race, emerging frequently in an all-enveloping blush. What a help his beard, later was to be, protecting and covering this sensitivity. The whole of his face fell apart when he laughed”.In another part of Coat’s writing she describes Hemingway’s personality (“The inferiority complex remained to the end and with it came the braggadocio and the need to become somebody to himself … a quick and deadly jealousy of his own prestige and a constant … and consuming need for applause”).

“Write About What You Know”

“Frances Elizabeth Coates was Hemingway’s high-school classmate. He used a version of her name—“Liz Coates”—in his sexually charged 1923 story “Up in Michigan,” and her name resurfaces elsewhere in his work.” Francis , however, married someone else.
“Two decades later, Hemingway may have aired some of his bitterness in To Have and Have Not. Reading the novel, Frances recognized broad caricatures of herself and John, a Northwestern graduate and successful railroad executive—especially when Hemingway tells of a young man sworn into an elite, Ivy League secret society:
‘The fiancé is a Skull and Bones man, voted most likely to succeed, voted most popular, who still thinks more of others than of himself and would be too good for anyone except a lovely girl like Frances. He is probably a little too good for Frances too, but it will be years before Frances realizes this, perhaps; and she may never realize it, with luck. The type of man who is tapped for Bones is rarely also tapped for bed; but with a lovely girl like Frances intention counts as much as performance.'”

More Below


” In [a letter dated] January of 1927, when Hemingway’s first son, John, was three, and—unbeknownst to Coates—his marriage to his first wife, Hadley, had broken down.
‘I just finished The Sun Also Rises and you are before me so vividly that I must tell you how much I enjoyed the book,” she writes, calling the novel “heartbreaking.” She continues: “The years are making you a strange person—I should so love to see you—I haven’t seen Marce for over a year—but someone said you were returning. I have a ravishingly beautiful daughter to match your son—and I’d so like meeting your nice Hadley … Jack joins me and wanting to see you both.'”

“I’m so glad I married John”

“‘On the front of an envelope containing her photos with Hemingway, Coates wrote: “Ernie Pictures / And 25 years later ooh! Am I glad I married John.’”

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Irving Penn at the Met – You Can See It From Here!

Irving Penn at the Met

“The most comprehensive retrospective to date of the work of the great American photographer Irving Penn (1917–2009), this exhibition marks the centennial of the artist’s birth. Over the course of his nearly 70-year career, Penn mastered a pared-down aesthetic of studio photography that is distinguished for its meticulous attention to composition, nuance, and detail.”

“The exhibition follows the 2015 announcement of the landmark promised gift from The Irving Penn Foundation to The Met of more than 150 photographs by Penn, representing every period of the artist’s dynamic career with the camera.”

“The gift forms the core of the exhibition, which features more than 200 photographs by Penn, including iconic fashion studies of Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, the artist’s wife; exquisite still lifes; Quechua children in Cuzco, Peru; portraits of urban laborers; female nudes; tribesmen in New Guinea; and color flower studies. The artist’s beloved portraits of cultural figures from Truman Capote, Picasso, and Colette to Ingmar Bergman and Issey Miyake are also featured. Rounding out the exhibition are photographs by Penn that entered The Met collection prior to the promised gift.” (metmuseum.org).

Fine Art in the New Media – Can You See It From Here?

This site reviews the use of the New Media by museums and other organizations to see how they meet the particular mission of making art available to everyone, everywhere.

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So while an exhibit, itself, may be “spectacular, ” we look at the question of whether you can see it from “Kansas to Kurdistan, and beyond.” On this, the Met’s presentation is excellent.

   218 Available Artworks

Under the button “Exhibition Objects,” on its website, the Met has made available 218  images from the exhibition, including such iconic images as “Dior Dress (Dorian Leigh), New York“, “The Twelve Most Photographed Models, New York,”, Covers from Vogue, “Cuzco Father and Son with Eggs,Cuzco Woman Looking Down,”, and Portraits, such as “Marlene Dietrich, New York,” Each image can be enlarged.

“Yes!

The answer to our question is “Yes!,” you can see it from “Kansas to Kurdistan, and beyond.” In fact, some may say it’s better than being there – you can look at each artwork as long as you want (and come back to it anytime), you may listen to the complete audio, anytime,  not just when jostling through the crowds, and there are no crowds.

More on Irving Penn

 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Centennial,” an exhibition by artist Irving Penn, from April 24, 2017, through July 30, 2017.

H/T Brian Welter

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Edward Hopper – In His Own Words, “What Is The Meaning Of Your Work?”

April 26, 2017, by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

To: Edward Hopper – “What is the Meaning of Your Work?”

In the video above, published in March 2014 on You Tube, “Edward Hopper discusses the slow development of his iconic images, [as] part of the exhibition ‘Hopper Drawing: A Painter’s Process’ at the Walker Art Center.” Near the end of the video, Hopper is asked about the meaning of his work. It is one of those questions everyone is dying to ask an artist, but rarely does.

Hopper “The Waiting Game.”

The playwright David Mamet, when asked some years ago said, “Once my work is out there, it has a life and meaning all of its own. What I had in mind no longer matters.”  Robert Frost, on the other hand, said that  of his work has been misunderstood, that his work is much darker that popularity described.

