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Arts, Volume 9, Issue 2 (June 2020) – 33 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Part of a Special Issue on Dance and Abstraction, this article examines the notion of the role in the early work of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Roles enable dancers to transmit and exchange parts within a choreography and thereby create individuation within asynchronous collectivities. In De Keersmaeker’s choreography, roles feed off the logics of serial music; this article examines how such “storyless” approaches to contending with dancers’ individuation can lend emancipatory and feminist values to our considerations of the self. View this paper
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Article
Fragile Traces, Treacherous Sands: Ronen Sharabani and Micha Ullman’s Intergenerational Encounter
Arts 2020, 9(2), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020073 - 23 Jun 2020
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Abstract
This paper addresses an intriguing intergenerational encounter between Micha Ullman (b. Tel Aviv 1939), one of Israel’s most prominent senior artists, and Ronen Sharabani (b. Tel Aviv 1974), a young media artist. The two artists’ otherwise divergent practices converge in their use of [...] Read more.
This paper addresses an intriguing intergenerational encounter between Micha Ullman (b. Tel Aviv 1939), one of Israel’s most prominent senior artists, and Ronen Sharabani (b. Tel Aviv 1974), a young media artist. The two artists’ otherwise divergent practices converge in their use of sand and red earth as their primary media. The paper brings Mieke Bal’s concept of migratory aesthetics and Jill Bennett’s phenomenological approach to trauma-related art to bear on Ullman’s fragile earth installations and perforated sand tables, and on Sharabani’s projections of Virtual Reality onto sand. Also addressed is Sharabani’s series Vitual Territories (2019), in which digitally manipulated views from Google Earth probe geographical sites that resonate with migratory histories. The paper traces two main trajectories upon which the oeuvres of Ullman and Sharabani interface. The first category, “treacherous sands”, relates to installations involving sand tables and other containers of soil. In turn, the category of “fragile traces” addresses installations that feature various architectural ground plans modeled in sand. In these installations, sand is the quintessential terra infirma. At the same time, however, the paper proposes that through the haptic appeal of the medium of sand, these installations counter the pervasive anxiety of shifting ground with an augmented sense of bodily presence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radicant Patterns in Israeli Art)
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Article
Reform or Consensus? Choral Synagogues in the Russian Empire
Arts 2020, 9(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020072 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 984
Abstract
Many scholars view the choral synagogues in the Russian Empire as Reform synagogues, influenced by the German Reform movement. This article analyzes the features characteristic of Reform synagogues in central and Western Europe, and demonstrates that only a small number of these features [...] Read more.
Many scholars view the choral synagogues in the Russian Empire as Reform synagogues, influenced by the German Reform movement. This article analyzes the features characteristic of Reform synagogues in central and Western Europe, and demonstrates that only a small number of these features were implemented in the choral synagogues of Russia. The article describes the history, architecture, and reception of choral synagogues in different geographical areas of the Russian Empire, from the first maskilic synagogues of the 1820s–1840s to the revolution of 1917. The majority of changes, this article argues, introduced in choral synagogues were of an aesthetic nature. The changes concerned decorum, not the religious meaning or essence of the prayer service. The initial wave of choral synagogues were established by maskilim, and modernized Jews became a catalyst for the adoption of the choral rite by other groups. Eventually, the choral synagogue became the “sectorial” synagogue of the modernized elite. It did not have special religious significance, but it did offer social prestige and architectural prominence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
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Article
Three Mothers (2006) by Dina Zvi-Riklis: The Repressed Israeli Trauma of Immigration
Arts 2020, 9(2), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020071 - 16 Jun 2020
Viewed by 648
Abstract
This article relates to the complex approach of Dina Zvi-Riklis’ film Three Mothers (2006) to immigration, an issue that is central to both the Jewish religion and Israeli identity. While for both, reaching the land of Israel means arriving in the promised land, [...] Read more.
This article relates to the complex approach of Dina Zvi-Riklis’ film Three Mothers (2006) to immigration, an issue that is central to both the Jewish religion and Israeli identity. While for both, reaching the land of Israel means arriving in the promised land, they are quite dissimilar, in that one is a religious command, while the other is an ideological imperative. Both instruct the individual to opt for the obliteration of his past. However, this system does not apply to the protagonists of Three Mothers, a film which follows the extraordinary trajectory of triplet sisters, born to a rich Jewish family in Alexandria, who are forced to leave Egypt after King Farouk’s abdication and immigrate to Israel. This article will demonstrate that Three Mothers represents an outstanding achievement, because it dares to deal with its protagonists’ longing for the world left behind and the complexity of integrating the past into the present. Following Nicholas Bourriaud’s radicant theory, designating an organism that grows roots and adds new ones as it advances, this article will argue that, although the protagonists of Three Mothers never avow their longing for Egypt, the film’s narrative succeeds in revealing a subversive démarche, through which the sisters succeed in integrating Egypt into their present. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radicant Patterns in Israeli Art)
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Article
The Balkans of the Balkans: The Meaning of Autobalkanism in Regional Popular Music
Arts 2020, 9(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020070 - 16 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1040
Abstract
In this article, I discuss the use of the term “Balkan” in the regional popular music. In this context, Balkan popular music is contemporary popular folk music produced in the countries of the Balkans and intended for the Balkan markets (specifically, the people [...] Read more.
