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Thinking About Van Gogh Along The Seine
Of “Van Gogh and the Avant-Garde: The Modern Landscape,” at the Art Institute until September 4, Martin Bailey writes at the Art Newspaper: “Van Gogh is the star of the show, but he will be exhibited alongside four of his avant-garde colleagues: Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Emile Bernard and Charles Angrand. Although they essentially worked as individuals, not as a coherent group, all five artists chose to paint in the same area in the northwest outskirts of Paris, around the suburb of Asnières (and nearby Courbevoie and Clichy) on the River Seine. What unified them was their search for new, modern painting styles. While working differently, all were determined to break with tradition. The show, curated by Jacquelyn Coutré, includes twenty-four Van Gogh paintings and five drawings, along with over fifty works by the other artists.”
The Mart Renovates And Innovates
“In Summer 2023, THE MART will welcome a suite of world-class tenant amenities, plus food and beverage retailers, that promote an integration of work, life, and wellness, as well as revitalizations to the South Lobby and River Park, one of the few green spaces open to the public on Chicago riverfront,” they advise. Spaces include “a reimagination of THE MART’s River Park public space, with a plaza for pedestrian traffic and gathering, a lush central lawn, al fresco seating activated by new food and beverage offerings, and a localized approach to landscaping, conceived by landscape architects Hoerr Schaudt.”
“Hector Guimard: Art Nouveau to Modernism” At Driehaus
“Hector Guimard: Art Nouveau to Modernism,” opening June 22 at the Driehaus Museum, is the first major exhibition to examine the French architect and designer’s work in depth in more than half-a-century and brings significant new research—along with more than a hundred objects—to the public. “Guimard’s role in the Art Nouveau movement is well-known, particularly through his beautifully designed everyday objects and his instantly recognizable metalwork for the Paris Metro. Less well-known are Guimard’s innovations in the use of mass-production processes, his creative branding to promote his work—and the critical but often unseen role that his wife, Adeline Oppenheim Guimard, played in the development and deployment of his ideas.” More here.
Hundred-Year Joliet Water Diversion Deal “Offers Stark Warning For Great Lakes Compact”
“Late last month, the city of Chicago trumpeted a $1 billion, one-hundred-year deal with the Illinois city of Joliet to divert treated drinking water from Lake Michigan, starting in 2030, through pipes to be built by Joliet and its surrounding communities,” editorializes the Plain Dealer. “But how and why Illinois can divert that much water inland underscores risky concessions the other seven Great Lakes states had to make when they negotiated the 2008 Great Lakes Compact—an unprecedented, legally binding deal among all eight Great Lakes states not to sell irreplaceable Great Lakes water to outsiders. (There’s a parallel agreement involving the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.) Some experts on the compact see the Joliet diversion as a manifestation of their worst fears about the ‘screaming exception’ for Illinois water diversions built into the deal. At the same time, it appears compact negotiators had little choice, if they wanted Illinois to be subject to other aspects of the compact.”
FILM & TELEVISION
South Side WGA Picket Shuts Down “The Chi”; Pickets Post Pictures
“Writers Guild of America members, joined by University of Chicago graduate students and film director Lilly Wachowski, shut down the set of ‘The Chi’ [on Friday] with a picket line amid the ongoing writers’ strike,” reports Hyde Park Herald. “The show’s remaining four episodes will not be filmed during the duration of the strike, a crew member with IATSE told the Herald.” Monday morning picket lines were pictured on Twitter, including by “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” co-writer Michael Gilio; writer Zayd Dohrn; and filmmaker Lilly Wachowski. Familiar mascot “Scabby The Rat” originated in Chicago, AP reminds.
Florida Demands Edits In Social Studies Textbooks; Cuts Holocaust Material
“Florida education officials have rejected dozens of social studies textbooks amid an ongoing effort by the administration of Republican Governor DeSantis to influence what’s taught in the state’s public schools,” reports NPR. The Florida Department of Education “approved sixty-six of 101 submissions for new social studies textbooks—some of which only got through after publishers made revisions requested by the state. At first, only nineteen books were approved ‘due to inaccurate material, errors and other information that was not aligned with Florida Law’… The list of rejected materials included books on U.S. history, the Holocaust [and] psychology… Officials said the books did not meet state standards, but it’s unclear specifically why they were not approved… Descriptions of socialism and communism were also changed.”
Media Billionaire Mogul Barry Diller To Publishers: Stem A. I.
At a London confab, “Barry Diller warned that the use of artificial intelligence would prove ‘destructive’ to journalism unless publishers were able to use copyright law to exert control,” reports the Financial Times. “Freely allowing A.I. access to media content would prove to be a mistake, and that the notion of ‘fair use’—which can be used to cover copyrighted material in data sets for machine learning—needed to be redefined. ‘You can’t have fair use when there is an unfair machine that knows no bounds.'”
