Monday, October 1, 2007

2nd Quadrant 10/08 '07

The Approval Matrix: Week of October 8, 2007

Flowers on Taxis

The Times relates that starting today [September 12, 2007] and extending through December, hand-painted, adhesive, weatherproof images of giant decorative flowers will be applied to the hoods, trunks or roofs of New York City’s yellow taxicabs. Ninety percent of the flowers were painted by children from the city’s public schools and hospitals; a fraction were painted by children in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cleveland and Los Angeles.

The flowers “will soon transform the ubiquitous yellow icon into a mobile artistic canvas,” according to a news release from Portraits of Hope, the nonprofit program that is organizing the effort.

The vast public art project, known as “Garden in Transit,” originated with two brothers, Ed and Bernie Massey, who founded Portraits of Hope in 1995.

The cab owners and drivers do not have to pay for the flower patterns, and participation is voluntary. The vinyl flowers do not damage the cabs and are easily removed.
(Photo courtesty of Pr0-Zak\Flickr)

Columbia's President Lee C. Bollinger

Columbia's President Lee C. Bollinger's said in his introductory remarks at the SIPA-World Leaders Forum at Columbia University with the President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, "Let’s, then, be clear at the beginning, Mr. President you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator."

Ahmadinejad referred to Bollinger's introductory remarks as an, "...insult." (Columbia News)

The full transcript, and video is here.

Paper Monument

n+1, the nerdy-cool literary journal known for its dense, idiosyncratic writing style and well-attended parties, has spawned a sibling - Paper Monument, a journal of contemporary art. Each issue of Paper Monument will combine essays with art commissioned especially for the magazine. The first issue includes criticism on the painters Tacita Dean, Neo Rauch, and Tomma Abts, as well as an essay on art and real estate in New York; it includes portfolios by Jon Pylypchuk, Hilary Harnischfeger, Peter Peri, and Dan Torop. The editors of the magazine, Dushko Petrovich and Roger White, are both painters.

Paper Monument's main innovation is to run commissioned art on its own, without accompanying criticism. And unlike other art magazines, they hope to be supported by subscribers, not advertisers. "Most art magazines are totally overrun by glossy ads, like fashion magazines, and we want to foreground the content," Mr. Petrovich said. (The New York Sun)

The Municipal Art Society, through sponsorship from the Rockefeller Foundation, has launched a multi-faceted project to highlight the relevance of activist and author Jane Jacobs and the urban design principles presented in her classic text, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

The project, titled “Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York,” applies Jane Jacobs’ principles to contemporary New York while seeking to initiate a dialogue concerning the future of the city. “Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York” features an exhibit, on display at the Municipal Art Society from Sept. 25, 2007, through Jan. 5, 2008, along with a series of public programs and events throughout the fall. (StreetsBlog)

Jane Jacobs, OC, O.Ont (May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006) was an American-born Canadian urbanist, writer and activist. She is best known for The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), a powerful critique of the urban renewal policies of the 1950s in the United States. (Wikipedia)

The Times has a slide show of the project here.

Sean McNall's Hamlet

The Times review of The Pearl Theater Company’s “Hamlet” states that the Pearl, a resident repertory company, has stayed true to its mission by casting one of its members, Sean McNall, in the title role. With his pleasant, open face, Mr. McNall seems at first an odd, too-light choice. But he uses his agreeable manner as a weapon that lends force to the character’s quick turns to sarcasm and cruelty and anger.

Perhaps the best thing about his performance is that he makes us listen to Hamlet. The soliloquies come out in a rush, like thoughts being thought, and it’s a pleasure to watch Hamlet’s sharp, improvising mind at work: trying out ideas, discarding them, moving to the next in a flash. Mr. McNall also makes Hamlet’s verbal dexterity vivid (best in the scene with the gravedigger, played by an excellent Robert Hock). This Hamlet really seems, in a lonely way, the smartest man in Denmark.

“Hamlet” continues through Oct. 28 at the Pearl Theater Company, 80 St. Mark’s Place, East Village; (212) 598-9802,

Marcel Marceau 1923-2007

Marcel Marceau, who revived the art of mime and brought poetry to silence, has died, his former assistant said Sunday. He was 84. Marceau died Saturday in Paris, French media reported.

Wearing white face paint, soft shoes and a battered hat topped with a red flower, Marceau, notably through his famed personnage Bip, played the entire range of human emotions onstage for more than 50 years, never uttering a word. Offstage, however, he was famously chatty. "Never get a mime talking. He won't stop," he once said.

A French Jew, Marceau survived the Holocaust -- and also worked with the French Resistance to protect Jewish children.

His biggest inspiration was Charlie Chaplin. Marceau, in turn, inspired countless young performers -- Michael Jackson borrowed his famous "moonwalk" from a Marceau sketch, "Walking Against the Wind." (CNN)

Marcel Marceau

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