In this article, I discuss the use of the term “Balkan” in the regional popular music. In this context, Balkan popular music is contemporary popular folk music produced in the countries of the Balkans and intended for the Balkan markets (specifically, the people in the Western Balkans and diaspora communities). After the global success of “Balkan music” in the world music scene, this term influenced the cultures in the Balkans itself; however, interestingly, in the Balkans themselves “Balkan music” does not only refer to the musical characteristics of this genre—namely, it can also be applied music that derives from the genre of the “newly-composed folk music”, which is well known in the Western Balkans. The most important legacy of “Balkan” world music is the discourse on Balkan stereotypes, hence this article will reveal new aspects of autobalkanism in music. This research starts from several questions: where is “the Balkans” which is mentioned in these songs actually situated; what is the meaning of the term “Balkan” used for the audience from the Balkans; and, what are musical characteristics of the genre called trepfolk? Special focus will be on the post-Yugoslav market in the twenty-first century, with particular examples in Serbian language (as well as Bosnian and Croatian). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Balkan Music: Past, Present, Future)
Article
Disrupting Heteronormative Temporality through Queer Dramaturgies: Fun Home, Hadestown and A Strange Loop
Arts 2020, 9(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020069 - 15 Jun 2020
Viewed by 1788
Abstract
This article considers how André De Shields performance in Hadestown (2019), and the musicals Fun Home (2015) and A Strange Loop (2019) can be seen to respond to the present moment and argues that they disrupt heteronormative temporality through queer dramaturgy. It explores [...] Read more.
This article considers how André De Shields performance in Hadestown (2019), and the musicals Fun Home (2015) and A Strange Loop (2019) can be seen to respond to the present moment and argues that they disrupt heteronormative temporality through queer dramaturgy. It explores musicals that present queer performativity and/or queer dramaturgies, and addresses how they enact queer strategies of resistance through historical materialist critiques of personal biographies. It suggests that to do this, they disrupt the heteronormative dramaturgical time of the musical, and considers how they may enact structural change to the form of the musical. The article carries out a close reading of De Shields’ performance practice, and analyses the dramaturgy of Fun Home and A Strange Loop through drawing on the methodologies of José Muñoz and Elizabeth Freeman. It considers how they make queer labour visible by drawing on post-dramatic strategies, ultimately suggesting that to varying extents, these musicals offer resistance to the heteronormative musical form. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Broadway Then and Now: Musicals in the 21st Century)
Article
“Tap, Tap, Tapping on the Glass”: Generation Z, Social Media and Dear Evan Hansen
Arts 2020, 9(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020068 - 11 Jun 2020
Viewed by 2215
Abstract
21st century audiences are finding new methods of engaging with the Broadway musical, and fandoms are beginning to establish a visible online presence. In turn, this is creating a shift in paratexts surrounding the musical. Using social media to cultivate relationships, communities and [...] Read more.
21st century audiences are finding new methods of engaging with the Broadway musical, and fandoms are beginning to establish a visible online presence. In turn, this is creating a shift in paratexts surrounding the musical. Using social media to cultivate relationships, communities and fandoms, Generation Z are responding to the musical in new and innovative ways. Fan-created paratexts are becoming more popular, as fans become more intent on establishing connections to the production. Younger audiences’ tendency to engage with these interactions has allowed them to become the most active audiences on social media, both critically engaged and creative. The access to online interactive platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr bring new opportunities for paratextual creations. Examples of this “next stage of engagement” can be seen through the production Dear Evan Hansen (2015), which is now pushing the limits of social media and successfully utilising Dolan’s utopian performatives to draw in audiences and engage its fandom, or, as they call themselves, the Dear Evan “Fansens”. The fandom is using these paratexts in establishing one-to-one connections with its fans, allowing the fan-created material to “speak back” to the performance moment itself, and it is this which validates a transactional relationship between fan and production. This work ultimately sets out the fandom’s desire to “be found”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Broadway Then and Now: Musicals in the 21st Century)
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Editorial
The Long Game
Arts 2020, 9(2), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020067 - 11 Jun 2020
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Abstract
We are pleased and honored to include the keynote address delivered by award-winning Sičáŋǧu Lakota artist, Dyani White Hawk Polk at the Native American Art Studies Association Conference (NAASA) on 2 October 2019. The NAASA is the leading professional and scholarly organization supporting [...] Read more.
