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Kerry James Marshall On Portraiture And Representation
“Kerry James Marshall discusses the complexities of representational work,” at Art21 “and how he sees his portraits existing outside of time.” Do you see your recent portraits of painters as being related to a mythic or romantic conception of what being an artist is and is supposed to mean? asks the site. “Well… It’s the idea of the artist. And it’s the idea of the artist and what the artist looks like or what the artist represents. You could say that those paintings are a kind of mythic image of the painter. But part of what that work is also attempting to do is to address some of the challenges that this whole notion of Black Arts faces. There’s this question surrounding representational work, which is the area in which Black Arts or that kind of work seems trapped in the minds of a lot of people. And the question concerns the idea that in order for the artist to become truly aesthetic, and be an individual artist as opposed to somebody attached to a group, then the work has to become abstract, which means you have to jettison the representational imagery for some other approach to an idea that doesn’t bear the burden of representation that the Black figure tends to carry.”
Steinberg Takes The Steam
Anticipating the multimillion-dollar in-the-works Fulton Market spa-steambath, Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg works Division Street for a visit to Chicago’s oldest, the former Division Street Russian Baths. “I paid $40 and went downstairs. It was neither empty nor crowded—maybe a dozen patrons… the same global spectrum of bathhouse aficionados as in past days. Older Russian-speakers with bald heads and beach ball bellies. A pair of Asian men, a group of Hispanic guys. Some young athletic bros… their bodies tattooed like Yakuza. One fellow, apparently visiting for the first time, wondered aloud where he found himself. ‘The old Division Street Russian Baths… Saul Bellow went here. A few scenes in “Humboldt’s Gift” are set here.’ He looked at me as if I’d welcomed him to Mars. ‘Who’s Saul Bellow? … What’s “Humboldt’s Gift?”‘”
Make A Life In A Tombstone Factory
“A house made out of the remains of an old tombstone factory is up for sale,” reports Crain’s. “Mike Quinlan is asking just under $4 million for the house, a five-bedroom, roughly 7,500-square-foot contemporary he built inside the limestone walls of Anderson Monument Company… The exterior limestone walls are from the early 1900s and appear to have been remodeled later in an art nouveau look, but Anderson—later called Anderson-Eifel Monument Company—occupied the Ravenswood Avenue site from the late 1850s until the late twentieth century… The name of the company is still there, carved in the limestone facade. The house is across the street from Rosehill Cemetery, which opened in 1859, the same year that land developer and lumberyard owner John Anderson opened the monument company. There are tales of ghosts at the cemetery, but ‘the dead weren’t here,’ Quinlan says. Anderson-Eifel ‘just made and sold tombstones, so there’s nothing like that here… I’ve never heard chiseling, so that’s good news.'”
Michigan City: Next New Buffalo?
“Clarence Hulse had already spent several years receiving potentially transformative news for his town, Michigan City, Indiana, when state officials delivered another momentous gift in August, announcing they’ll close the Indiana State Prison, which has stood on Michigan City’s eastern end since 1860,” reports Crain’s. “That’s a hundred acres that’s a few minutes by bike from the Mt. Baldy parking lot” in Indiana Dunes National Park, Hulse told the paper. “That’s going to be prime land for development.” “Closing the prison whose most famous inmate was John Dillinger, is the latest piece of good news for Hulse, director of the economic development corporation in Michigan City, a Lake Michigan shoreline town of 32,000 people fifty-nine miles from the Loop… Michigan City’s biggest pockmarks [are] being removed and investment [is] coming in by the hundreds of millions… It could become a new hub of Lake Michigan shoreline living, with expensive rentals for either short-term use or long-time living, a restaurant scene and a train ride to Chicago that makes driving over the Skyway and through Gary a thing of the past.” A decade from now, “Hulse and others hope the city has 10,000 additional residents and an array of hotels, restaurants and short-term rentals to accommodate visitors to the national park and Michigan City’s pretty beach.”
