Perish Vandals

March 11, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Ulalume |

Lazlo Toth (He's not Jesus)

Art vandals can expect no clemency TVC charges the following with crimes against art, and adopting the jurisprudence of Ignatius J Reilly (aka Zorro) from A Confederacy of Dunces, sentences them to be hanged by their undeveloped testicles till dead (or if dead, to plough their graves and build thereon a new Bedlam). In no particular order: 1. Lazlo Toth (who in 1972, aged 33, took a geological hammer to Michelangelo‘s Pietá, shouting “I am Jesus Christ – risen from the dead.”) Lou Reed sang in his song I Believe – “being sick is no excuse…”. 2. Islamic State (for the wilful…

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Munch more than a Scream

February 10, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Ulalume |

Oslo boy Edvard Munch (12/12/1863 to 23/1/1944) got a retrospective a year and a bit ago to mark his 150th birthday (and the Munch Museum’s 50th).   The visual strut of an angst-ridden tripod of tortured genius (with Ibsen and Strindberg), his paintings prefigured Freudian dream analysis (e.g. “Despair”, “Anguish”, “Night in Saint-Cloud”, “The Sick Child”, “Separation” and “The Weeping Nude”, which last was completed about the time of his nervous breakdown).

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Andrei Rublev

February 3, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Drama Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(Dir. Andrei Tarkovsky) (1966) The great painter of iconography in medieval Russia is given a splendid, challenging (and long) tribute in this startling chain of magnificently filmed events, the mud and the blood and the tears, the acts of ruin and of creation making a kind of gritty surrealism over seven loosely connected episodes, the kind of picture Dostoevsky might make.  Patience is repaid with interest.

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Ultra-kitsch

January 24, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, MUSIC, Opera, Ulalume |

O tempora, o mores! Tosca’s taking up with fascists in the updated OA production (‘don’t cry for me, Mussolini, the truth is you can’t spoil Tosca…’).   Fondation Louis Vuitton opened in Paris last October, described by Jonathan Meades in the Spectator (Xmas 14) as “yet another of Frank Gehry’s exercises in outsize origami.”  Yet it would be hard to match, for sheer ugliness, the Centre Georges Pompidou. [Update note: The Times reports (September, 2017) that Richard Rogers, the man responsible for the Pompidou Centre, has criticized interventions by Prince Charles on additions to historic public buildings, calling the Prince “architecturally ignorant…[viewing…

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Dumbing Down Terracini

January 13, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, MUSIC, Opera, THEATRE, Ulalume |

Sydney Opera House (photo by Diliff)

Every artist has occasion to groan about critics.  Often it can amount to, in Verdi’s phrase, ‘stupid criticism, even stupider praise’, or argumentum ad hominem.  As Peter Craven observed in last weekend’s The Australian, much online content falls into these categories but in the current context, the artistic director of Opera Australia has taken the bait and been hooked like a bullfrog.  Diana Simmonds reports on her site Stage Noise that she was informed:      “In response to some of your recent writing about the company, Lyndon [Terracini] asked that you be removed from the media list.”   So what was Simmonds’…

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