A Voice In The Wilderness

first_imgHis fruity, high-brow tones are so renowned that they have become popular to impersonate. He is imitated by Jon Culshaw on the Dead Ringers comedy show. A track on the 1991 comedy CD Tested on Humans for Irritancy has satirical journalist Victor Lewis-Smith telephoning Sewell and, in Sewell’s voice, asking the critic to appear on a spoof arts program. Naturally, he was not amused by this. And most people seem even to find his anti-populist sentiments quite entertaining. He once offended some people in Gateshead by claiming that anexhibition was too important to be held only at the Baltic and should be shown to “more sophisticated” audiences in London. The impression that I get with Sewell is that he is a man of the old school; an Ernst Gombrich if you like, who values the art historical trajectory. This is why he likes the Chapman brothers, whom he credits with “real vigour and intelligence”. They reference Goya all the time in their work and other artists, like Hieronymus Bosch, William Blake and Nicolas Poussin. Sewell also likes them because he thinks that they technically are very strong. “They try their hand at a lot of things. They try etching, and produce some very good etchings”. Technical ability is something he values highly. He recalls, with particular disgust, a situation he encountered at one of the top art colleges a few years ago where he came across a student who wanted to achieve the same kind of effect as Leonardo. The student asked around the teachers and apparently no one could help. “They didn’t even have the slightest inkling. When you have got to this stage”, he says with desperation, “you have got no hope”.Sewell’s argument against contemporary art extends right into the art world. He’s really thought the whole ‘problem’ through. Firstly, he blames the art colleges. Not only are their teachers unable to teach, (according to Sewell the Head of the Royal Academy could not paint a Christmas card), but they take on too many students, many of whom “they know in their bones are no good”. Secondly, he blames the art market. He thinks that the creativity of successful contemporary artists is stifled by the amount of money floating around, and so is the critical ability of the dealers who are afraid to rock the market for fear of loosing out. Thirdly, he blames the fact that the contemporary art world is run by a very small clique of people. He cites the case of his predecessor, Richard Cork. He has served as Chair of the Visual Arts Panel at the Arts Council of England, sat on committees such as those in the Hayward Gallery and the British Council, and been on the panel of judges for the Turner Prize. Consequentially the taste of Cork and a few others rule: ‘Nowadays, if you want a piece of public sculpture anywhere in the provinces it has to be aGormley or Kapoor. No one else gets a look in”. It is with some trepidation that I dial the phone number of Brian Sewell, Britain’s most outspoken and controversial art critic. This is a man that has called the Tate Modern “the ugliest museum in Christendom”, Barbara Hepworth “a one-trick pony” and Rachael Whitbread’s work “a pile of rubbish”. He is not oneto mince his words.We don’t get off to a brilliant start. I tell him that I’m studying Art History at Oxford. “Is that wise?” is the smooth, considered and oh so ironic response that comes from the other end of the phone line. He later elaborates. “I am sick and tired of students who send me their so-called theses to read, because they think I might enjoy them. I don’t”.But Sewell is not really a philistine. He is fascinated by art. He was encouraged to take an interest from an early age by his mother. She was a painter and took him on trips to the National Gallery. She used to challenge him to run round and find certain types of paintings, such as Spanish or Italian ones. Later, he decided to go to the Courtauld Institute to study Art History. After graduating, he became a specialist in Old Master paintings and drawings at Christie’s auction house. Touchingly, he found that he couldn’t bear to sell the paintings to undeserving clients and so he left the job and tried his hand at writing. Ever since getting his job in 1984 as art critic for the Evening Standard he has never looked back.His art criticism has many attractions. Firstly, it is always full of evocative description. Rather like Diderot, he brings the works that he describes to life. Take his description of Potiphar’s wife in Orazio Gentileschi’s Joseph in Buckingham Palace: “Gentileschi’s narrative is revealed inch by inch, the sense of buttocks under the blue cloth, a naked back, another naked knee, all continuing the diagonal thrust that began with the toes in the corner, and then a naked shoulder and under an outstretched arm the sight of big high breasts and one proud nipple.” The same sensuous language is applied in the food criticism that he does occasionally. An oyster dish becomes a platform for drama: “Ruined in a mess of passion fruit and lavender, quail jelly with a parfait of foie gras, and then a bed of moss under another rising Macbeth mist as the setting for a shred of truffle on half a skinny soldier of toast.” Then there’s the force of personality behind the work. Sewell absolutely loves to be witty. Recently the Standard got him to go and review Heston Blumenthal’s fashionable Fat Duck restaurant in Berkshire. He delighted in labelling the vanilla mayonnaise and green tea mousse a Baroque attempt at the “five senses of the Renaissance”, and also in calling the restaurant’s wildly pretentious owner an insane ‘Mr Fiddle-Faddle’. He also comes up with excellent