Paris Mayor Says Cars Are The Past
“A city’s creativity doesn’t depend on cars,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tells the FT. “That’s the twentieth century.” “Accused of desecrating the French capital, the politician wants more bikes, green spaces and social housing.” She “is leading one of the most ambitious efforts worldwide to wean people off cars. She has embraced the concept of the ‘fifteen-minute city,’ redesigning transport, housing, jobs and public space so residents can live without long, polluting commutes. Paris is the second most congested city in Europe after London… Many boulevards now have a steady trickle of cyclists. Parisians who used to enjoy driving across the city are outraged… The academic behind the fifteen-minute city concept, links opposition to rich people who don’t want poor people occupying public space. ‘There’s a bit of that,’ says Hidalgo. ‘[But also] there are conservative people, who aren’t interested in change, because they live well, they have big flats, they have houses in the country. They don’t share the life of a middle-class Parisian.'”
Right Turn On Red Endangered
“Washington, D.C.’s City Council last year approved a right-on-red ban that takes effect in 2025. Chicago Mayor Johnson’s transition plan called for ‘restricting right turns on red,’ but his administration hasn’t provided specifics,” reports WGN-TV. “A dramatic rise in accidents killing or injuring pedestrians and bicyclists has led to… policy and infrastructure changes, but moves to ban right on red have drawn some of the most intense sentiments on both sides.”
DINING & DRINKING
Viking Pub Crawl Returns For Sixth Journey
More than 300 costumed vikings will rediscover Andersonville for the sixth annual Event Inspired by Swedish St. Morten’s Gås Day. Each ticket includes a commemorative glass, an appetizer provided at check-in courtesy of Chef Jacquelyn of The Dinner Belle and access to drink specials at all participating locations. The event also includes a costume contest for Best Individual and Best Group. Saturday, November 18, 3pm-6pm. Participating establishments and tickets ($35) here.
ChefsGiving Charity Dinner For New Migrant Program On Thursday
Pendry Chicago and Venteux, the hotel’s French brasserie, have partnered with humanitarian effort-focused organization Chicago Chefs Cook to present Chicago ChefsGiving on Thursday, November 9. The chef-driven fundraising dinner at Venteux benefits Pilsen Food Pantry’s “New Migrant Program,” which provides food, clothing and healthcare resources to the city’s newest arrivals. The five-course feast will feature seasonal fare by chefs Marcel Heiduk (Venteux); D’Andre Carter (Soul & Smoke); Devon Quinn (Eden); Dudley Nieto (Fat Rosie’s); Rodolfo Cuadros (Amaru); Manny Mendoza (Herbal Notes + Netflix) and Felicia Mayden. Tickets are $150, inclusive of a $30 donation to Pilsen Food Pantry, gratuity and Moët wine pairings, and can be found here.
Boston Market Ditches Chicago
Boston Market has closed many locations across the United States, including its two Chicago stores, reports Eater Chicago. “The chain, which is being investigated by the Labor Department for wage theft, has closed locations in Lakeview… and Hyde Park… The chain debuted in 1985 as Boston Market, a rival to KFC in the short burst when rotisserie chicken was trendy as Americans were shunning fried foods. Eventually, the fast-casual chain changed names and added meatloaf and turkey to the menu.”
U.S. Schools Grapple With Tiny Milk Carton Shortage
“Pactiv Evergreen based in Lake Forest, Illinois, which bills itself as ‘the leading manufacturer of fresh food and beverage packaging in North America’ acknowledged in a statement that it ‘continues to face significantly higher than projected demand’ for its milk cartons,” reports the Guardian. “The tiny, half-pint cartons of milk served with millions of school lunches nationwide may soon be scarce in some cafeterias, with districts across the country scrambling to find alternatives.”
FILM & TELEVISION
“The Bear” Hungry For Three
A third season of FX’s Chicago-set-and-shot “The Bear” will bring on more panic attacks, once the actors’ strike ends, says the Hollywood Reporter. “Solidifying ‘The Bear’ as an early awards contender [for its first season], ‘Shameless’ alum Jeremy Allen White has already won a Golden Globe, SAG Award and a Critics Choice prize… Season two, which bowed in June, has a ninety-nine percent rating among critics and a ninety-two percent score from viewers on Rotten Tomatoes.”
