Your eyes and ears on the world of art and culture. We remind you that 16 years of back issues of eMusings can be found on our archives page.
Check in to London's Design Museum for 5 stunning exhibits celebrating the excitement of live music. Especially intriguing are the Aphex Collapse album by Weirdcore (it is weird, indeed), and the Got To Keep on installation by Smith & Lyall.
Have you heard of Zaido, the traditional and honored Japanese ritual meant to bring good luck? The ceremony is at least 1300 years old and is known as "the important dance day". These pictures will show you some of the highlights of the ceremony, including the Yatagarasu bird, designated "God of Guidance" and "Incarnation of the Sun" and dancers performing "Daigongen".
In the middle of the Rub' al Khali desert in Abu Dhabi, you will soon find a "mega dune eco-lodge". The new hotel design resulted from an international contest, with first place going to "Heritage Machine" from a group of Italian designers. Be sure to scroll through the images to see both exterior and interior concepts.
The Hirshhorn Museum has announced the purchase of two large outdoor sculptures. Huma Bhabha's "We Come in Peace" is particularly striking. Over 12' tall, the sculpture by the Pakistani-American artist is intended to spark conversations about refugees and immigrants. At another site you can see Bhabha's huge bronze sculpture now showing at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. Listen to the artist as she explains her process.
Are you ready for a transparent tv? The Chinese electronics company Xiaomi is producing one that is see-through, so that the pictures on it seem to be "floating in the air". The technology uses transparent organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) which are self-illuminating and eliminate the necessity for backlighting. The screen measures 55 inches and can display 1.07 billion color combinations.
More on transparency: it is called biogarmentry, and a graduate student at Central Saint Martins in the U.K. has brilliantly applied the concept to a lab-grown dress made from algae extract and silk cocoon protein. The gown is meant to decompose in water within 24 hours. It changes shape in response to humidity and temperature fluctuations, yet in cold winter weather it will stiffen and look more like solid sculpture. Scarlett Yang was inspired to create these garments when faced with the waste created by the fashion industry. Be sure to look at her Virtual Showcase to see the rotating presentation of the garment in motion. Then, click here for more on clothes made from living photosynthetic cells.
His parents named him Hans-Georg Kern. He was expelled from the Academy of Fine and Applied Arts in East Berlin for "sociopolitical immaturity". We know him as Georg Baselitz, and two fine exhibitions of his work are reviewed online. His early work was called savage and obscene: who else painted an erect purple penis? But he continued to shock, with images of sardonic and cynical observation. One critic described his pieces as "the gooey, luscious collapse of form into formlessness" as an abstract protest against the political figurative art demanded by Nazism and Stalinism. A second review, of an exhibition installed in 2016, focuses on sex, death, and aging, with human skins that look like "discarded walnut shells", and bodies that could have been "excavated from a peat bog". Together the two shows illuminate the soul of a major contemporary artist who did not shy away from humanity's shortcomings, indeed drags us willy-nilly into the heart of depravity.
The J. Paul Getty Museum is showing ancient Egyptian Funerary Texts, basically guidebooks for the dead to help in their trip through the netherworld and thus to unite with Osiris, god of the Dead. Included were instructions for solving the challenges encountered by the deceased on their post-life travels, as well as an accounting of the sins committed previously that must be renounced. The spells were designed to be spoken out loud from within the coffin. The funerary religion in Egypt flourished for almost 1500 years. This is the first time the fragile mummy wrappings have been on exhibition. At a second site you can get more information about the history of the period and specific details on the scripts.
Not unrelated to the scripts above is a site illustrating Egyptian Amulets from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Gold jewlery was placed on top of the heart, breast, and neck of the mummy to ensure its passage into eternal life. In the case of Tutankhamun, 143 pieces were found amidst the linen bandages covering the body. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, additionally, is returning a spectacular Coffin of Nedjemankh to Egypt, since the Met discovered that their prized purchase was stolen in 2011 and came with falsified papers.
A series of abstract paintings called "New York or Bust" will be shown at Rehs Contemporary online through September 7th, 2020. The paintings are distinctly high-energy and reveal a number of different influences.
Korean-born Tai Hwa Goh features floral paper sculptures that appear to bloom and then fade over time, evoking not only nature's ephemeral nature but the obsession by humans to control their environment. The "exaggerated unnatural forms" are composed from cut-wax paper, bursting from walls and floors. In the accompanying video, the artist explains her work and its meaning.
Ensemble for These Times is presenting an interview with digital artist Corinne Whitaker (myself) on various topics including the history of digital image-making, the adoption of the alternate identity Digital Giraffe, and the development of the daily digital covers for the giraffe.com website, ordinarily a monthly publication.
The huge sculptures created by Phyllida Barlow are finally getting their due as she represents Britain at the Venice Biennale. Her pieces are known to overwhelm their sites, rather than fit comfortably into them. A friend describes them, saying "she is an architect's bad dream - or perhaps wet dream". With many of the pieces you have to duck under, or through them, revealing the crude insides of glamorous exteriors.
The Guardian newspaper brings us the stunning costumes from Beyonce's "Black is King". The extraordinary talent behind these designs is a joy to behold.
c. Corinne Whitaker 2020