The Wider World of Arts

October 12, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Ulalume | 1 Comment |

Florilegium # 1 by Joseph McGlennon

Spring Has Sprung

Yes, okay, we are dubious about photography as fine art.  It is not snobbery exactly, it’s just…well, never mind.  But we like composite work that involves more than a lucky snap from a smart phone, such as the work of Chuck Close  and the pretty featured image by Joseph McGlennon, Florilegium # 1, the recent winner of the Bowness Photography Prize.  We don’t know much about the technicalities of the multi-layered effect, but we know what we like.

The Return

The Varnished Culture has not been assiduous enough to catch the Adelaide Theatre Guild‘s current production, The Return, by Reg Cribb, which has had an enthusiastic reception and excellent reviews (including by Peter Burdon in the Adelaide Advertiser).  Two malcontents have unfortunate interaction with other passengers aboard the last train to Fremantle.  From what we can gather, it sounds like a  cross between that good old SBS series Going Home and Patrick White’s The Night the Prowler.  We suggest you catch it before the run ends this Saturday, 17th October.

"I hate that word 'comeback'! It's 'Return'!"

“I hate that word ‘comeback’! It’s ‘Return’!”

Opera Ga-Ga

New government, new review: the opera companies are badly short of cash and must choose between bold new work and canonical but challenging productions on the one hand, and what former Opera Australia donor Stephen Sasse described in a recent letter to the Australian as “dumbed-down Broadway musicals and brash harbour extravaganzas”  on the other.  And Toby St. George referred the same paper to the hindering trend of “stark, modernistic renditions.  Othello appeared to be on the bridge of Starship Enterprise, Carmen in fascist Italy.”

Yet the logistics of mounting a decent production are formidable and on the plus side, we have had the like of Don Carlos, and The Melbourne Ring (although Mr Sasse was not blown away by that either).  A meeting of the nation’s culture ministers early this October apparently had a bit of blood and pasta on the walls. Everyone says they want to step off the trapeze, but only once the safety net of wads of public cash is shovel-ready. Plus ça change plus c’est la meme chose.

Broad Farce

The Broad, a new Museum of Contemporary Art created by billionaire couple Eli and Edythe Broad, opened in Los Angeles in September 2015.  We have not seen it but we don’t need to.  It contains a large stock of the work of Jeff Koons, including a big blue balloon dog.  We rest our case.

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