Sarofsky Celebrates Fifteen
Midwest Film Festival Named Best Of The Midwest Awards
“Fraser Syndrome & Me” by Kyle Anne Grendys won Grand Prize at the 2023 Midwest Awards, the Midwest Film Fest posts on Facebook. Among the other nods, John Mossman took best director for “Good Guy With A Gun”; Edward Tran for best cinematographer on “Life After Her”; best editing, Ben Kurstin, “The Sleight”; “Greener Pastures” by Samuel-Ali Mirpoorian got the Empowerment Award; best actress, Allison Torem, “Road Head”; best actor, Rikki Lee Travolta, “The Sleight.”
Streamers Bring Lobbyists To D.C.
Even as the actors’ strike continues, The Streaming Innovation Alliance, “which includes Netflix, Disney and Max, is the first-ever collective voice for the streaming industry,” reports The Wrap. “A new streaming lobby group, which formed one day before the WGA officially ended their 148-day strike, says it is looking to have a collective voice in Washington and distinguish itself from big-tech companies. But critics believe it’s preparing for a fight against future government regulation.”
Florida Withdraws From Activities With American Library Association
The agency in charge of Florida’s public libraries issued a rule forbidding grant activities tied to the 150-year-old American Library Association, reports Politico, joining Alabama, Wyoming, Missouri and Texas. “Florida is among the latest conservative-leaning states to sever connections with the nation’s oldest library organization after the nonprofit became embroiled in the ongoing culture war over what books should be available to students… The move by the DeSantis administration puts Florida in line with a cadre of Republican states and lawmakers leveling scrutiny on ALA, labeling the group as ‘toxic’ and a ‘conduit’ for exposing children to pornography—claims refuted by the organization and its supporters.”
Hackers Attack European And British Libraries
“Libraries across Europe appear to be facing attacks from cybercriminals. At Britain’s national library, an ‘incident’ is sending scholars back to an analog age,” reports the New York Times. “On Saturday, the library was hit by what it is calling a ‘cyber incident.’ Ever since, its website has been down and scholars have been unable to access its online catalog. The library’s Wi-Fi has also stopped working, and staff members haven’t been allowed to turn on their computers. Its gift shop is open for business, but only for anyone with cash to buy trinkets such as British Library-branded pencils. Library users, many of whom include writers with pressing deadlines, are beginning to be affected.”
New Washington Post Editor Spent Decade As Rupert Murdoch Hand
William Lewis, a “reporter-turned-executive who spent years working in British media and for Rupert Murdoch-owned companies… previously the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, was tapped by Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos,” reports the Washington Post. “As I’ve gotten to know Will, I’ve been drawn to his love of journalism and passion for driving financial success,” Bezos wrote. “Will embodies the tenacity, energy and vision needed for this role. He believes that together we will build the right future for The Post. I agree.” Reports the New York Times, “In 2010, Lewis joined News UK, part of the empire founded by the media mogul Rupert Murdoch… He was part of the executive team charged with cleaning up a phone-hacking and police bribery scandal that led to the closing of Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid. After being appointed chief executive of Dow Jones, the parent of The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, in 2014, Mr. Lewis oversaw a period of digital subscription growth.” The Post again: “Emily Bell, who heads the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School and competed against Lewis when she led The Guardian’s digital news operation” says “that Lewis’ ‘superpower, though, is being unbelievably good with very, very rich people.'”
Live Nation Sets Records For Ticket Sales
After pushing out a record 140 million tickets, “going into 2024, Live Nation, which also owns Ticketmaster, expects continued momentum,” relays the Hollywood Reporter. “Live Nation reported 140 million tickets sold for Live Nation shows so far this year, up seventeen percent year-over-year and above the full year 2022 total of 121 million. Concert revenue was up thirty-two percent in the third quarter, reaching $7 billion.”
Malaysia Mandates Kill Switch For Live Concerts
“Concert organizers in Malaysia must now have a ‘kill switch’ to cut short performances that break official guidelines,” reports the Guardian. This comes after “a performance in Kuala Lumpur by The 1975, whose frontman Matty Healy criticized Malaysia’s homophobic laws in a profanity-laden speech and kissed a male bandmate on stage [which] led to the cancellation of the weekend festival.” Under new regulations, the “kill switch… will cut off electricity during any performance if there is any unwanted incident.”
