The Week in Culture, August 11- August 18
Burn down the Kremlin
In spite of protests by artists, activists and political leaders around the globe, Pussy Riot has been handed a two-year sentence for performing a political protest from the altar of Moscow's decidedly pro-Putin Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Not to worry, there are always appeals. Although it is six years until Putin's next election.
In an inadvertent yet eerie bit of symmetry, the politically incorrect Jake and Dinos Chapman raised hackles in Blackpool this week with an Adolf Hitler feature in their miniature golf installation at the Grundy Art Gallery. Of course, they were not protesting David Cameron.
On a less political note - unless you consider the art world political -The Victoria and Albert Museum is not only beating the controversial LA MOCA Fire in the Disco show to the punch with its inclusion of John Travolta's Saturday Night Fever suit in their autumn Hollywood Costume show, it has also staked out Glam and Punk as well. They've just announced an upcoming David Bowie show, which promises an alternate picture of the moment when the battle lines between rock and disco were drawn.
Wait, one more UK item. The Olympic closing ceremonies did nothing to rinse the taste of the slightly tawdry opening event away. Nothing, of course, except replace it with a monumentally snide spin-art Union Jack by Damien Hirst.
If there is an American counterweight to that hollow bit of art world stagecraft, it might come in the form of the torrents of ink spilt over the Gallery Girls debut this week. All disingenuous agonizing over the show's veracity aside, the obvious question is why should we care about this particular set of Mean Girls? Well, why wouldn't we? It's a story about social mobility, which boyfriend makes a better accessory, and who is closer to the power and the money. Finally, someone's figured out how to sell the art world outside of Manhattan.
Or maybe the analogy is in the James Franco hunt for Lindsay Lohan look-a-likes for an upcoming video project. The casting call asks for actors who are 13, 21, 30, 45 and 60. As in The Curious Case of the Fallen Child Star? Wait, there's a twist. He's looking to find his own doubles as well.
And finally, we get why Shepard Fairey is pillaging early 20th century agitprop for leitmotifs. Question is, why is Neil Young encouraging it? The two have teamed up to create a portfolio of prints that illustrate every song on the new Crazy Horse album, Americana. So pop sedition is all we have left?
Which circles us back to this week's question. What is freedom, anyway?
Rock on, Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina and Samutsevich.
|Video: Pussy Riot verdict read, two years in jail for punk rockers|
Culture News By J.E. Reich
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