We are pleased and honored to include the keynote address delivered by award-winning Sičáŋǧu Lakota artist, Dyani White Hawk Polk at the Native American Art Studies Association Conference (NAASA) on 2 October 2019. The NAASA is the leading professional and scholarly organization supporting and promoting the study and exchange of ideas related to Indigenous arts in the United States and Canada. At the organization’s biennial conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and while standing on Dakota traditional lands, Dyani White Hawk Polk delivered her important address, “The Long Game.” In it, she movingly and powerfully explores her life experiences, the history of and ongoing effects of colonialism, and how both inform her artistic practice. Her address traces the roles of mentors in her life, including the late Ho-Chunk artist, Truman Lowe, who taught at the University of Wisconsin, Madison during her time in the MFA program. She eloquently speaks to the challenges she has faced in tackling head-on hierarches in the art world that have continuously sought to diminish the significance of Indigenous art. She also provocatively addresses how artists, scholars, and critics can build the field of Indigenous art and support Indigenous artists. The address was widely praised at the conference, owing to the power and beauty of her words, as she spoke to how the past effects the present and as she illuminated a path for the future. We are grateful to be able to include her address in this Special Issue of Arts journal. Her thought-provoking address is both an artistic statement and a profound and moving commentary on the state of the Indigenous art world. Full article
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Article
How to Dismantle a [Theatric] Bomb: Broadway Flops, Broadway Money, and Musical Theater Historiography
Arts 2020, 9(2), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020066 - 29 May 2020
Viewed by 1228
Abstract
The Broadway musical, balancing as it does artistic expression and commerce, is regularly said to reflect its sociocultural surroundings. Its historiography, however, tends for the most part to emphasize art over commerce, and exceptional productions over all else. Broadway histories tend to prioritize [...] Read more.
The Broadway musical, balancing as it does artistic expression and commerce, is regularly said to reflect its sociocultural surroundings. Its historiography, however, tends for the most part to emphasize art over commerce, and exceptional productions over all else. Broadway histories tend to prioritize the most artistically valued musicals; occasional lip service, too, is paid to extraordinary commercial successes on the one hand, and lesser productions by creators who are collectively deemed great artists on the other. However, such a historiography provides less a reflection of reality than an idealized and thus somewhat warped portrait of the ways the commercial theater, its gatekeepers, and its chroniclers prioritize certain works and artists over others. Using as examples Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death (1971), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Carrie (1988), and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (2011), I will suggest that a money-minded approach to the study of musicals may help paint a clearer picture of what kinds of shows have been collectively deemed successful enough to remember, and what gets dismissed as worthy of forgetting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Broadway Then and Now: Musicals in the 21st Century)
Article
The Hanging Garlands of Pompeii: Mimetic Acts of Ancient Lived Religion
Arts 2020, 9(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020065 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1376
Abstract
Roman painting is full of items associated with religious practice. Garlands, in particular, are found represented in Roman frescoes, often draped over different panels to enliven the painted surface with the semblance of abundant fresh flowers. There are indications, however, that in Roman [...] Read more.
Roman painting is full of items associated with religious practice. Garlands, in particular, are found represented in Roman frescoes, often draped over different panels to enliven the painted surface with the semblance of abundant fresh flowers. There are indications, however, that in Roman domestic spaces, latrines, and streets, physical garlands were actually attached to the frescoes as votive offerings that mimic the painted garlands behind them. This paper considers how Roman paintings worked in tandem with garlands and other physical objects, and how Pompeiians engaged in mimetic acts. The two-dimensional painted surface depicting “mimetic votives” should be viewed within a three-dimensional space inhabited by people and objects. The mimetic act of hanging a garland was part of ancient lived religion, and, as such, enables us to examine past religious experiences, focusing on the individual and communication with the divine. The relationship between these various visual media would have created unique experiences in the daily lives of ancient Romans that are rarely considered today. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ancient Mediterranean Painting (vol. 2))
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Article
Memory and Re-Creation: The Commemoration of Synagogues of the Islamic World in Israel
Arts 2020, 9(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020064 - 26 May 2020
Viewed by 1009
Abstract
This paper aims to present several manners in which synagogues of the Islamic world—usually the more prominent and significant ones, and whose communities were uprooted following the establishment of the state of Israel—are commemorated today in Israel, by members and descendants of their [...] Read more.
This paper aims to present several manners in which synagogues of the Islamic world—usually the more prominent and significant ones, and whose communities were uprooted following the establishment of the state of Israel—are commemorated today in Israel, by members and descendants of their original communities. This is done with reference to commemoration by name, physical design or re-creation of the liturgical and ritual customs of the original synagogues. The different manners in which these synagogues are commemorated allow us to better understand not only the significance of the synagogues for the communities which established and used them over the years, but also the way in which the subsequent communities seek to establish their shared memory and identity following the immigration to Israel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
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Article
Synagogue Objects Related to Charity on Shabbat: Shnoder-Signs and Shnoder-Books in the Hungarian Lands
Arts 2020, 9(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020063 - 21 May 2020
Viewed by 1228
Abstract
In Ashkenazi Jewish communities, it is customary to promise a donation to charitable causes after being called up to the Torah on Shabbat and on holidays—there is even a Yiddish term for it: shnodern. In our article, we will look at various [...] Read more.
