Mariane Ibrahim Gallery Expands To Mexico City
“Mariane Ibrahim, a closely watched dealer whose namesake gallery has locations in Chicago and Paris, will add a third exhibition space to her portfolio. Next February, the gallery will open in Mexico City, timed to the country’s main art fair Zona Maco,” reports ARTnews. “The two-level space, measuring over 10,000 square feet, will be located… in a nineteenth-century building in the city’s Cuauhtémoc neighborhood, not far from San Rafael and Roma.” The “space has an architectural resonance with the Paris space, as it is modeled after that city’s iconic Hausmann style.” Ibrahim emails the publication, “We are going to where the future is, not where the present moment is. Mexico City is, for us, the future of the space, and a place we have had a strong connection with, prior to any market consideration.”
Times Measures Nick Cave Exhibition
The New York Times’ review, by Max Lakin, of Nick Cave’s “Forothermore,” “an alternatingly beautiful and deeply mournful survey at the Guggenheim,” works outward from soundsuits: A version from 2011 “illustrates how the soundsuits evolved since, into nearly autonomous beings. A hulking exoskeleton of clipped twigs sheathed onto a metal armature, it appears human, but only just. Its shoulders slumped, the weight of its outsize head making it appear like a Maurice Sendak creature—a wild thing, terrifying and melancholic. It stands like a golem, an entity, in the Jewish tradition, sculpted from earth and animated as the protector of a persecuted community. Cave has made several twig versions, but these are outliers; the soundsuits tend to be elaborately embellished, abandoning organic material for consumer products, laden with scaffoldings of lost toys or resplendent with beadwork, buttons and artificial flowers. Unlike that first suit, which aimed to camouflage a wearer like a piece of tactical gear, Cave’s soundsuits became as inconspicuous as a brass band at a monastery. They reach for magisterial levels of flamboyance, sprouting constellations of classroom globes or coated with shaggy, lurid hair, like a feral Muppet who’s gotten into a cache of Manic Panic… They’re also of a piece with his larger, abiding project, which centers on the Black American body and the ways in which it is devalued and brutalized.”
Can Museums Predict Who Might Deface Art?
“Few museums appear to have taken bold steps to protect their collections. Norway’s National Museum and the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, Germany, have, like the Leopold Museum, banned visitors from taking bags or jackets into their exhibition halls,” writes the New York Times. “In London, visitors may still carry bags around museums including the National Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern and the British Museum. All four inspect bags at their entrances, but the checks are often cursory.” Hans-Peter Wipplinger, the director of Vienna’s Leopold Museum “said there was little that a bag check could achieve, anyway, since items like tubes of glue were easy to conceal. ‘If a person wants to attack an art piece, they will find a way’… There was ‘no silver bullet’ for dealing with the protests,” an insurer said. “Museum administrators just had to hope the protesters remained ‘genteel, middle-class liberals’ who took steps to avoid permanent damage.”
ARTnews reports on Italy planning to cover art and boost admission prices: Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano speaks of covering an unspecified number of paintings with glass. “Considering the enormous heritage to be protected, the intervention will represent a considerable cost for the coffers of the ministry and of the entire nation. Unfortunately, I can only foresee an increase in the cost of the entrance ticket.” In April, The Observer’s Dorian Lynskey went behind the scenes with activists Just Stop Oil in the lead-up to a protest action: “It is a surreal and disturbing experience to sit in a hall in a seaside town on a quiet Monday evening and listen to someone tell you that human civilization is destined to collapse within your lifetime and not be able to say with any confidence that he is wrong.”
Floating Wetlands Clean Up Urban Waters
“Five small islands roughly the size of backyard swimming pools float next to the concrete riverbank of Bubbly Creek, a stretch of the Chicago River named for the gas that once rose to the surface after stockyards dumped animal waste and byproducts into the waterway. Clumps of short, native grasses and plants, including sedges, swamp milkweed, and queen of the prairie, rise from a gravel-like material spread across each artificial island’s surface. A few rectangles cut from their middles hold bottomless baskets, structures that will, project designers hope, provide an attachment surface for freshwater mussels that once flourished in the river,” reports Susan Cosier at Yale Environment 360. “Three thousand square feet in total, these artificial wetlands are part of an effort to clean up a portion of a river that has long served the interests of industry. This floating wetland project is one of many proliferating around the world as cities increasingly look to green infrastructure to address toxic legacies… Researchers are conducting experiments in Boston and Baltimore as well as in Chicago, each team sharing best practices with the other to maximize the ecological benefits of their systems.”
Chicago’s Oldest House Renamed And Renewed
“The new title, Clarke-Ford Home, corrects the record to show a Black religious leader’s critical involvement in saving and preserving the city’s oldest home,” writes the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board. “The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events… will hire a curator and create new programming for the Clarke-Ford House, aimed at telling the home’s complete history… A million dollars in rehabilitation work is also planned for the house.”