one-liners. He tells me how he doesn’t go round the art colleges anymore because the chance of discovering someone good is too remote: “There’s no point in inflicting punishment on oneself. And I’m not a masochist”.Sewell also has a rather naughty sense of humour. Take the focus of his recent television program on channel Five. In it he examines ‘the dark underbelly’ of the supposedly educational tours taken by the English aristocracy in the 18th century. He sheds new light, for example, on James Boswell, a nobleman who made voluminous notes on the tour. He tells the story of how Boswell “suffered spontaneous ejaculation in his trousers, after playing kneesy with a young woman at the opera.” The paintings of the martyrdom of John that feature the saintwith an erection were also a subject on which he wanted to touch. Five didn’t allow it. Such a shame, he explained, “you have only to say the word “wank” on TV and an audience of 300 will roll with laughter”. The references to wanking and ejaculation sound particularly funny when coming from someone so posh. He typically wears an unbuttoned shirt and a smart navy suit jacket with a handkerchief visible in his breast pocket for his television appearances. His silvery grey hair is always carefully combed to one side andhis bi-focals sit half-way down the nose. He looks like a slightly tatty aristocrat. The voice also adds to the image. A normal “so there” is a drawn out “seeuw theeeur”. According to Paul Merton, Sewell is so posh that he makes even the Queen look rough. It is not just the wit and prose style, then, that gives Sewell the edge, but also this rather delightful sense of snobbish superiority. This is a man that says: I know what I’m talking about and don’t you dare disagree. This is no more obvious than when he airs his opinions on contemporary art. Sewell thinks that most of it is rubbish. “The so called ‘great artists’ of today”, he explains with conviction, “only have one great idea, with luck two, but certainly not more. Their ideas can be understood in a split second. In the blink of an eye you know everything about the bloody thing”. We move down a list of ‘bad artists’. First is Anthony Gormley, Turner prize winner, maker of the Angel of the North and currently exhibiting at the Hayward Gallery, with his “Blind Light” exhibition. The verdict: “He just rehashes the same old thing. Gormley does what Gormley does… ”. Then there’s Anya Gallaccio, a Turner nominee who makes works out of organic materials: “A lunatic, who’s justinterested in rotting vegetables”. And of course Damien Hirst, best known for The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, the shark in formaldehyde: “A showman with admittedly some kind of wayward intelligence but no knowledge.”Shocking as these accusations are, they don’t actually mean very much. So I ask him to elaborate. He reiterates that the problem is mainly one of intelligence. According to Sewell, most contemporary artists “don’t realise how dim-witted and shallow they actually are”. And apparently their teachers also suffer from the same problem. A case of the blind leading the blind: “One idiot concept, followed by another idiot concept. Monkey see, monkey do”. I ask him whether he thinks that, despite this, contemporary art can engage with its public. I’m thinking of Langlands and Bell’s The House of Osama Bin Laden, which tries to tap into contemporary political opinion. No, he tells me, “It has no dialogue with the world around it”. But doesn’t the popularity of contemporary art bear testimony to a dialogue between art and audience? Millions tune in it see the results of the Turner every year and Tracy Emin’s My Bed has become a household name, I point out. But I’ve pushed him too far. “It might bepopular, but so are fish and chips. Would you recommend that everyone should go and look at that?” Sewell tells me proudly that he sits firmly outside the art establishment. Lots of critics, he points out, judge the prizes, teach the artists and have a say in the allocation of public funding. He, however, “is not a joiner”. But does this really add legitimacy to his criticism? It seems that regardless of the number of committees that men like Richard Cork might serve on, Sewell’s problem with them is that he simply doesn’t like their taste. He has no problem with Poussin and the seventeenth-century French classicists, even though their work came outof small courtly patronage networks. Sewell, of course, is never going to change is mind. In terms of his own popularity, there is really no reason why he should. There are a huge number of people who agree that contemporary art is rubbish, and many more who are at the very least rather puzzled by it. His arguments are always quoted in the Turner debate. This year he added a twist to his stance by choosing to ignore it completely; even this was noted. What is rather admirable though about the latter decision is that it shows how much Sewell cares. He is simply so annoyed by the Turner that he does not want to profit from the annual hype by making angry comments. He is a man of much conviction.He’s also praying that one day they’ll have an effect. Strikingly, he touches on this when he’s describing the prospects for Damien Hirst’s career. “Someone will say in 20 or 30 years time that Hirst is a load of rubbish. The prices will begin to drop and no one will want one”. Will he be the one to bring everything crashing down? Unfortunately not, the clock is ticking. “I shall be dead”, he says matter-of-factly “but somebody like me will begin to convince the art market that these supposedly great figures are no good”.last_img read more