In Ashkenazi Jewish communities, it is customary to promise a donation to charitable causes after being called up to the Torah on Shabbat and on holidays—there is even a Yiddish term for it: shnodern. In our article, we will look at various synagogue objects related to this type of charity, focusing on Hungarian lands. First, we will look at signs and plaques, affixed to the bimah, which mention possible purposes for the charity. Second, since it is forbidden to make a note of, let alone fulfill the promise of a charitable donation on Shabbat, we will look at objects that show ways that these donations were recorded. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
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Article
Lithuanian Synagogues: From the First Descriptions to Systematic Research
Arts 2020, 9(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020062 - 21 May 2020
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Abstract
The article presents an analysis of the development stages of synagogue research methodology in Lithuania during the four major historical periods of the country—Lithuania in the Russian Empire (1795–1918), Vilnius Region in the interwar period and the independent Republic of Lithuania (1918–1940), the [...] Read more.
The article presents an analysis of the development stages of synagogue research methodology in Lithuania during the four major historical periods of the country—Lithuania in the Russian Empire (1795–1918), Vilnius Region in the interwar period and the independent Republic of Lithuania (1918–1940), the Soviet period (1940–1990), and the independent Republic of Lithuania restored in 1990. Each chapter of the article deals with the issues of synagogue research, heritage conservation and management, while the part about the restored independent Republic of Lithuania and modern days includes topical issues related to synagogue restoration, commemoration and putting them into operation. The study uses two different sources: archival materials and publications. Written sources and publications are reviewed in chronological order and start from the end of the 18th century. The study employs several research methods—the historical descriptive method, the comparative method and the analysis method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
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Article
Disappearance on Display: Vanished Torah Arks in Medieval Synagogues and Their Presentation
Arts 2020, 9(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020061 - 20 May 2020
Viewed by 676
Abstract
In planning the museum in the medieval Synagogue in Erfurt more than 10 years ago, there was one big problem: the building had gone through many changes over the centuries, which wiped out almost all traces of the synagogue’s use. The Bimah was [...] Read more.
In planning the museum in the medieval Synagogue in Erfurt more than 10 years ago, there was one big problem: the building had gone through many changes over the centuries, which wiped out almost all traces of the synagogue’s use. The Bimah was destroyed, presumably during the pogrom on 21 March 1349. By converting the former synagogue into a warehouse (following the pogrom), a big gateway was inserted into the eastern wall, at the place of the former Torah Ark. Only the light cornice is still recognizable on the synagogue’s walls. To find an adequate solution for displaying the vanished Torah Ark in the Old Synagogue in Erfurt, we compared examples in other locations in Europe, suggesting the presentation eventually chosen for the Old Synagogue of Erfurt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
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Article
The Torah Ark of Arthur Szyk
Arts 2020, 9(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020060 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 861
Abstract
This paper discusses the design and symbolism of a hitherto unpublished work by the artist Arthur Szyk (1894–1951), an ark for the Torah which he designed for the Forest Hills Jewish Center of Queens, New York, and which was dedicated in 1949. The [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the design and symbolism of a hitherto unpublished work by the artist Arthur Szyk (1894–1951), an ark for the Torah which he designed for the Forest Hills Jewish Center of Queens, New York, and which was dedicated in 1949. The Torah Ark is the central focus of all synagogue worship. Szyk’s ark is unique in its multiplicity of symbols and texts, which was at odds with the modernist idiom of post-World War II synagogue architecture. This research, which also brings previously unpublished material, analyzes the possible sources for the work and its distinctive message, which is exceptional in the world of modern contemporary Jewish art. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
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Article
Practices of Remembrance: The Experiences of Artists and Curators in the Centenary Commemoration of World War I
Arts 2020, 9(2), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020059 - 13 May 2020
Viewed by 788
Abstract
The centenary of World War One was marked in the UK by an unprecedented national investment in the creative arts as a vehicle for remembrance. This scale of funding for commemorative arts, not least under a government whose mantra had been economic “austerity”, [...] Read more.
The centenary of World War One was marked in the UK by an unprecedented national investment in the creative arts as a vehicle for remembrance. This scale of funding for commemorative arts, not least under a government whose mantra had been economic “austerity”, demonstrates the importance that the nation-state placed on remembrance and on engaging the public in acts of memory through the arts. In the aftermath of the centenary, funding bodies have commissioned evaluations of this programming. These evaluations have focused on audiences reached, organisations benefitted, and social transformation. What remain occluded by the reports are the experiences of the artists themselves and the curators with whom they worked. In this article I explore the personal and affective experiences of several artists and curators whose work contributed to this national programme of remembrance. I ask: to what extent did artists and curators consciously engage with prior artistic responses to World War One? How did the context of collective commemoration and memory-making inform their practice and the works produced? What did their involvement in this programme of national remembrance make them feel? What were the narratives of the war they wanted to tell? To begin to answer these questions, I draw on a series of one-to-one interviews conducted with a number of artists and curators who were involved in commemorative projects in the UK and overseas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue World War, Art, and Memory: 1914 to 1945)
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Article
21st-Century Broadway Musicals and the ‘Best Musical’ Tony Award: Trends and Impact
Arts 2020, 9(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020058 - 10 May 2020
Viewed by 1268
Abstract
Recent Broadway theatre seasons consistently saw record-breaking numbers of admissions and grosses, with musicals’ ticket sales making up 78–89% of annual Broadway grosses. The annual Tony Awards continue to serve as an influential theatre industry establishment that helps define a Broadway musical as [...] Read more.