WWD Inspects New Studio Gang Building: New York’s Natural History Museum
The huge new building created by Studio Gang, the $431-million-budgeted Gilder Center, “is rooted in fluidity and connectivity, as it offers thirty connections to ten existing buildings at the Natural History Museum [which is] striving to recoup pre-pandemic annual attendance levels of five million visitors,” reports WWD. “Architecture is about getting people out from behind their screens, and [having them] go out to actually feel things. That’s something that only a physical space can actually do. I always think that architecture sets up certain behaviors whether you have communications or solitary behavior,” Gang says. “This is meant to spark curiosity, get people to talk about what they’re seeing and create social behavior. Ultimately, the real goal of it is to get people to fall in love with nature again and want to save nature and understand it. It is what we need the most right now. That and we need dialogue to engage people.”
Red Line Extension: Trib, Yea; Crain’s, Nay
“Making the CTA safe and reliable is an urgent goal. The Red Line extension is just as vital,” writes the Tribune editorial board. “For the city to work, the CTA has to work. The agency’s rail lines and bus routes constitute… the city’s circulatory system. Commutes, commerce and tourism all suffer when the CTA underperforms… But the CTA and City Hall must think about the long term as well. And part of that conversation must include the Red Line extension. South Siders who live in the mostly Black neighborhoods of Pullman, Riverdale, Roseland and Washington Heights know precisely what the extension means for them, and for the city. Getting to their jobs is often a time-consuming crosstown trek that requires one or more bus transfers. These neighborhoods are isolated from the rest of the city, and as a result, restaurants, retailers and other businesses don’t see them as new, viable markets. Lack of access to mass transit perpetuates the cycle of disinvestment.”
Ed Zotti at Crain’s: “The Red Line extension costs too much and does too little. At $3.6 billion, the CTA Red Line extension to 130th Street will be, on a cost-per-ride basis, one of the most expensive rail transit projects in the world.” Predictions assume that “the Red Line extension will achieve the CTA’s projected daily ridership of 41,500. But it probably won’t. Chicago transit experts I spoke to think the Red Line extension may not generate much new ridership at all. The CTA’s… alternative analysis indicated Chicago would have 3.2 million people by 2030 and the Red Line extension’s service area would grow, as well. Neither is likely.”
Petitioning For Reopened Racine Green Line Station
“In January 1994, the Green Line was shut down for an extensive rebuild. Two years later, other stations reopened, but the Racine stop did not,” reports the Sun-Times. “After years of talks with city and federal officials, Englewood organizers are circulating a petition, hoping to put a referendum on the ballot for the February 28 election, asking residents if they want the station reopened… The CTA says reopening the Englewood Green Line at Racine Avenue would cost about $100 million.”
Lincoln Defaced In Edgewater
“A statue of young Abraham Lincoln was splashed with red paint on Thanksgiving Day with the words ‘COLONIZER’ and ‘LAND BACK!’ written below it” in Edgewater, reports the Tribune. “Dakota 38” was also written, an “apparent reference to thirty-eight Dakota Sioux who were executed on Lincoln’s order following the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux Uprising.”
DINING & DRINKING
Elizabeth Closes December 22; Atelier Opens In January
“We have some bittersweet news,” Tim Lacey of fine-dining farm-to-table Elizabeth Restaurant relays. “Chef Jones is moving on from Elizabeth to pursue other projects. Chef Regan left behind a pretty big legacy and there aren’t many people who could have replaced her as successfully as Chef Jones has. We’ve been very lucky to have him for the last couple of years. Sadly, since Ian is leaving, it feels like the time has come to close out this chapter. To that end, Elizabeth’s last night of service will be December 22. I think I can speak for both Chefs Regan and Jones and say that we’re all proud of the restaurant we’ve made over the last ten years. I, for one, am honored to have been a part of it. I think I can also speak for them and thank you all from the very bottom of our hearts for all of the support over the years.” The rest of the team will stay intact and the space will house a new restaurant; they’re “interviewing people for the position of Executive Chef. We’ll be sticking with the tasting menu format and are looking for a chef who can uphold the standards and quality set by Chefs Regan and Jones and do justice to their legacies. We will reopen in January with a new Executive Chef, a new look and name.” Reservations for the final seatings of Elizabeth’s “hyper-seasonal tasting menu” are here.
GT Fish & Oyster Closing After Twelve Years
After a dozen years, Boka Restaurant Group will close its River North seafood restaurant fronted by chef Giuseppe Tentori on New Year’s Eve, reports Eater Chicago. Some of the closed restaurant’s menu items will be served at GT Prime Steakhouse.
Old Crow Smokehouse Becomes Santa’s Workshop
Wrigleyville barbecue spot Old Crow Smokehouse will be Santa’s Workshop through the holiday season. Giant Christmas balls, white lights and Christmas trees set a holiday scene, with the menu accessing comfort food like Old Crow Pot Pie, Short Rib Sandwich, Christmas Ham Sandwich and Sugar Cookies, with specialty cocktails including the Jack Frost, with Patron Blanco, Blue Curacao, lime and agave; the nostalgic Dirty Chocolate Milk, with eggnog, Amaretto and Crème de Cacao in a Mason jar; and the Old Crow version of Harry Potter’s Butterbeer, with vanilla vodka, caramel syrup and cream soda. More here.
