Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Round-Up

The last of the cicadas in Central Park, the first of the goldenrod and asters, air so clear I think I can see the picture on the wall of the apartment over there across the East River... fall is coming...

Random leaves plucked from the air...

* Gary Go released his first album in May in the U.K.-- it's available stateside now. I've been humming "Wonderful" for two days straight...a sweet, gentle reminder that life is, in fact, wonderful: "We are miracles/Wrapped up in chemicals/We are incredible/Don't take it for granted."

*"Textural Rhythms: Constructing the Jazz Tradition -- Contemporary African American Quilts" is at the American Folk Art Museum through October 11. To quote the museum: "The sixty-four textiles....illustrate a broad range of techniques and inspirations and examine the importance of faith in the work of the fifty-five participating artists (including four men). Viewers are able to see, hear, and feel jazz through the quilts on view. Some quiltmakers pay homage to their favorite musicians, others interpret their favorite song; yet another group reflects on the role jazz has played historically in the formation of African American identity."

* Mandala: The Perfect Circle is at the Rubin Museum through January 11, 2010. Per the museum, the exhibit "explores the various manifestations of these objects, simultaneously explaining their symbolism, describing how they fulfill their intended function, and demonstrating their correlation to our physical reality. An important part of the exhibition is the focus on the complex symbolism of the number five, which plays an important role in Tantric Buddhism. This pentarchy is found in the spatial references of the five directions (the four cardinal points and the center), the five elements, the five colors, the five aggregates, the five wisdoms, and the five Transcendent (Tathagata) Buddhas."

* Photographer Richard Barnes is one of those people I wish I had as a neighbor. His first monograph, Animal Logic, was published last week by Princeton Architectural Press. I cannot wait to get it. As the book blurb notes, Barnes "has spent more than ten years documenting the way we assemble, contain, and catalog the natural world. Barnes's behind-the-scenes photographs are haunting reminders that there is nothing natural about a natural history museum. [...] Barnes peels back layers of artifice to reveal the tangle of artistry, craftsmanship, and curatorial decisions inside every lifelike diorama and meticulously arranged glass case."

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