Recent Broadway theatre seasons consistently saw record-breaking numbers of admissions and grosses, with musicals’ ticket sales making up 78–89% of annual Broadway grosses. The annual Tony Awards continue to serve as an influential theatre industry establishment that helps define a Broadway musical as exceptional and worthy of audiences, especially the awarding of the ‘Best Musical’ category (which can statistically have a profound impact on a production’s longevity). This article offers comprehensive surveying and discussions of significant components of a musical’s initial Broadway success in the 21st century. All 82 musicals that were nominated for or won the ‘Best Musical’ Tony Award between the years 2000 and 2019 are assessed for their source material and original Broadway run length. Subsequent discussions center on diversity and genres of musicals recognized by the Tony Awards, followed by conclusions and predictions of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Broadway’s future and the influence of the ‘Best Musical’ Tony Award. The results of this study display observable patterns among the musicals surveyed, including screen (film/tv) being the most prominent source material and at least a 10–12 month run after the Tony Awards ceremonies for all ‘Best Musical’ winners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Broadway Then and Now: Musicals in the 21st Century)
Article
Women and the Making of the University of Alicante Campus: Critical Reappraisals of Modern Architecture (1982–1999)
Arts 2020, 9(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020057 - 30 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1199
Abstract
A stroll around the University of Alicante campus is like a journey through the history of Spanish architecture of the last 40 years, as many of its buildings exemplify the best production of the period. This legacy also tells a story about the [...] Read more.
A stroll around the University of Alicante campus is like a journey through the history of Spanish architecture of the last 40 years, as many of its buildings exemplify the best production of the period. This legacy also tells a story about the role played by female architects within the profession. In fact, a gender reading reveals that only two women, Pilar Vázquez Carrasco, the architect of the Faculty of Sciences (FS, 1982) and the Social Club I (1987), and Dolores Alonso Vera, responsible for the Higher Polytechnic School IV (HPS, 1999), have designed structures on the campus over almost four decades and out of a total of more than 50 buildings. The FS is an example of structural sincerity whose brick and concrete materials and externalisation of services provide Brutalist echoes. The HPS IV is a design exercise consisting of a series of elegant, inviting volumes and open spaces intertwined with the campus garden. This essay focuses on the comparative analysis of these two award-winning works to unveil those contributions that female authorship has brought to their solutions by relating them to comparable buildings in space, time and type, but designed by male architects. Full article
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Editorial
“It’s All about Working with the Story!”: On Movement Direction in Musicals. An Interview with Lucy Hind
Arts 2020, 9(2), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020056 - 30 Apr 2020
Viewed by 727
Abstract
Lucy Hind is a South African choreographer and movement director who lives in the UK. Her training was in choreography, mime and physical theatre at Rhodes University, South Africa. After her studies, Hind performed with the celebrated First Physical Theatre Company. In the [...] Read more.
Lucy Hind is a South African choreographer and movement director who lives in the UK. Her training was in choreography, mime and physical theatre at Rhodes University, South Africa. After her studies, Hind performed with the celebrated First Physical Theatre Company. In the UK, she has worked as movement director and performer in theatres including the Almeida, Barbican, Bath Theatre Royal, Leeds Playhouse Lowry, Sheffield Crucible, The Old Vic and The Royal Exchange. Lucy is also an associate artist of the award-winning Slung Low theatre company, which specializes in making epic theatre in non-theatre spaces. Here, Lucy talks to George Rodosthenous about her movement direction on the award-winning musical Girl from the North Country (The Old Vic/West End/Toronto and recently seen on Broadway), which was described by New York Times critic Ben Brantley as “superb”. The conversation delves into Lucy’s working methods: the ways she works with actors, the importance of collaborative work and her approach to characterization. Hind believes that her work affects the overall “tone, the atmosphere and the shape of the show”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Broadway Then and Now: Musicals in the 21st Century)
Article
Collecting Haudenosaunee Art from the Modern Era
Arts 2020, 9(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020055 - 29 Apr 2020
Viewed by 1471
Abstract
My essay considers the history of collecting the art of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) artists in the twentieth century. For decades Native visual and material culture was viewed under the guise of ‘crafts.’ I look back to the work of Lewis Henry Morgan on Haudenosaunee [...] Read more.