CHANNEL 44 NEWS: Evansville Considering Replacement For Lloyd Pool

first_imgEvansville Considering Replacement For Lloyd PoolThis Wednesday the Evansville Parks Board will hear a request for a planning study for a replacement for Lloyd Pool. The 41 year old pool is on its last legs – the manufacturing company that Evansville Parks and Recreation work with says they cannot…FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

Baia Restaurant Demolition Leaves One Less Eatery in Area

first_imgThe Baia Restaurant on Bay Avenue in Somers Point is torn down. By Maddy VitaleDemolition crews began knocking down the former Baia Restaurant, 998 Bay Ave. in Somers Point, and at this point, city officials say they aren’t sure what will become of the property.“The owner, GMH Restaurant Holdings LLC, took out a demolition permit and yesterday they began demolition,” said Planning and Zoning Board Administrator Jayne Meischker.She said at this time there are no applications before either the planning or zoning boards for a new restaurant or other business at the site.Baia touted its ambience, delicious cuisine and fantastic bayfront views on its website. It opened in 2011.The eatery was “where contemporary Italian cuisine is matched with an unrivaled ocean view and exhilarating entertainment,” according to the restaurant’s website www.baiarestaurant.com.The restaurant highlighted its water views as a stunning attraction. (Photo credit baiarestaurant.com)The website continued, “Outside, you’ll find a sun baked deck and crisp ocean air, partnered with weekly live entertainment and casual dining. Inside the restaurant, enjoy a more intimate dining experience, perfect for large families and groups of friends to gather.”But on Thursday and into Friday crews were busy tearing down the structure. A worker operated a giant excavator that grabbed at chunks of the building.Piece by piece the outer shell of the structure came crashing down into a heap of dusty debris.Reports are circulating around Somers Point that it will be turned into a Tiki Bar or condominiums will replace the business.Baia was the last restaurant brand to operate at the site. Previously, the Inlet restaurant occupied the space. Prior to that it was Sails. It also was The Waterfront, according to a food blog, hungrypilgrims.The demolition leaves Somers Point with one fewer restaurant in a high-profile location along the Bay Avenue corridor.Baia was the latest in a series of restaurant brands that operated at the Bay Avenue site over the years.last_img read more

