I went to see The Art of the Steal at The Little (240 East Ave.) tonight. I wasn't sure what I was getting into because I'd read just a little about it, but it turned out to be an excellent documentary … at least for me.
It sets up the battle between Albert C. Barnes and the Chicago art community. The deal is that when Barnes was alive, he began collecting works of modern artists of the middle 20th century; further, he displayed those works only once at a Chicago gallery and the works were derided by the art community as inferior in nearly every way to true art. This only fueled his disdain for that art community — and he was embroiled in full-out battle when they realized his collection was one of the most valuable in the world, after that form of modern art became popular. Upon his death, he set up a trust for The Barnes Foundation (300 North Latch's Ln., Merion, PA) which was an educational institution for teaching art in a unique way — stipulating that it was specifically not a museum of art, no artwork may be loaned out, etc.
The film sets up Barnes and his foundation as the heroes, and the art community as the greed-infested enemies. As I understand it, Barnes had a view of works of art as things that had value because they spoke to human beings; and specifically that monetary value had no place being attributed to art. The art community intertwined historical value, personal value, and monetary value in a jumbled mess, and never understood Barnes' point.
So, blah blah blah, they go about dismantling the trust and gain access to the collection in ways Barnes never intended.
The reason I found it an excellent documentary is it opened more reasoned questions than it answered. How long should one man's dying wish be honored? How should we view art? By what mechanism does a person's property become public when they die?
But at its heart, the film asks: for any clause in a person's financed trust, how do we measure if it goes against the public good so much that it must be overturned? That's essentially the argument: the Barnes Foundation has all these great works "locked away" from public view. But how many people can really appreciate an original Matisse, for example? Isn't uninformed public viewing just a matter of bragging rights — don't most people say they saw this-or-that artwork and begin with its appraised value rather than any deeper understanding?
I didn't really see Barnes as the "good guy". I agree with his philosophy of art, but think that important works should have public access (even when it's pearls before swine). Perhaps I'm looking back with a lens tainted by 2010's copyright laws and seeing a world where ideas are longing to be free but are blocked. I'm sure Barnes saw a future where art whose dollar value drops below its value as fuel would simply be burned for heat. I don't know if either of us is wrong.
ABVI Goodwill will be accepting computer equipment for recycling today from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at ReHouse, Inc. (1473 E. Main St.) Naturally, they'll also accept clothing donations. In other words: get that computer monitor off the curbside and bring it over you lazy bum!
Today at 9:30 a.m. is the Annual Crime Victims' Rights March starting at The Crime Victims Resource Center (244 S. Plymouth St.) to The Monroe County Crime Victims' Memorial in Highland Park (Reservoir Dr.).
In theory, there is another
Emerging Filmmakers Program
(240 East Ave.)
at 9:15 p.m., but I haven't heard anything about it so your guess is as good as mine. As soon as I get the details I'll post the films.
This morning at 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria overlooking the arboretum in
Bausch and Lomb
(140 Stone St.)
Artists Breakfast Group
meeting ... anyone interested in art or creativity is invited.
This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do.
Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat."
Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed.
Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events.
I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity.
Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.)
It's also not to be confused with
or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator.
While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, April 22, 2010 (Thu, Apr 22, 2010, 4/22/2010, or 4/22/10) Friday, April 23, 2010 (Fri, Apr 23, 2010, 4/23/2010, or 4/23/10) Saturday, April 24, 2010 (Sat, Apr 24, 2010, 4/24/2010, or 4/24/10) Sunday, April 25, 2010 (Sun, Apr 25, 2010, 4/25/2010, or 4/25/10) Monday, April 26, 2010 (Mon, Apr 26, 2010, 4/26/2010, or 4/26/10) Tuesday, April 27, 2010 (Tue, Apr 27, 2010, 4/27/2010, or 4/27/10) and Wednesday, April 28, 2010 (Wed, Apr 28, 2010, 4/28/2010, or 4/28/10).
indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.
indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.
links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.
links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.