My essay considers the history of collecting the art of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) artists in the twentieth century. For decades Native visual and material culture was viewed under the guise of ‘crafts.’ I look back to the work of Lewis Henry Morgan on Haudenosaunee material culture. His writings helped establish a specific notion of Haudenosaunee material culture within the scholarly field of anthropology in the nineteenth century. At that point two-dimensional arts did not play a substantial role in Haudenosaunee visual culture, even though both Tuscarora and Seneca artists had produced drawings and paintings then. I investigate the turn toward collecting two-dimensional Haudenosaunee representational art, where before there was only craft. I locate this turn at the beginning of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration in the 1930s. It was at this point that Seneca anthropologist Arthur C. Parker recruited Native crafts people and painters working in two-dimensional art forms to participate in a Works Progress Administration-sponsored project known as the Seneca Arts Program. Thereafter, museum collectors began purchasing and displaying paintings by the artists: Jesse Cornplanter, Sanford Plummer, and Ernest Smith. I argue that their representation in museum collections opened the door for the contemporary Haudenosaunee to follow. Full article
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Article
Yanagita Kunio and the Culture Film: Discovering Everydayness and Creating/Imagining a National Community, 1935–1945
Arts 2020, 9(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020054 - 26 Apr 2020
Viewed by 964
Abstract
In wartime Japan, folklore studies (minzokugaku) as an academic discipline emerged at the same time as the rise of the culture film (bunka eiga). Both helped mobilize peripheral areas and firmly created the image of a unitary nation. This [...] Read more.
In wartime Japan, folklore studies (minzokugaku) as an academic discipline emerged at the same time as the rise of the culture film (bunka eiga). Both helped mobilize peripheral areas and firmly created the image of a unitary nation. This paper focuses on Living by the Earth (Tsuchi ni ikiru, 1941), directed by Miki Shigeru, and its spinoff photo album titled People of the Snow Country (Yukiguni no minzoku, 1944). Miki filmed rural life and ordinary people in the Tohoku region under the strong influence of Yanagita Kunio, a founder of Japanese folklore studies, and published the photo album in collaboration with Yanagita. In this project, vanishing customs were paradoxically regarded as objects impossible to photograph. However, that paradox enhanced the value of the project and made it easier to construct an imagined national community through the discourse of folklore studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developments in the Japanese Documentary Mode)
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Article
Parts and Wholes: The Role of Animals in the Performance of Dolenjska Hallstatt Funerary Rites
Arts 2020, 9(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020053 - 26 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1381
Abstract
There is a rich iconographic tradition demonstrating the importance of animals in ritual in the Dolenjska Hallstatt archaeological culture of Early Iron Age Slovenia (800–300 bce). However, the role of animals in mortuary practice is not well represented iconographically, though faunal remains [...] Read more.
There is a rich iconographic tradition demonstrating the importance of animals in ritual in the Dolenjska Hallstatt archaeological culture of Early Iron Age Slovenia (800–300 bce). However, the role of animals in mortuary practice is not well represented iconographically, though faunal remains in graves indicate that their inclusion was an integral part of funerary performance. Here, animal bones from burials are compared to images of animal sacrifice, focusing on the ritual distinctions between the deposition of whole animal bodies versus animal parts. It is proposed that human–animal relationships were a key component of funerary animal sacrifice in these multispecies communities. The deposition of whole horses may have been due to a personal relationship with the deceased human. In turn, the sacrifice of an animal and division of its parts may have been essential for the management of group ties with the loss of a community member. Particular elements such as teeth, horns, and claws may have served as amulets—perhaps indicating that these were personal items that had to be placed in the grave with the deceased or that the deceased needed continued protection or other symbolic aid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals in Ancient Material Cultures (vol. 2))
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Article
Contested Racial Imaginings of the Serbian Self and the Romani Other in Serbia’s Guča Trumpet Festival
Arts 2020, 9(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020052 - 26 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 967
Abstract
In this article, I will address issues of race using the “Romani question” in Serbia’s Guča trumpet festival as a case study. I will specifically consider a selection of Guča-related themes pertinent to the question of race, while simultaneously discussing the theoretical and [...] Read more.
In this article, I will address issues of race using the “Romani question” in Serbia’s Guča trumpet festival as a case study. I will specifically consider a selection of Guča-related themes pertinent to the question of race, while simultaneously discussing the theoretical and ideological underpinnings of this complicated concept vis-à-vis issues of national identity representation in post-Milošević Serbia. Informed by previous critical studies of race and popular music culture in South/Eastern Europe within the larger postcolonial paradigm of Balkanism, this work will seek to illustrate the ambiguous ways in which the racialization of the Serbian Self and the Romani Other is occurring in the Guča Festival alongside the country’s and region’s persistent denial of race. Using the above approaches, I will conduct a critical cultural analysis of selected racial issues in the festival with reference to eclectic sources, including more recent critical debates about race and racism in South/Eastern Europe within the broader context of postsocialist transition, EU integration, and globalization. My final argument will be that, despite strong evidence that a critical cultural analysis of the “Romani question” in Serbia’s Guča Festival calls for a transnational perspective, earlier Balkanist discourse on Serbia’s indeterminate position between West and East seems to remain analytically most helpful in pointing to the uncontested hegemony of Western/European white privilege and supremacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Balkan Music: Past, Present, Future)
Article
Lovely Ugly Bes! Animalistic Aspects in Ancient Egyptian Popular Religion
Arts 2020, 9(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020051 - 17 Apr 2020
Viewed by 1871
Abstract
The popular yet demonic guardian of ancient Egypt, Bes, combines dwarfish and leonine features, and embodies opposing traits such as a fierce and gentle demeanor, a hideous and comical appearance, serious and humorous roles, an animalistic and numinous nature. Drawing connections with similarly [...] Read more.