Press release: Foreign Secretary arrives in Argentina ahead of G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting and lays a wreath to honour the Fallen of the Falkland Islands conflict

first_imgOn Monday (21 May) Mr Johnson will attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting, a summit for 19 countries and the European Union, which will focus on the themes of ‘Multilateralism and Global Governance’ and ‘Action for a Fair and Sustainable Development’. Background Find out more about the Foreign Secretary’s visit to Latin America. It is an honour to join Foreign Minister Faurie today, and to lay a wreath at the Monument to the Fallen, commemorating all those who died in the Falkland Islands conflict. During the visit he will represent the UK at G20 summit, on Monday 21 May, and hold bilateral meetings with President Mauricio Macri and Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie.Speaking on arrival in Argentina Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:center_img the G20 is made up of 19 countries and the European Union. The 19 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. Spain is a permanent invited guest to G20 meetings this year Argentina has also invited Chile, the Netherlands, Jamaica (representing the CARICOM), Rwanda (representing the African Union), Senegal (representing NEPAD) and Singapore (representing ASEAN) to attend see further information on the G20 The relationship between the UK and Argentina has come a long way over the past few years and this visit will be an opportunity to build on and enhance ever closer co-operation on trade, investment, cultural ties, tackling corruption and organised crime, and increasing links in science and technology. As the UK leaves the European Union, my message is that the UK is open for business. I look forward to a new chapter in our relationship, and booming trade prospects, after the UK leaves the European Union. In the first visit by a British Foreign Secretary to Argentina in 22 years, Mr Johnson joined Foreign Minister Faurie, Defence Minister Agaud and Security Minister Bullrich at a ceremony at the ‘Monument to the Fallen’. Mr Johnson laid a wreath in honour of those who died on both sides of the 1982 Falkland Islands conflict.Speaking ahead of the ceremony Foreign Secretary Johnson said:last_img read more

Winter NAMM Show Gathered Global Music Industry To California For Annual Event

first_imgThe last weekend in January brought over 115,00 people to Anaheim, California for the annual National Association of Music Merchants convention, better known as NAMM. The annual event brings together vendors, musicians, and industry professionals from around the globe to show off their latest innovations, talk shop, and test out the newest line of instruments from a multitude of merchants. Nearly 7,000 brands and 2,000 exhibiting companies were on display for attendees to check out.NAMM not only featured the latest music industry products but also held over 500 educational classes throughout the four days of the conference. Classes ranged from such topics featuring safety and security in the live music industry, audio science, and rigging and lighting safety to wireless technology panels and marketing and online presence. The wide variety of educational topics allowed for everyone to learn something that was specific to their career.NAMM was spread out between the Anaheim Convention Center & Arena and spilled into the neighboring Mariott and Hilton hotels. It not only made for a lot of sore feet but provided endless displays to check out. The Grand Plaza, situated between the two hotels, featured a main stage for events throughout the day, as well as shows when the convention closed in the early evening. Music was also featured at stages within the hotels throughout the day and well into the late night.Larry Morton, president of Hal Leonard, described the trade show best for those who are not familiar with the event. “NAMM’s the global gathering place. It’s where you go to find out everything about our industry on a global basis. The diversity of the companies that are here are from technology to traditional musical instruments, to publishing to artists, to management, to labels you’ve got it. I mean, it’s the one place you can go and touch all facets of the music business.” International attendance at this year’s show reflected global representation of over nineteen thousand people from over 100 countries. With such a vast mix of domestic and international retail distributors, buyers, media, and artists, it made for the perfect place to converge new ideas and forge new relationships around the globe. Andy Zildjian, of Sabian, stated it perfectly by saying “You have four days to meet the world. Anybody who has a stake in the industry is here: whether it’s distributors, manufacturers, retailers, players, everyone.”Each morning of the conference began with “The Breakfast of Champions” which featured speakers discussing various parts of the industry—everything from “Future-Proofing the Music Industry” to “The Digital Consumer: How Buyers Have Changed and What To Do About It.”On the opening day of the event, The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir was honored with the NAMM “Music for Life” Award. It honored his work spanning five decades for not only influencing musical styles for musicians worldwide but it recognized his work in sound design and the music business in general. Presented by NAMM President and CEO, Joe Lamond, Weir’s achievements were acknowledged with the following:The Grateful Dead inspired a movement by taking incredible risks musically, culturally and in terms of how they approached the music business. They did so out of a passion for music making and, as a result, continue to inspire musicians to this day. We’re honored to present Bob Weir with the Music for Life Award for his unabashed passion for music making, support for music education and so many more achievements in his long career.Award events scattered throughout the conference included the debut of The Parnelli Awards, which honored event tech professionals across 22 categories. The She Rocks Awards recognized outstanding women in the industry who’ve made great strides. This year’s event honored such artists as Pat Benatar, Melissa Etheridge, and Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson of the B-52’s, to name a few.The NAMM TEC Awards recognized 31 areas within the areas of Technical or Creative Achievement, and individuals, companies and technical innovations used in film, television, video games and sound recording. Jackson Browne was also honored at this event with the Les Paul Innovation Award which is presented to those who have shown the highest standard of excellence in the “creative application of recording technology in the spirit of famed audio pioneer, inventor and musician, Les Paul.”At his acceptance Browne stated:It means so much to be honored by you because I’ve relied on the kindness of engineers and their knowledge in the studio and equipment my whole life. These people know everything I don’t know but they put their technical expertise at the service of the music – at the service of the song. I am indebted to them and I’m indebted to you all who make the gear.After four days of endless classes, panels, gear to drool over, sights, sounds and visuals that filled each sense to the gild, sore feet were the departing gift for many of the attendees. After pockets were crammed full of business cards, connections made, meetings set, and conversations discussed over a tall cold one, everyone left with a renewed sense of purpose and energy in the industry. For more information about the NAMM show, and their non-profit association, please visit their website.Words and Photography by Sarah Bourque Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Law student to run London marathon