VICE In Bankruptcy
“VICE, the once high-flying media startup that reached a peak valuation of nearly $6 billion, has filed for bankruptcy protection as the digital publisher engineers a cut-price sale to a group of lenders,” reports the Guardian. “The company, whose assets include VICE News, Motherboard, Refinery29 and VICE TV, has agreed a sale to a consortium that includes Fortress Investment Group, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital for $225 million in the form of a credit bid for its assets as well as assuming VICE’s ‘significant liabilities.'”
Riot Fest To Announce Lineup This Morning
Riot Fest tickets went on sale last night, starting at $179.98, and the 2023 lineup will be announced at 10am.
City Lit Sets Forty-Third Season And Artistic Director Terry McCabe’s Retirement
City Lit producer and artistic director Terry McCabe announced that the theater’s upcoming forty-third season will be his last on its staff. He has been City Lit’s artistic director since February 2005 and its producer since July 2016. He will retire following the close of both the season and the theater’s fiscal year. His final season at City Lit will comprise three world premieres—a play, a literary adaptation and a short musical—as well as the Chicago premiere of a play by its resident playwright and the first local full production in over seventy years of a modern classic. “I love working at City Lit, and I am jazzed about the new season” McCabe said, “but I look forward to being home for dinner every night.” An announcement concerning McCabe’s successor will be made soon. More on productions coming here.
A Red Orchid Announces Thirty-First Season
A Red Orchid Theatre has set its thirty-first season, which will include the world premiere of “Revolution,” by ensemble member Brett Neveu (September 16-October 29); the Chicago premiere of “In Quietness” by Anna Ouyang Moench (January 11-March 3); and the world premiere of “Turret” by ensemble member Levi Holloway (April 25-June 15), whose play “Grey House,” which premiered at A Red Orchid Theatre in 2019, is playing on Broadway. Additionally, the theater welcomes new ensemble members Esteban Andres Cruz, Sherman Edwards and John Judd, as well as resident stage manager Kathleen Dickinson. Subscriptions are on sale here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Mayor Johnson’s First Challenge: Don’t Challenge City Council?
“Consider Lori Lightfoot and Harold Washington, who each made the same mistake in their inaugural addresses—for different reasons, but with similarly negative consequences,” writes veteran political journalist Fran Spielman at the Sun-Times. “Both challenged a City Council whose support they needed to govern Chicago and confront the city’s intransigent problems of crime, education, finance, transportation, housing and entrenched poverty.” (The Sun-Times covers Johnson’s inauguration here; Johnson posted his speech on Twitter here.)
Washington Post Goes With Rahm
Just in time for a new Chicago mayor, there’s a national media profile burnishing the image of a former mayor. “If there’s one word that describes [Rahm] Emanuel’s approach to his new diplomatic incarnation, it’s dynamic,” writes Michelle Ye Hee Lee in a hagiography of the former mayor’s stint as Ambassador to Japan. “For Emanuel, sixty-three, his schedule here rivals his time as White House chief of staff or as mayor of Chicago. He has been an unusually hands-on, visible and outspoken American ambassador. The kind that Japan has never seen before… In Japan, he’s Rahm-san, his excellency, the ‘undiplomat’ and a darling of Japanese Twitter… His interpretation of the job is a signature mix of mayor, political operative, fundraiser and media hound. Just as he rode the El regularly as mayor of Chicago, Emanuel takes the subway around Tokyo. This has endeared him to the Japanese public, which has never seen a U.S. ambassador who prefers public transportation over being chauffeured, and earned him the nickname ‘tetsu-ota,’ or train geek.”
CME Chief Says Chicago Merc Could Leave Chicago; No Legal Basis For Transaction Tax?
“CME Group Inc. is prepared to leave Chicago if the city and state take steps that are perceived as ‘ill-conceived,’ Chief executive officer Terry Duffy has said,” reports Bloomberg. Duffy’s remarks, “made in an episode of the ‘Odd Lots’ podcast, come as Mayor Brandon Johnson is being sworn into office after proposing additional taxes, including one on financial transactions, to help boost the city’s revenue. That plan was fiercely opposed by Chicago’s exchanges and investment firms… ‘Mr. Johnson has no legal authority to impose a transaction tax on my business,’ said Duffy, adding that fighting crime should be a bigger focus for the new mayor. He also shouldn’t ‘get too bogged down on how he’s going to short-term think he’s going to raise taxes on certain people in order to fit his agenda.'”
