The Famous ArtsWatch Link Post, #6

We had no idea where to start this edition of our Famous Links Post. No idea. So we started with… ourselves!

On Mondays I habitually post at the Arts & Life page at Oregon Public Broadcasting, which maybe we’ve mentioned more than ten times or so. Today was no exception! Our topics were Artists Rep’s “Circle Mirror Transformation” and Chamber Music Northwest’s “Music of 1912,” and it made for a strange but satisfying double bill.

The Obama campaign chose “No Nostalgia” by the Portland band AgesandAges for its campaign music set list, which is a distinction, we suppose, as a sort of alt.anthem. Here’s the first stanza:

When I walk, there will be no
Speculation, no act to follow.
And my words, they will be strong.
Find your way. Feel free to come.

And here’s a recording of the band’s recent appearance on Live Wire! Radio:

Dear Vanessa Veselka and Lidia Yuknavitch, Could some of your female characters cook up a nice pot roast sometime? Something like that question came up in an interview of the two on Believer magazine. h

LIDIA YUKNAVITCH: As it happens, on several occasions. I’ve been advised to employ tropes or devices of “women’s ways of knowing” that have indeed included quilting, weaving, and other forms of the magical/domestic craft-space. I do think there can be something magically subversive about domestic private spaces, but the feminine forms we have inherited from sanctified literature pretty much make me want to punch someone in the face. What’s deemed unsanctified is when women writers select scenes of violence or explicit sexuality to manifest “women’s mysteries,” whatever that is. There’s a great book called Shoot the Women First, which is a collection of interviews with women terrorists and resistance fighters. I wrote a short story called “Blood Opus” based on those interviews, and the story actually made a woman reviewer cry.

From Samuel Beckett's 'Watt' notebook/ Ransom Center,University of Texas

Could Samuel Beckett have written his great novel Watt on a computer? We doubt it, because there’d be no room for doodles, and doodling may have been at the heart of the heart of Beckett’s art!

In support of Oregon Ballet Theatre’s upcoming “Giselle,” Claire Willett has begun a fascinating series on what it means to be Romantic (Era, we mean).

“In art, just as in history, time period designations don’t exist until someone looks back later and names them – just like how everyone who lived through World War I didn’t call it World War I, they called it “The Great War.” It’s the same in the art world. Sometimes our classifications come from the artists (we call painters like Rossetti and Waterhouse “Pre-Raphaelites” because that’s what they called themselves), and sometimes they’re applied later (you try telling a Baroque composer he’s not a “Modern” composer; every period is modern to the people who live in it).”

We absolutely love this clip from the third season of the on-the-road TV series “Route 66,” because it gives us such a great glimpse of Oregon City, circa 1962. (also, the ‘vetter rocks)

Sometimes a writer just lays it all out there about his or her grim course through the writing business, and that’s exactly what Mike Magnuson did in his talk to a Pacific University writing workshop in Seaside, Oregon.

“Okay, other writers. Them. The forty dogs fighting for the one pork chop of university-press publication and its attendant invitations to speak to small crowds at various universities throughout the land. I try to take the moral high ground about other writers during my advancing years. I try, as in all things, to be mellow, to accept others, and to form a reasonable, charitable opinion of them based on their comportment in the world. This should be easy. This should require fewer brains than the Scarecrow had in ‘The Wizard of Oz.'”

Who is the best arts critic writing today? Honestly, I have no idea you’d measure, but for me, Alex Ross is on top, even though I’m not necessarily most interested in his subject, classical music. So why? Because he’s never just about “classical music.” He’s about everything.

“The great poem takes in both the gutter and the stars, to adapt the famous phrase from Oscar Wilde. All this has something to do with why Einstein — an opera built from miscellaneous images, meaningless scraps of language, and jingle-like musical phrases — exerts such incalculable force. Incidentally, Stevens attended the world premiere of Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s “Four Saints in Three Acts,” a crucial predecessor to “Einstein,” perhaps its only predecessor.”

Portland native Heidi Duckler continues to receive rave reviews in the LA Times for her inventive choreography, most recently for her “Cleopatra, CEO.”

In 2008 she invaded West Hollywood with her “Laundromatinee.”

Dear Heidi, please bring “Cleopatra, CEO” to Portland as soon as possible.

This map by PNCA Intermedia instructor Daniel Duford is the thing. Not that you can actually use it to get to Disjecta’s Biennial2012, but sometimes maps are about more than directions!

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