first_imgWhile many Notre Dame students make final preparations for the Holy Half Marathon this weekend, one Notre Dame law student across the pond prepares for another, much longer run. Second year law student Beth Scarola plans to run the London Marathon next month to raise money and awareness for the International Justice Mission (IJM), a cause she said she strongly supports. Scarola, who is studying abroad in London this semester, said she wanted to get back into running this year.  After learning she would be in London, she began searching for an organization that would sponsor her participation in the marathon. “I came across the International Justice Mission and read their mission statement, which was all about human rights and trafficking,” Scarola said. According to the IJM’s mission statement, the organization is “a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.” IJM’s lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to secure “immediate victim rescue and aftercare.” The IJM also aims to prosecute perpetrators and monitor the integrity of local public justice systems. “It was really cool to me because these were lawyers globally who were fighting to help,” Scarola said. Scarola said she felt the organization’s mission paralleled the Notre Dame Law School’s mission, which strives to prepare “a different kind of lawyer.” The London Marathon allows charities to apply for ballots, which are used to sponsor runners. “I approached the organization with the hope of attaining their one ballot,” Scarola said.  “I was interviewed, and was offered the ballot.” Scarola said she believes her time at the University, both as an undergraduate and later as a law student, has fostered a yearning to utilize her talents for the greater good. “Being a different kind of lawyer meant using my talents to help people,” Scarola said.  “I was really inspired by the attorneys that work for the International Justice Mission that spend their entire careers utilizing their talents to fight these atrocities.” Scarola, who plans to raise $6,500 for the organization, said the IJM embraced the Notre Dame Law School’s mission statement as well as her background doing human rights work in the Dominican Republic. Although Scarola plans to practice healthcare law, she said she the opportunity to raise money for a just cause is still relevant to her. “This cause is very near and dear to my heart,” Scarola said.  “I’m not going to stop fighting for it, even if that means just running a marathon as opposed to being able to dedicate my entire career to fighting these atrocities.”last_img read more