The popular yet demonic guardian of ancient Egypt, Bes, combines dwarfish and leonine features, and embodies opposing traits such as a fierce and gentle demeanor, a hideous and comical appearance, serious and humorous roles, an animalistic and numinous nature. Drawing connections with similarly stunted figures, great and small cats, sacred cows, baboons, demonic monsters, universal gods and infant deities, this article will focus on the animalistic associations of the Bes figure to illustrate that this leonine dwarf encompassed a wider religious significance than apotropaic and regenerative functions alone. Bes was thought to come from afar but was always close; the leonine dwarf guarded the sun god Ra along the diurnal solar circuit; the figure protected pregnant women and newborn children; it was a dancer and musician; the figure belonged to the company of magical monsters of hybrid appearance as averter of evil and sword-wielding fighter. Exploring the human and animal, demonic and numinous aspects of this leonine dwarf will not only further our understanding of its nature and function, but also its significance and popularity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animals in Ancient Material Cultures (vol. 2))
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Editorial
Japan and the “Transnational Cinema”
Arts 2020, 9(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020050 - 17 Apr 2020
Viewed by 851
Abstract
Since the Western “discovery” of Japanese cinema in the 1950s, there has been a tendency among both Film Studies and Japanese Studies scholars to draw on essentialist visions of Japanese Cinema, understating its uniqueness as a consequence of its isolation from the rest [...] Read more.
Since the Western “discovery” of Japanese cinema in the 1950s, there has been a tendency among both Film Studies and Japanese Studies scholars to draw on essentialist visions of Japanese Cinema, understating its uniqueness as a consequence of its isolation from the rest of the world [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Japanese Transnational Cinema)
Article
Metaphor to Métier: Kerry Tribe’s “Aphasia Poetry Club” and the Discourse of Disability in Contemporary Art
Arts 2020, 9(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020049 - 16 Apr 2020
Viewed by 729
Abstract
“Metaphor to Métier: Kerry Tribe’s Aphasia Poetry Club and the Discourse of Disability in Contemporary Art” explores a 2015 video work by Los Angeles-based artist Kerry Tribe. Tribe’s “The Aphasia Poetry Club” embodies a shift in contemporary artistic discourse around concepts of physical [...] Read more.
“Metaphor to Métier: Kerry Tribe’s Aphasia Poetry Club and the Discourse of Disability in Contemporary Art” explores a 2015 video work by Los Angeles-based artist Kerry Tribe. Tribe’s “The Aphasia Poetry Club” embodies a shift in contemporary artistic discourse around concepts of physical and cognitive disability. Created by a neurotypical artist, the work uses the medium of the moving image to interpret the experience of aphasia, a neurocognitive language disorder frequently associated with traumatic brain injury. Three distinct visual idioms capture the particular neurological profiles and linguistic patterns of Tribe’s chosen participants. Tribe’s representation of people living with aphasia disrupts ableist conceits about the human capacity for memory and language. Rather than stigmatizing individual impairments, the work is indicative of a new aesthetic arising from disability experience. The article argues that disability no longer functions in the contemporary art world as a political or spiritual metaphor, but rather has become a site of formal invention and conceptual research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology and Mental Health in Contemporary Art)
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Article
Women Architects in the Transition: Comparative Analysis of ‘Palomeras’ Dwellings, Madrid (Spain)
Arts 2020, 9(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020048 - 14 Apr 2020
Viewed by 736
Abstract
This study examines the contribution of women architects to Palomeras operation projects in the context of the Spanish transition and the Madrid housing emergency in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Works were selected according to their professional impacts; 11 projects were analyzed [...] Read more.
This study examines the contribution of women architects to Palomeras operation projects in the context of the Spanish transition and the Madrid housing emergency in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Works were selected according to their professional impacts; 11 projects were analyzed by redrawing and studying the main types of dwelling. The current reading interpretation—according to a gender perspective—focuses on reproduction of tasks in main spaces at home: in-depth testing of the scope of kitchen surface and glazing ratios, as well as direct lighting, views and minimum distance of housekeeping paths. Furthermore, the comparative and qualitative analysis was based on meaningful data, which yield subtle but expressive results about the consequences of gender-inclusive architect teams. Thus, it is possible to approach and discuss the role played by some women architects of the Madrid School after second-wave feminism, in a key time for gender change in architectural practice in Spain. Full article
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Article
Neglect and the Kaleidoscopic Mind: Psychology and Mental Health in Contemporary Art
Arts 2020, 9(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020047 - 08 Apr 2020
Viewed by 1550
Abstract
This paper seeks to explore the broad question of whether and how art can be applied to medical therapeutic practices. As part of this research, the paper outlines an ongoing project, exemplifying this combined approach, which seeks to improve function in stroke patients. [...] Read more.