Gannett’s Dedicated Taylor Swift Reporter Is A Thirty-Five-Year-Old Man
Gannett, the biggest newspaper chain in the United States, has found its Taylor Swift reporter, Bryan West, a thirty-five-year-old journalist from Arizona who has moved to Nashville to fill the position, reports Variety. “West will be working out of the Tennessean’s newsroom for USA Today and the chain’s more than 200 local dailies… ‘I would say this position’s no different than being a sports journalist who’s a fan of the home team,’ says West. ‘I’m just a fan of Taylor and I have followed her whole career, but I also have that journalistic background: going to Northwestern, winning awards, working in newsrooms across the nation… You can talk Easter eggs, but it really is more of the seriousness, like the impact that she has on society and business and music.'”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Drop One Last Door For Victory Auto Wreckers
Victory Auto Wreckers’ owner Kyle Weisner told the voice of its commercials, Dean Richards, during an interview on WGN Radio, reports WGN-TV, “that the longtime auto salvage yard will close on November 18. Victory Auto Wreckers, located in Bensenville, has been in business since 1945. Weisner’s family has owned it since 1967. The auto salvage yard is known for [its] iconic commercial, ‘That old car is worth money’—that Dean Richards has voiced since 1991. Weisner told Richards it was time to shut down and ‘take it a little easier.'”
AirTags As Theft Prevention?
While Hyundai offered security updates in Chicago last weekend for its flawed vehicles, Washington, D.C. is addressing its car-theft wave with AirTags, reports Engadget. “D.C. residents in neighborhoods with the highest numbers of vehicle theft will be eligible to get free AirTags at three different events in the city… It’s not clear how many AirTags, which cost $29 [each], will be [distributed].”
Bally’s “Temporary” Casino Turns Out To Be Anything But
“Legislation in Springfield could open the door to keeping the River North gaming venue operating beyond 2026,” reports the Sun-Times. “Bally’s says its permanent venue should be ready by then.”
Personal Information Of 1.2 million Cook County Health Patients At Risk
“A recent data breach at a medical transcription firm contracted by Cook County Health exposed the personal information of more than 1.2 million CCH patients, the health system said,” the Trib reports (Yahoo link). “The Cook County Health network includes two hospitals and more than a dozen community health centers across the Chicago area.”
Banks Increasingly “Evicting” Account Holders
“Bank customers get a letter in the mail saying their institution is closing all of their checking and savings accounts. Their debit and credit cards are shuttered, too. The explanation, if there is one, usually lacks any useful detail,” reports the New York Times. “These situations are what banks refer to as ‘exiting’ or ‘de-risking.’ This isn’t your standard boot for people who have bounced too many checks. Instead, a vast security apparatus has kicked into gear, starting with regulators in Washington and trickling down to bank security managers and branch staff eyeballing customers. The goal is to crack down on fraud, terrorism, money laundering, human trafficking and other crimes. In the process, banks are evicting what appear to be an increasing number of individuals, families and small-business owners. Often, they don’t have the faintest idea why their banks turned against them.”
With “Project 2025,” Trump And Associates Plot Revenge, Starting Inauguration Day
Trump advisers have “discussed deploying the military to quell potential unrest on Inauguration Day. Critics have called the ideas under consideration dangerous and unconstitutional,” reports the Washington Post (free link). Trump “and his allies have begun mapping out specific plans for using the federal government to punish critics and opponents should he win a second term, with the former president naming individuals he wants to investigate or prosecute and his associates drafting plans to potentially invoke the Insurrection Act on his first day in office to allow him to deploy the military against civil demonstrations… Much of the planning for a second term has been unofficially outsourced to a partnership of right-wing think tanks in Washington. Dubbed ‘Project 2025,’ the group is developing a plan, to include draft executive orders… The proposal was identified in internal discussions as an immediate priority… In the final year of his presidency, some of Trump’s supporters urged him to invoke the Insurrection Act to put down unrest after the murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, but he never did it. Trump has publicly expressed regret about not deploying more federal force and said he would not hesitate to do so in the future.”
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