FILM & TELEVISION
“Studs Terkel’s Chicago” Surfaces
“Cities,” Canadian Broadcasting broadcaster John McGreevy’s 1979-80 documentary series which featured cultural figures marking their favorite turf, including John Huston on Dublin, Melina Mercouri on Athens and Glenn Gould on Toronto, resurfaced on Twitter, with YouTube links to some of the episodes, including “Studs Terkel’s Chicago,” which is very, very good. Studs toddles the town, in an exceptionally vivacious mood, even for the conversational omnivore he was. “Studs Terkel’s Chicago” is here.
Oklahoma Library Withdraws 3,000 Graphic Novels After One Complaint
“A parent in Owasso, Oklahoma is ‘pretty happy’ with his daughter’s school district’s decision to recall upwards of 3,000 graphic novels from its library system after taking issue with one title his daughter checked out from the school library over the summer,” reports Motherboard. “It led to the Owasso School Board recently approving a policy which requires every page of every graphic novel in the library to be screened for ‘potential material involving sexually explicit content and extreme vulgarity.’ … All graphic novels in the school library’s collection were recalled after [a parent] took issue with the school letting his teenage daughter borrow ‘Blankets,’ an autobiographical coming-of-age story by Craig Thompson about questioning blind faith in a fundamentalist Christian household.”
The Onion Brick-And-Mortars Merch
The Onion is collaborating with T-shirt brand Raygun to merchandise Onion product at the company’s eight Midwest stores, the first time the publication has sold its products at a brick-and-mortar store. “A headline like ‘Rural Nebraskans Not Sure They Could Handle Frantic Pace of Omaha’ will be for sale in Omaha. A headline like ‘Iowa Leaves Big Saran-Wrapped Bowl of Potato Salad at Illinois Border After Making Too Much’ will be for sale in both Iowa and Illinois.” More offerings here.
Pioneering DJ Jesse Saunders Suffers Stroke
Jesse Saunders, one of the first wave of DJs and producers in Chicago who created the sound later to be known as House, suffered a stroke while in Las Vegas, Chosen Few DJs relays on their Instagram account. “We have to sadly share some difficult news and ask for your prayers and support. Our brother Jesse Saunders has suffered a major stroke and is currently hospitalized in the Las Vegas area. Jesse will likely be facing a long and difficult rehab, and will need the love and support of the house music community to which he has given much. Please keep Jesse in your prayers.”
Detroit Opera Names Music Director
Detroit Opera announced Roberto Kalb as its new music director, reports CBS News Detroit. Kalb’s role runs through the end of the 2025-26 season. “Kalb will work alongside artistic director Yuval Sharon and associate artistic director Christine Goerke to manage the opera’s musical performances. He will also conduct one production per season, beginning in fall 2023.”
Avowed Presidential Aspirant Ye Brings Holocaust Denier To Dine With Trump At Mar-A-Lago
More Daily Ye alongside his claims of a forthcoming “YE24” campaign for the presidency: “Former President Donald Trump had dinner Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago estate with white nationalist Nick Fuentes and rapper Kanye West,” reports CBS News. A statement attributed to Trump says, “‘Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago. Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.'” (The ADL offers background on the twenty-four-year-old Charlottesville marcher, January 6 attendee and friend-of-Ye Fuentes; the Southern Poverty Law Center has a dossier as well here.) CBS: “West, who has said he is running for president in 2024, tweeted a video… saying he had a ‘debrief’ with Trump, and he asked Trump to be his running mate.” West said Trump “basically started screaming at me, telling me I was gonna lose… He basically gives me this would be ‘mob-esque’ kinda story, talking to some kid from the southside of Chicago, trying to sound ‘mobby’ or whatever.”
Fifth Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival Is Coming
The Fifth Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival has announced its line-up of contemporary puppet acts and artists from Chicago and across the country will take place January 18-29, 2023. Founded to establish Chicago as a center for the advancement of the art of puppetry, the citywide Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival will showcase an eclectic array of puppet styles, at venues large and small. The twelve-day event also brings puppet acts and artists from ten countries, including Brazil, Canada, Czechia, Finland, France, Norway, Japan, South Africa, Spain and, from the U.S., New York, Boston and Chicago. Details here.
TCG Sees Good And Bad In The State Of Stage
The Theatre Communications Group’s latest report on the state of stage is not rosy, reports Deanna Isaacs at the Reader. “The report, which compares results over a five-year period, tracks the startling COVID-era jolts the theaters experienced. Average income from single ticket sales, for example, was ninety-three percent lower in fiscal 2021 than in 2017. And subscription income took an eighty-three percent dive. It was a crash.” Goodman Theatre executive director Roche Schulfer tells Isaacs, “I think there are going to be major performing arts organizations around the country that are going to face real crises in the next forty-eight months. Groups like Arts Alliance Illinois and TCG are trying to build on what happened during the pandemic, which was an awareness of the importance of the arts to the overall economy. There’s an effort to build on that through the National Endowment for the Arts or other federal programs. We’ll see if that happens.”
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