This paper seeks to explore the broad question of whether and how art can be applied to medical therapeutic practices. As part of this research, the paper outlines an ongoing project, exemplifying this combined approach, which seeks to improve function in stroke patients. We reviewed previous collaborations between art and psychology dating back to the 1960s, employing methods ranging from simple, analog, haptic interfaces to the contemporary potential of machine learning to improve brain function. We then outline an ongoing project employing machine learning and multisensory stimulation to improve function in stroke patients, which are being run in collaboration with Klinik Lippoldsberg, Germany. We discuss the possibility that these same approaches may also be applied to healthy people as an open-ended inquiry into consciousness and mental optimization. It is hoped that these approaches will be beneficial to the medical community, but also equally broaden the reach and context of contemporary art, which is so often marginalized within institutions that are not readily accessible to or in communication with other disciplines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology and Mental Health in Contemporary Art)
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Article
Between Yerushalayim DeLita and Jerusalem—The Memorial Inscription from the Bimah of the Great Synagogue of Vilna
Arts 2020, 9(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020046 - 01 Apr 2020
Viewed by 1321
Abstract
During excavations of the bimah (the platform for reading the Torah) of the 17th-century Great Synagogue of Vilna (Vilnius, Lithuania), an important memorial inscription was exposed. This paper describes the new finds associated with the baroque-rococo architecture of the bimah and focuses on [...] Read more.
During excavations of the bimah (the platform for reading the Torah) of the 17th-century Great Synagogue of Vilna (Vilnius, Lithuania), an important memorial inscription was exposed. This paper describes the new finds associated with the baroque-rococo architecture of the bimah and focuses on the inscription and its meaning. The Hebrew inscription, engraved on a large stone slab, is a complex rabbinic text filled with biblical allusions, symbolism, gematria, and abbreviations. The text describes the donation of a Torah reading table in 1796 in honour of R. Ḥayim ben Ḥayim and of Sarah by their sons, R. Eliezer and Shmuel. The inscription notes the aliyah (emigration) of Ḥayim and Sarah to Eretz Israel, the Land of Israel. The interpretation of the inscription shows the use of multiple messianic motifs. Historical analysis identifies the involvement of the Vilna community with the support of the Yishuv (the Jewish community in Ottoman Palestine) and the aliyah of senior scholars and community leaders at the end of the 18th and early 19th centuries. Amongst these figures were Ḥayim ben Ḥayim and Sarah, with Ḥayim ben Ḥayim going on to represent the Vilna community in the Land of Israel as its emissary, distributing charitable donations to the scholarly Ashkenazi community resident in Tiberias, Safed, and later Jerusalem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synagogue Art and Architecture)
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Article
Not Different Enough: Avoiding Representation as “Balkan” and the Constrained Appeal of Macedonian Ethno Music
Arts 2020, 9(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020045 - 30 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1007
Abstract
Since the early 1990s, interest in various forms of traditional music among middle-class urban ethnic Macedonians has grown. Known by some as the “Ethno Renaissance”, this trend initially grew in the context of educational ensembles in Skopje and gained momentum due to the [...] Read more.
Since the early 1990s, interest in various forms of traditional music among middle-class urban ethnic Macedonians has grown. Known by some as the “Ethno Renaissance”, this trend initially grew in the context of educational ensembles in Skopje and gained momentum due to the soundtrack of the internationally acclaimed Macedonian film Before the Rain (1994) and the formation of the group DD Synthesis by musician and pedagogue Dragan Dautovski. This article traces the development of this multifaceted musical practice, which became known as “ethno music” (etno muzika) and now typically features combinations of various traditional music styles with one another and with other musical styles. Ethno music articulates dynamic changes in Macedonian politics and wider global trends in the “world music” market, which valorizes musical hybridity as “authentic” and continues to prioritize performers perceived as exotic and different. This article discusses the rhetoric, representation, and musical styles of ethno music in the 1990s and in a second wave of “ethno bands” (etno bendovi) that began around 2005. Drawing on ethnography conducted between 2011 and 2018 and on experience as a musician performing and recording in Macedonia periodically since 2003, I argue that, while these bands and their multi-layered musical projects resonate with middle-class, cosmopolitan audiences in Macedonia and its diaspora, their avoidance of the term “Balkan” and associated stereotypes constrains their popularity to Macedonian audiences and prevents them from participating widely in world music festival networks and related markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Balkan Music: Past, Present, Future)
Article
Rosas, the Storyless, and Roles
Arts 2020, 9(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts9020044 - 28 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 878
Abstract
Analyzing the early work of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker—and particularly Rosas danst Rosas (1983)—this article examines the notion of “the storyless” in relation to the role: that pillar of dance, and especially choreography, which enables the individuation, transmission, and exchange of each dancer’s [...] Read more.
Analyzing the early work of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker—and particularly Rosas danst Rosas (1983)—this article examines the notion of “the storyless” in relation to the role: that pillar of dance, and especially choreography, which enables the individuation, transmission, and exchange of each dancer’s part. Set in relation to the principles of serial music that De Keersmaeker had already explored in Fase (1982) and to the idea of seriality itself, the role provides a way to consider how “storylessness” could be both emancipatory and feminist. It responds to identitarian models of feminist argumentation by suggesting that a virtue of certain forms of abstraction lies in the pleasurable ways that dance’s roles demonstrate the circulability and exchangeability of the self. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dance and Abstraction)
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