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  • Deft in Venice - What Does It Mean to Represent the U.S. at the Biennale?

    Article

    Deft in Venice - What Does It Mean to Represent the U.S. at the Biennale?

    Like the ghost of Othello hovering overhead, a dazzling chandelier of jet-black, hand-blown glass fills the rotunda of the United States pavilion for Fred Wilson's installation, Speak of Me as I Am, at the 50th Venice Biennale (which opened to the pu...

    by Barbara Pollack on June 17, 2003
  • Social Studies - A City Streetscape, a Friendly Struggle, and a Spanish  Community

    Article

    Social Studies - A City Streetscape, a Friendly Struggle, and a Spanish Community

    For reasons I won't go into, I'm sworn not to reveal the locale of SX Street, Magnetic Laboratorium's "interdisciplinary event." Suffice it to say that I enter the inconspicuous door of a Lower East Side loft building and take a seat in front of a la...

    by Deborah Jowitt on June 17, 2003
  • Haunted By Bergman - A Great Director Makes an Old Play Walk Again

    Article

    Haunted By Bergman - A Great Director Makes an Old Play Walk Again

    Naked we come into this world, and naked Oswald Alving leaves it in Ingmar Bergman's production of Ghosts. That this is Bergman's farewell production, his last work for stage or screen, is an adult sadness: The man is 85; he has earned the right to d...

    by Michael Feingold on June 17, 2003
  • Article

    Size Matters

    Classical ballet, with its appetite for space and grandeur, calls for opera-house scale. Does that make the concept of chamber ballet a contradiction in terms? Two mini-troupes at the Kaye Playhouse in May argued persuasively that intimacy has its ow...

    by Tobi Tobias on June 17, 2003
  • Theater

    Article

    Theater

    At the end of Keith Reddin's Can't Let Go, you're left wondering: Did the playwright start with the funny lip-synch routines, then write inane dialogue to string them together? Or did he insert the music bits to rescue his romantic comedy from its br...

    on June 17, 2003
  • Crime and Punishment - Taryn Simon Struggles With 'The Innocents'

    Article

    Crime and Punishment - Taryn Simon Struggles With 'The Innocents'

    In a sense, Taryn Simon's photographs of "The Innocents," 44 men and one woman who were convicted and jailed for crimes they did not commit, are beyond criticism. Although they're considerably less interesting and less inventive than the fashion and ...

    by Vince Aletti on June 10, 2003
  • Heel Thyself - Saving Souls Through Fashion

    Article

    Heel Thyself - Saving Souls Through Fashion

    First there was consciousness-raising, when women advocated group conversation as the key to finding ourselves. That idea dissolved into confession culturetherapy as a spectator sport, with televisual enablers like Oprah and Sally Jesse egging us on...

    by Joy Press on June 10, 2003
  • North to the Avant-Garde - The Festival de Théâtre des Amériques in Montreal

    Article

    North to the Avant-Garde - The Festival de Thtre des Amriques in Montreal

    MONTREALA stolid North American city with a Gallic soul, Montreal enjoys its quiet reserve as much as its wildnessa combination that makes it one of the world's most popular cities for conventions and arts festivals. Apparently, the bare-all stripp...

    by Charles McNulty on June 10, 2003
  • Points of View - Turmoil on Plazas, in Psyches, and in Your Lap

    Article

    Points of View - Turmoil on Plazas, in Psyches, and in Your Lap

    What perceptual habits and inner turbulence affect our vision of one another? The brilliant, disturbing just two dancers, created and performed by John Jasperse and Juliette Mapp at Dance Theater Workshop last week, embroils the audience in these que...

    by Deborah Jowitt on June 10, 2003
  • Article

    Common Ground

    Since he relocated to New York three years ago, the German-born Johannes Wieland (Danspace Project, May) has developed a singular, striking body of work. Concise and abstract, though hinting at mood, situation, and relationships, his dances are visua...

