GRACIELA ITURBIDE : “The camera is just a pretext for knowing the world. “


Mexican artist Graciela Iturbide is considered on of the most important and influential Latin American photographers of the past four decades. Born in 1942 in Mexico City to a wealthy, conservative Catholic family, Graciela Iturbide was the eldest of 13 children. Despite her ambitions to be a writer, family and societal pressure persuaded her to marry at the age of 20 and have three children.

In 1969, she decided to enroll at the Centro de Estudios Cinematográficos at the Universidad Nacional Autónama de México to become a film director. When she took a class with master photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo, she began concentrating her interests on photography. Bravo was greatly impressed with Iturbide’s talent and invited her to be his assistant. She worked closely with Bravo from 1970 to 1971 and was deeply influenced by his poetic style, however, Iturbide wanted to focus her efforts on what she described as “photo essays” as opposed to individual photographs as works of art. Continue reading GRACIELA ITURBIDE : “The camera is just a pretext for knowing the world. “


Kerry James Marshall challenges the marginalization of African-Americans through his formally rigorous paintings, drawings, videos, and installations, whose central protagonists are always, in his words, “unequivocally, emphatically black.” As he describes, his work is rooted in his life experience: “You can’t be born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1955 and grow up in South Central [Los Angeles] near the Black Panthers headquarters, and not feel like you’ve got some kind of social responsibility. You can’t move to Watts in 1963 and not speak about it.” Marshall’s erudite knowledge of art history and black folk art structures his compositions; he mines black culture and stereotypes for his unflinching subject matter. In Black Star (2011), a nude black woman bursts through a Frank Stella-like canvas, commanding attention and daring viewers to consider how she has been (and how she should be) seen and portrayed. –


American, b. 1955, Birmingham, Alabama, based in Chicago, Illinois


WHAT IS AN EXISTENTIAL CRISIS?, The School of Life, 5 min.

Another great video from the folks at The School Of Life, who have a knack for reducing monumental questions and fields of study to 5 minute video explanations.

In this video, the characteristics and underpinnings of what some schools of philosophy refer to as an “Existential Crisis” are discussed.  This clip is as enjoyable as it is relevant, recommended!

CORNELIUS CARDEW :: TREATISE, performed by the Cardew Trio, maskfest, 1.12.2010

Treatise is a musical composition by British composer Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981). Treatise is a graphic musical score comprising 193 pages of lines, symbols, and various geometric or abstract shapes that eschew conventional musical notation. Implicit in the title is a reference to the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, which was of particular inspiration to Cardew in composing the work. The score neither contains nor is accompanied by any explicit instruction to the performers in how to perform the work. Cardew worked on the composition from 1963 to 1967. Continue reading CORNELIUS CARDEW :: TREATISE, performed by the Cardew Trio, maskfest, 1.12.2010

CONOR OBERST :: TACHYCARDIA, from the new album, Ruminations


Ruminations is a record like none other in Conor Oberst’s catalog, stunning for how utterly alone he sounds.

Conor Oberst’s music has never sounded lonely. Yes, he’s done catatonically despondent, inconsolable, dejected, maniacal—it’s a lot to handle, and yet he’s always been surrounded by friends both local and legendary who believe in his vision, underscoring his status as one of the 21st century’s most mercurial and charismatic songwriters. Arriving almost a month after a comprehensive Bright Eyes boxed set that feels like a headstone for the band, Ruminations is a record like none other in Oberst’s catalog—stunning for how utterly alone he sounds. This is obvious in a technical sense, as there are no goddamn timpani rolls, no boys to keep strummin’ those guitars, just Oberst on harmonica, acoustic and piano with ten songs written during an Omaha winter and recorded in 48 hours. Plenty of folk artists make records like that. But there’s also a loneliness in Ruminations that’s far rare and disturbing—the loneliness one feels after taking stock and wondering if they have a friend left in the world.

Continue reading CONOR OBERST :: TACHYCARDIA, from the new album, Ruminations


Harold Krisel was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1920. He studied architecture in Chicago at the New Bauhaus from 1946-1949 on the G.I. Bill after he was discharged from the army where he served from 1942-1945. Just 26 at the time he had been interested in art since studying in New York in the 1930s with Carl Holty and Harry Holtzman. He became a member of American Abstract Artists in 1946, and retained this membership for the duration of his life. In 1942 he married Rose Breuer and the couple had three daughters.Krisel completed his graduate studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1952.

His many influences there helped direct his course of study and his career path. Founder Lazlo-Nagy had just stepped down and the new director, Serge Chermayeff, recognized something special in this new student and committed to his education as an architect. Krises met famed artist Mondrian and developed friendships with Gyorgy Kepes, who founded the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT; Martin Rosenzweig, noted graphic designer; and Harold Cohen the distinguished designer and architect.


Arvo Pärt :: Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten, BBC Orchestra, Edward Gardner, conductor, 2010

Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten is a short canon in A minor, written in 1977 by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, for string orchestra and bell. The work is an early example of Pärt’s tintinnabuli style, which he based on his reactions to early chant music. Its appeal is often ascribed to its relative simplicity; a single melodic motif dominates and it both begins and ends with scored silence. However, as the critic Ivan Hewett observes, while it “may be simple in concept…the concept produces a tangle of lines which is hard for the ear to unravel. And even where the music really is simple in its audible features, the expressive import of those features is anything but.” A typical performance lasts about six and a half minutes. Continue reading Arvo Pärt :: Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten, BBC Orchestra, Edward Gardner, conductor, 2010