Tickets Now On Sale for Drunk Shakespeare Off-Broadway

first_imgThe course of true love never did run smooth, but you know what does? A good whiskey. Tickets are now available for the off-Broadway run of Drunk Shakespeare, the popular theatrical experience that combines the Bard with booze. Performances take place at “The Lounge,” located at Roy Arias Stages. David Hudson directs the group of shot-taking thespians. The Drunk Shakespeare Society, a self-proclaimed “drinking club with a Shakespeare problem,” consists of a rotating company of ten actors. At the start of each show, one performer takes (at least) five shots of whiskey and proceeds to lead the rest of the cast in a Shakespearean story in under 90 minutes. Each night is different, but things are certain to get messy every time. The cast features Tiffany Abercrombie, Julia Giolzetti, Josh Hyman, Elissa Klie, Whit Leyenberger, Christina Liu, Caitlin Morris, Damiyr Shuford, Adam Thomas Smith and Alison Wien. Drunk Shakespeare View Comments Related Shows from $55last_img read more

Woodroof Lecture

first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaMohan Rao, a food-industry leader with Frito-Lay, will deliver the 2006 Woodroof Lecture April 13 at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.Rao will speak on “Ingredient Formulation for Success in the Food Industry” at 2 p.m. in Masters Hall at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.“Dr. Rao offers a unique perspective on the food industry, having both academic and industry experience,” said Marilyn Erickson, a professor at the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety.Rao was on the UGA faculty for 15 years. For more than 17 years, he has worked for PepsiCo. He is now a senior technical professional in research and development at Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo.Each year a leader in food research, education, industry or policy is invited to lecture in honor of the late J.G. Woodroof. A pioneer in food science research, Woodroof began his research in food science in 1929. He organized the food science department at the Georgia Experiment Station around 1940.Rao helped reform the way Frito-Lay makes such products as the megaphone-shaped Doritos 3D’s and Ruffles 3D’s in North America and low-cost tapioca pellet products in Asia. He has been awarded eight patents and has written five book chapters and more than 60 refereed publications.The Woodroof Lecture is free and open to the public. Following the lecture, a reception will be in the Georgia Center Atrium. For more information, contact the UGA Department of Food Science and Technology at (706) 542-2286.last_img read more

The Largest Rio Favela with Better Surveillance than London

first_imgBy Dialogo January 15, 2013 La Rocinha, the largest favela in Río de Janeiro, developed one of the “best surveillance systems worldwide” after 80 cutting-edge cameras working 24 hours a day were installed this week, a security representative explained to AFP on January 10. “We have one camera for every 860 inhabitants. Some time before, London was the best monitored city, with a camera for every 862 inhabitants, but now we are,” La Rocinha’s Peace Police Unit Deputy Commander Neyfson Borges stated. A year after the Army and Police occupied La Rocinha, drug traffickers were expelled and cameras were installed in 14 strategic points; this was the first initiative of this kind applied in one of the “pacified” metropolitan favelas. “It was a necessary measure due to the number of inhabitants we have – 70,000 – and to the favela’s geography; a steep terrain with a labyrinth of narrow streets with difficult access,” Borges explained. Only 20 percent of the favela is accessible by car; therefore, police officers are forced to patrol on motorbike or on foot. This way, cameras and radio communication equipment must facilitate the work, he emphasized. In 2012, there were 12 murders in this community of 84,000 km2, located on high hills. The last murder was that of a 25-year-old police officer, on September 14, 2012. “The cameras have a 360-degree scope and can amplify the images they capture from three to six times, even in the dark,” Borges said. “Thanks to the cameras, we were able to perform traffic arrests for consumption and theft,” he added. “This surveillance is great, because it guarantees more security,” a 12-year old boy told AFP. “I think it is positive to increase security,” stated Adelni, a 39-year-old woman who does not consider this system to be “an invasion of our privacy.” In September 2011, the Armed Forces and Police occupied the favela as part of a pacification program, prior to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Currently, there are over 5,500 police officers that monitor 140 communities in in 25 peacekeeping unit posts within Río de Janeiro. There are a total of 750 favelas in the city.last_img read more