Hopper  says, “It’s how the viewer sees the pictures, what he sees in them.” Thus, Hopper, Like Mamet maintains that what is important is what the viewer sees in the work.

How to Describe The Meaning of Hopper’s Work?

One viewer* in the video below, gives great articulation as to how he sees the meaning of Hopper’s work, “Nighthawks.”  How about you?

__________________

* The video is from The Nerdwriter, an excellent site that covers a wide variety of topics: art and culture, philosophical, political, moral, psychological, financial, artistic,  and scientific, that we recommend highly.

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“Whose Afraid of Modern Art?” Art History – The Städel Course on Modern Art

April 19, 2017. The Book and Fine Art in the New Media by Jack Dziamba. New Post Every Wednesday.

The Städel Course On Modern Art

  • “This is the best digital tool that I have ever seen and used. It is a great delight to learn more about art with this course. User of the course.

 

Among the (literally) millions of “free online courses,” this is one of the best – The Städel Museum’s Course On Modern Art.

It creatively and professionally makes use of the the New Media tools to present a program that is informative, thorough, and entertaining.

It has dynamic materials, thus creatively dealing with the problem of the short attention span on the internet, where 90 seconds seems like an eternity.

It is interactive.

There are five modules, which you can watch anytime.

You can proceed at your own pace, the  course will pick up where you left off.

It is unpretentious.

Frankfurt, The Städel Museum website,

“Experience “Art History Online – The Städel Course on Modern Art” – at no cost and exactly when it suits you. Learn about art history and visual studies in a richly varied way as you proceed through the five modules of the course on your computer or tablet at your own pace.

Based on roughly 250 selected works from the collection of Frankfurt’s Städel Museum, the course provides you with multifaceted insights into modern art, from 1750 to the present. The competent and entertaining moderator Sebastian Blomberg, a stage and screen actor, guides you through the course. With a multimedia combination of film, texts, playful learning formats and a comprehensive timeline, you are concisely and clearly presented with expert theoretical knowledge. The sounds of the Berlin musician Boys Noize accompany the learning experience.”

You Can Choose the Depth of Your Studies.

“You can choose the depth of your studies, depending on your prior knowledge, personal preferences and available time. The innovative learning programme encompasses the following five modules, each building upon the one before:

  1. LEARN TO SEE
    WHAT DO WE SEE WHEN WE LOOK AT A PICTURE? LEARN HOW TO ANALYSE A PICTURE’S FORM AND MOTIFS.
  2. DISCOVER HIDDEN INFLUENCES
    INVESTIGATE HOW ART IS IMPACTED BY SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENTS.
  3. EXPLORE POSITIONS
    BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE VARIOUS MANIFESTOS, STYLES AND MOVEMENTS IN MODERN ART
  4. MAKE CONNECTIONS
    ARTWORKS ARE CREATED IN THE CONTEXT OF OTHER WORKS. DISCOVER THE MANY INTERRELATIONSHIPS IN ART.
  5. COLLECTING AND EXHIBITING
    WHAT TASKS DOES A MUSEUM PERFORM? HOW IS ART PRESENTED? EXPLORE THE COMPLEX INTERRELATIONSHIPS IN THE ART WORLD.

Don’t Miss It!

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Children’s Books in the Digital Age

April 12, 2017 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

The Book in the New Media

We have never written before about books for children. Indeed, as has written for Open Culture, “For all of the free literature and essays available online, a surprisingly small amount is geared toward children. Even less is aimed at children who speak foreign languages.” The International Children’s Digital Library Offers Free eBooks for Kids in Over 40 Languages.”

This post will be the first in an ongoing series, As the Purpose of this site is to review Books and Fine Art in the New Media, we will begin with a straight- forward free digital collection.

The International Children’s Digital Library

As Ms. Rix has written in her post on Open Culture, ” The International Children’s Digital Library Offers Free eBooks for Kids in Over 40 Languages,

“The International Children’s Digital Library offers children ages 3-13 free access to the best available children’s literature in more than 40 languages. Librarians find and digitize books published around the world and present them in their original languages.

The site acts as a meta learning tool. It is designed to be easy for children to use by themselves—by simply clicking “Read Books,” a list of favorite titles pops up—but kids can learn how to search too, by their own age, types of characters, genre, book length, language and geographical region.

The homepage features recommended and popular titles, like Tyrone the Horrible, written in Spanish. Where translation rights exist, the library works with volunteer translators to provide additional language versions.”

Toward the bottom of this post is a video on how to use the Library. While, initially, the home page may appear crowded, the Library is easy to use. For the Alice book pictured above,

1) Find the book with the search tool,

2) Click on the book, which will bring up the book with all of its pages displayed in thumbnail,

3) Click on a page to begin reading.

Ms. Rix ‘s Post continues,

“The library is a project of the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab and there is a research component to the project. Working with children in New Zealand, Honduras, Germany, and the United States, researchers are looking at how children perceive other cultures outside their own.

The library’s broader mission is to make it possible for children all over the world to learn to use a library system and read a range of quality literature. The interface aims as much at international children as it does immigrant children in American cities and rural areas.

Books are available for free and without an account. An account, however, allows a child to create their own bookshelf of favorites that can be shared with other users. A guide for teachers includes a training manual and tips for how to use the library to teach creative writing, library search skills and foreign languages.”

 

 

 

 

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