Times Takes To “Chonkosaurus”
“The gargantuan animal has enthralled thousands online after a kayaker on the Chicago River recorded it sitting on a rusted chain,” reports Eduardo Medina at the New York Times, embedding the original Twitter video post. “Chris Anchor, a senior wildlife biologist with the Forest Preserves of Cook County, said that the turtle is female—and most likely ‘loaded with eggs.’ On the day the video was taken, he said, Chonkosaurus might have been sitting on a bunch of bollards and chains because she wanted her eggs to warm up and mature.” The videomakers believe the viral spread of the video came partially through its commentary, “muttered through a Chicago accent.”
Northeastern Strike Averted
“A contract between Northeastern Illinois faculty and the university has been reached,” reports Block Club, “avoiding a strike and setting the table for a better working relationship between the mostly new university board and staff.”
Long COVID Comes To The Fore
“For long COVID patients, the pandemic is far from over. The U.S. public health emergency expires today, and many fear that their struggle–to be recognized and treated within the nation’s fragmented health care system–is only beginning,” reports PBS. “About three out of ten people who have ever had COVID-19 said they developed long COVID symptoms… Many say they feel adrift in the healthcare system.” Some patients “feel like they ‘face medical gaslighting’ when they are told that the brain fog, fatigue, neurological disorders and difficulty breathing and functioning are ‘just anxiety.'”
“Millions of people have long COVID brain fog—and there’s a shortage of answers,” reports NPR. “Neuropsychologist James C. Jackson says people with long COVID can suffer from symptoms like exhaustion, shortness of breath and disturbed sleep. Some of the most troubling symptoms are neurological: struggling to remember things, to focus, even to perform basic daily tasks and solve problems. While long COVID was initially associated with people who became critically ill with COVID-19, he’s seeing an increasing number of patients for whom the initial illness was relatively mild.”
Tribune Looks At A Century Of Chicago Mayoral Inaugural Speeches
“A mayor’s inauguration ‘didn’t amount to much’ in the early days of the city, eighty-six-year-old Chicago resident David ‘Uncle Dave’ W. Clark told the Tribune in 1927. ‘There were no ladies, flowers, big dinners, or river trips. The mayor just walked up, was sworn in, said his speech, and that was all.’ … Pomp and circumstance is still in decorum—though river trips are out—and a new mayor’s first words delivered during inauguration are the standard by which he or she will be judged during their term,” writes the Trib, with extracts from speeches.
Republicans Expected To Hold Onto Supreme Court Majority Until At Least 2065
“No one party or ideological movement has established hegemony over American politics,” writes columnist Jamelle Bouie at the New York Times, “but the current Supreme Court represents a coalition that has burrowed itself into the judiciary in the hope that it can reshape the political order by judicial fiat even as it loses at the ballot box… Without court expansion or other serious reforms to the structure of the court—and absent unforeseen circumstances like an inopportune death—Republicans can expect to hold a majority on the Supreme Court until 2065… Barring a Franklin Roosevelt-like run of election victories, the only option Democrats have to rein the court in as a tool of the most reactionary forces in our society is to try to change its size and structure.”
University Of Iowa Shuts Down Environmental Blog
Writers advocates PEN America “called it ‘nothing short of a tragedy’ that a popular academic blog at the University of Iowa was shut down after criticism from lawmakers, saying the action was ‘profoundly alarming’ and ‘puts democracy at risk.’ Chris Jones, a research engineer, chose to retire and shut down his popular blog after the University allegedly insinuated that funding was put at risk by state legislators if the blog were allowed to continue. Jones has published blog posts about environmental issues for several years and has received accolades for making science writing accessible to the public, but his writings appear to have run afoul of some Iowa Republican lawmakers.”
State Updates Lists Of Rejected Vanity Plates
NBC 5 investigates with twenty-two pages of rejected applications for Illinois vanity plates. (The list of 7,424 prohibited plates has not been redacted by the station.) “Despite the thousands of rejected terms, the Secretary of State’s office says that–over the years—it has issued more than 922,000 vanity or personalized plates to Illinois drivers.” In a statement, Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias said “a small percentage fail to meet the standards of good taste and decency and are rejected because they violate the state’s vehicle code.”
Slurs and sexual terms abound. A sampling: ARTFART, ASSCRZY, FUCK, FUCKER, FUCKIT, FUCKO, FUCKY, FUCQUE, FUCUUP, OLEFART, PHUQU, PIECE, PIMPMAN, PIMPNS, PMSSYN, POLEOCK, POOPSCP, PRNHUB, PSSSHT, PSSSOFF, PUNKY, PUNTANG, WANKR, WANTON, WANTSUM and ZROFCS.
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