    by Tobi Tobias on June 10, 2003
  • Pleased to Meat Me - Matthew Derby's Memories of Love

    Article

    Pleased to Meat Me - Matthew Derby's Memories of Love

    Like H.G. Wells's The Shape of Things to Come, Matthew Derby's wondrous debut collection of stories, Super Flat Times, imagines a history of the future. Wells's speculative treatisepublished in 1933 and narrated from the vantage of 2106 (the last re...

    by Dennis Lim on June 10, 2003
  • Article

    Avenging Angel - Frank Owen's Party Line

    Only a phalanx of cross-dressing divas at a Junior Vasquez birthday party could match the drama in Frank Owen's Clublandand then, only if there weren't enough (or far too many) drugs for the clamoring queens. The book revisits the early-'90s heyday ...

    by Bill Werde on June 10, 2003
  • Playing Politics - Fugard Builds an Allegory; Feiffer Deconstructs the Old Left

    Article

    Playing Politics - Fugard Builds an Allegory; Feiffer Deconstructs the Old Left

    Politics is easy, if you're not holding or running for office: You simply say what you believe, and act accordingly. The two hard parts are knowing what you believe and choosing the action that will best further your belief. Similar problemsinner do...

    by Michael Feingold on June 10, 2003
  • Article

    Bicentennial Man - How Emerson Can Change Your Life

    If the 200th anniversary of Ralph Waldo Emerson's birth (he was born May 25, 1803) is to prompt anything more than the sort of hollow obeisance that Emerson himself hated, it should offer the opportunity for new readers to discover his essential stra...

    by B. Kite on June 10, 2003
  • The Complications - Joseph McElroy's Uncompromising Positions

    Article

    The Complications - Joseph McElroy's Uncompromising Positions

    Last fall in The New Yorker, Jonathan Franzen published an essay called "Mr. Difficult," which was ostensibly about two William Gaddis reissues but more broadly concerned with "the problem of hard-to-read books." He cited Gaddis and 12 other writers ...

    by Andrew Essex on June 3, 2003
  • Stranger on a Train - How Do You Solve a Problem Like Marías?

    Article

    Stranger on a Train - How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maras?

    While everyone's busy making a fuss about figments of the media imagination named "Stephen Glass" and "Jayson Blair," a true genius of literary subterfuge sends another book into the world unnoticed. Javier Maras is one of Spain's most brilliant co...

    by Joy Press on June 3, 2003
  • Article

    Compound Interest - Travis Jeppesen's Alien Nation

    Infused with schizophrenic logic and a gleefully unique syntax, Travis Jeppesen's debut novel, Victims, reads like a fictional embodiment of outsider art. Its bosky surrealism and anti-authoritarian aura suggest Henry Darger's Realms of the Unreal, a...

    by Michael Miller on June 3, 2003
  • Burn, Baby, Burn - Ready or Not, Two Young Artists Make Their Debut

    Article

    Burn, Baby, Burn - Ready or Not, Two Young Artists Make Their Debut

    Here are two uneven but auspicious debuts. One is filled with primitivistic fervor, decorative flourish, pent-up emotion, and a trace of Jean-Michel Basquiat's rawness; the other is alive with color, surface tension, and craftiness. Both have squirre...

    by Jerry Saltz on June 3, 2003
  • Light on the Subject - African American Artists Engage a World of Styles, All to Live Music

    Article

    Light on the Subject - African American Artists Engage a World of Styles, All to Live Music

    From Bahia to Harlem, dance artists of African descent have made magic for generations. Various avatars brought diverse forms to town last month, giving the lie to complaints that dance can't be political, does not protest, is a frivolous pastime in ...

    by Elizabeth Zimmer on June 3, 2003
  • Article

    Dance

    Alejandra Martorell's m.o. (modus operandi) (P.S.122, May), performed with Savitri Durkee and Sigal Bergman, began before the audience took seats, as if the three women had always lived there. Dancers quietly rounded columns and drifted along invisib...

    on June 3, 2003
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